Blog > Bike, bus, or Segway? The best ways to get around Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is an iconic WA holiday destination.
Tourist walks down the front on Rottnest Island, beside some bikes stacked up against the fence

But along with its warm, crystal clear water, idyllic beaches, and friendly Quokka population, there’s something else you’ll notice when you’re on the island: there are few, if any, cars.

But this lack of vehicles just adds to its unique charm.

So instead of grabbing the keys or jumping into a taxi, here are the best ways to get around Rottnest Island.

Getting here: Take the Rottnest ferry

The easiest, most popular, and most affordable way to get to Rottnest Island is by one of the three ferry services that run to and from the island.

The length of your ferry trip depends on where you depart from, with ferry terminals at Perth (Barrack Street Jetty), North Fremantle (Rous Head), Fremantle (Victoria Quay), and Hillarys Boat Harbour. It’s a quick 25 minutes from Fremantle, and only 45 minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour. A ferry trip from Perth can take up to 90 minutes, but you do get a scenic view of the Swan River for most of this trip.

Samphire Rottnest is only a short and scenic 200m walk along the Thomson Bay from the ferry jetty to the reception building, so you know that you also won’t need to go on a big trek to get to your accommodation once you’ve arrived.

How to get around the island

By bike

With little to no traffic, riding a bike around Rottnest is one of the safest, fastest, most efficient, and fun ways to get around the island. You’re free to bring your own, or you can hire one from Pedal & Flipper. And when you stay at Samphire, you couldn’t get any closer – our Rottnest accommodation is just a short 4 minute walk from Pedal & Flipper.

When riding around the island, the terrain is generally flat, with a few hills here and there. This makes it suitable for cyclists of all fitness levels and abilities—and perfect for attaching a kid’s trailer to the back.

The longest cycling loop around the island is around 22 kilometres, and provides an opportunity to explore all the major beaches, historical landmarks, and viewing spots in one day.

By bus

If you want to see more of the island during your time here, the Quokka Coaches Island Explorer hop-on hop-off bus service is a great option. For just $25, it takes you to 19 stops that cover all the island’s key attractions, including the settlement area, beaches, and natural and historic landmarks.

You can get off at any of the stops and explore them at your own pace, and jump back on again when the next bus service passes by. But bear in mind, this isn’t a tour—it’s a bus service. So don’t expect any commentary from the bus driver.

For a faster trip, Quokka Coaches also runs a shuttle bus service between the island’s main settlements. It takes you from the main jetty to your accommodation in Thomson Bay, Geordie Bay, and Kingstown quickly and efficiently, without having to carry your bags the whole way.

Want a more personalised tour of the island? We can connect you with a range of bus tour options. Speak with our friendly reception staff at Samphire Rottnest to find out more.

By Segway

You’ve definitely seen them around. But have you ever ridden a Segway? With its distinct lack of traffic, wide roads, and flat terrain, Rottnest Island is the perfect place to try.

Segway Tours WA operates a range of Segway tours of Rottnest. Faster than walking, and less effort than cycling, you can zip around smoothly on two wheels, and get to places on the island you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach.

With time to get acquainted with your Segway first, your tour operator will then guide you around, providing running commentary about the settlements, the natural environment, and the cultural and historic sites that populate the island.

Trust us: a Segway tour is a truly unique way to get around.

By foot

With its warm weather, very few cars, and a wealth of beaches, Rottnest Island is made for walking. And with many of the island’s most popular experiences just 15 minutes from the main settlement, it’s one of the easiest ways to get around.

If you like to learn as you walk, the Rottnest Island Voluntary Guides Association runs free walking tours. These tours depart daily from the historic Salt Store building, next to the Rottnest Volunteer Guides Information Booth, and are a great way to uncover stories you otherwise wouldn’t have known.

Or if you prefer to get out, stretch your legs, and explore further into the island, you can do that, too. Wadjemup Bidi is a 45 km walking track that criss-crosses its way across the island. Made up of five different walking trails, it allows you to discover a different side of the island.

See Rottnest from the air

For something completely different, did you know that you can also see Rottnest from the air? With an airport just minutes inland from the main settlement, there are a handful of tour operators that offer short joy flights that will take you all around the island. You’ll do a complete loop or two, at different elevations, and see Rottnest from a totally new angle.

It’s not getting around Rottnest, as such, but it’s still a great way of taking in the different bays and beaches, and getting a new appreciation for this truly beautiful destination that we call home.

Choose Rottnest accommodation that’s close to it all

There are plenty of ways to get around the island. From catching the bus, to slow, meandering walks; a smooth Segway tour, to an energetic bike ride; each one gives you an opportunity to experience life without the hustle and bustle of cars.

So when planning your next Rottnest Island holiday, choose the accommodation that’s close to everything, and makes it easy to get around. Just minutes away from the main jetty, Samphire is the perfect base for your next Rottnest holiday.

Book your stay at Samphire Rottnest today.