Whilst you’ve probably heard of cycling around Wadjemup / Rottnest Island, another amazing way to experience the island is by foot. Rottnest Island has an island-wide network of walk trails that make up the incredible Wadjemup Bidi.
What’s in a name? The name for the island in the Noongar language is Wadjemup , which means ‘place across the water where the spirits are’. ‘Bidi’ in Noongar means ‘trail’ or ‘track’.
These connected walk trails allow you to traverse the island either in separate stages, or if you’re keen for an epic adventure, as a whole. The entire trail is 45 km, so you’ll need to spread your hike over a few days if you want to do the whole thing. There are five sections, so you can also just choose to do one or two walks during your time on the island.
Distance: 9.5 km loop / 3-4 hours
Where to start: Thomson Bay
This beautiful walk trail meanders through the lake systems and back along the northern coastline — offering you a taste of everything Rottnest Island has to offer. Check out Vlamingh Lookout for some of the best views of the island. As you wander through the beautiful inland lake systems keeping your eyes peeled for seasonal migratory birdlife and of course, quokkas. Don’t miss a stroll along the lakes boardwalk which provides the facade of “walking on water”. Head back along the coast passing Little Parakeet Bay, Geordie Bay, The Basin and Pinky Beach before arriving back at the Thomson Bay settlement.
Distance: 5.7 km one way / 2-3 hours
This spectacular trail strolls past beautiful sandy beaches, calm swimming lagoons and eventually, more rugged, wild parts of the island. You’ll traverse the northern coastline, passing incredible beaches like Little Armstrong Bay and Catherine Bay. Stop at City of York to learn about the shipwreck, and then take in the serrated reef that was the cause of its destruction. Carry on past Ricey Beach, past the gorgeous Stark Bay and finish your hike at Rocky Bay.
Where to start: Narrow Neck (stop 13)
Distance: 7.8 km loop / 3-4 hours
Where to start: Rocky Bay (stop 13) or Porpoise Bay (stop 4)
If you’re not sure where to start or like the sound of expert commentary paired with your scenic walk, why not join a guided tour with The Hike Collective? Their knowledgeable guides will show you the best of the Wadjemup Bidi in an engaging and relaxed group setting. With multiple tours to choose from, including overnight retreats, it’s the perfect adventure for both hiking enthusiasts and beginners alike.
If you’re looking to learn more about different areas of the island, you can also join a free walking tour with the Rottnest Voluntary Guides. Whether you're keen to meet the wildlife or discover more about the history of the island, you’re sure to find a tour and passionate guide to suit your interests. The tours are run regularly throughout most days and are a great addition to a day trip or to enhance an extended stay. For more information, pop in to say hello to the friendly guides at the Information Booth in the main settlement.
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We look forward to welcoming you to Wadjemup / Rottnest Island soon.