13 Feb 2020
Updated April 2021
Discovery Directory: Discovery – Rottnest Island
Those born and bred in Perth have known just how breathtaking this coastal location is for years. But the secret is well and truly out to mainland Australia and they’re ready to disconnect and reconnect just a short ferry ride from the coast of Perth.
Nestled behind the dunes of the iconic Pinky Beach is a holiday park with safari tent accommodation is Discovery – Rottnest Island. Stay in a glamping safari tent for a camping experience but with all the comforts of home and wake up to gentle waves lapping on the shore, and ending the day with millon dollar sunset views.
Get close to nature, meet the friendliest locals (aka the quokkas) and getaway to the island off the island with our guide to See, Eat & Do with a Stay at Discovery – Rottnest Island.
What to see at Rotto
Two-wheel power is the best way to explore the scenic landscape of Rottnest Island, offering the flexibility to hop and off as and when you're inspired to.
Cycle the easy-going island terrain with your own bike (which you can bring on the ferry) or hire one of 1,650 bikes from Rottnest Island Pedal & Flipper. Pedalling the entire island can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours depending on your sight-seeing, beach-dipping and quokka-snapping stops. There are also plenty of bike trails to follow, so we suggest just jumping on and moving forward. Take the climb to the Wadjemup Lighthouse for spectacular ocean views – you won’t regret it.
If you’re after a modern-day wheel alternative, or just can’t be bothered cycling up hill, hop onto a segway and glide around the island with Segway Tours WA. Choose your adventure - cruise along beachside paths or head off-road exploring the island’s history and natural habitat.
Need a little bit of time out of the sun, then go see the latest blockbuster at Rottnest Island Picture Hall. However, you won’t feel too far from the beach, as this cinema has some unique seating with deckchairs throughout. The Candy Bar is cash only, so make sure you bring your pennies to stock up on popcorn, ice cream and other treats. Head to their website to check out movie titles and session times.
For a history lesson on Rottnest Island, take a scenic train ride from the Settlement Railway Station up to Oliver Hill to head underground. Take a guided or self-guided tour to find out all about Rottnest Island’s involvement in World War II, walking thought the maze of eerie underground tunnels and inspecting the newly restored military guns.
What to eat at Rotto
For a truly local dining experience you just need to step outside your safari tent, Pinky’s Beach Club is located at our resort and offers a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Head Chef Karl Wulf is all about local produce and has even featured on MasterChef for his unique fire and coal cooking style.
Breakfast is served until 11:30am, so sleep in and wake up to a brunch date with Bathurst Point Lighthouse as your backdrop. Follow this up with some casual eats for lunch by our resort pool with a Pinky’s Beach Club signature cocktail in hand. Dinner is a sunset affair with a restaurant style menu complimented by local Australian wines.
If you’re sick of all the lounging about (but really who would be?) and ready to head outside the resort parameters, check out these other culinary options.
For iconic Aussie bites, head to the Rottnest Bakery. With so many options to choose from, you’ll struggle to make a decision on what to eat, so one visit may not completely satisfy your cravings. But, if you’re only able to fit in one visit, don’t pass on a meat pie, jam doughnut and sourdough bread loaf.
Coastal holidays scream seafood and Thomsons Rottnest Island has a menu focused on this supporting WA producers and suppliers wherever possible. Dishes have a modern pub feel with fish and chip, burger and pasta options to choose from. The menu is seasonal so constantly changing, make sure you include this stop on your Rottnest itinerary every visit, as there is bound to be a new dish to try. Got the kids and not keen on a sit-down long lunch? Thomsons now offers a cafe menu for a quick pitstop.
Go to The Kiosk window and grab a classic takeaway coffee, sandwich, fish and chip pack or burger for a picnic lunch at the playground over-looking Thomsons Bay.
Fish for your supper with a Rottnest Cruise Wild Seafood Experience. Spend 3-hours on board learning about the Western Rock Lobster before indulging in a seafood BBQ complete with the lobster you’ve personally caught. Check out the full menu here.
What to do at Rotto
The top of every to do list on Rottnest Island - get down into the scrub and army crawl to the perfect quokka selfie.
We guarantee there will be no judgement, as every island visitor will be doing the same to capture that perfect picture for the ‘gram. It can be quite the challenge to curb their attention, these cute marsupials are very curious creatures, so here are our tips to help you get the money shot: be patient, use a selfie stick, get down to their level, and entice them to come closer with some native vegetation encouragement, no human food, it’s not good for them!
An island surrounded by water lends itself to all the aquatic sports you can think of – swimming, snorkelling, surfing, paddle boarding, sea bikes and more. Aquaplay Rottnest have all your hire needs for a day out on and in the water.
The Basin is one of the most popular swimming locations on Rottnest Island and just a short 5-mintue walk from our holiday park resort. Trust us, you don’t want to miss the unbelievably clear green water! This beach is super safe as it’s surrounded by a jagged headline making it impossible for sharks to enter the area. You don’t need to lug around the necessities for a day our at the beach, just your towel, as Rotto Shade Hire is a family-run business located at The Basin where you can hire quality beach umbrellas, chairs and toys (buckets & spades).
Snorkels, goggles and flippers are appropriate attire for the waters of Little Salmon Bay. Another sheltered and calm bay perfect for families to splash around in the crystal-clear waters and for snorkellers to follow the under-water snorkel trail with plaques that teach you all about Rottnest Island’s marine life.
Head to the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre for a snorkelling guide or book in a guided snorkelling tour to make sure you don’t miss anything below the surface.
In love with Rottnest Island for a quokka’s point of view, now fall in love with the island’s unique landscape from a bird’s eye view with Skydive Geronimo – it’ll take your breath away! Thrill-seekers can choose their tandem jump that suits them from different altitudes resulting in different heart-pumping freefall timings.
Are you a G’DAY REWARDS Member? ExperienceOZ has heaps of amazing Rottnest Island adventures for you to choose from and, you’ll save 15% on all experience bookings* Not a member? Find out more about being one here.
Where to stay at Rotto
Our open-plan safari tents are elevated off the ground, have a solid floor, fly screen and accommodate sleeping arrangements for 2 to 6 people with king/queen bed and/or single bunk configurations. The property features 83 eco-tents and is the ideal getaway for families, adventure seekers, beach-lovers, or those looking to spoil their other half with a romantic escape. Rottnest Island is a place where lifelong memories will be made.
The Deluxe Dune Tent is the largest tent and ideal for the couple seeking a premium experience. Sip a Pinky’s Beach Club signature cocktail on your private balcony while overlooking iconic Pinky Beach and watching the sunset over the dunes.
If you have a few more than just a plus one, a Superior Family Tent sleeps up to 5 people and takes the stress out of family camping with a kitchenette, bed linen and bath towels all included. You also have access to resort facilities including a pool and food & beverage service from Pinky’s Beach Club.
Our Standard Tents aren’t as standard as you think! Perfect for 2 people, you’ll still enjoy the comforts of home with queen bed, ensuite, ceiling fan and outdoor deck with furniture. Dinner can be self-catered at one of the shared BBQ stations in the resort with a ready-to-go or custom food pack from Pinky’s Beach Club.
There are also four Access Tents which have been designed with more space as well as a mobility impaired facilities and fittings including bathroom railings and an added, separate sleeping facilities for families and carers.