8 Mar 2022
Newly minted travel couple Michael and Charlie were recently on Rottnest Island as part of the West Australian leg of their great Australian Van Tour.
Although it wasn’t the first time they’d visited, they’ve shared their experience of getting to the island, exploring the best beaches, meeting a quokka (of course) and staying in a family-sized glamping tent at Discovery Rottnest Island!
Hardly novice travellers, (the pair first met in the UK, had their third ‘date’ in India, have cycled around Japan and got married in Denmark) Michael and Charlie aka @husbands.thattravel were still excited to return to Rottnest Island and enjoy a two-night stay.
“The first time we visited Rottnest Island, we rented bikes from the ferry with the idea of cycling around the whole island in one day. How wrong could we be!
“What we saw then was absolutely magical, but one day was nowhere near enough time because we only managed to cycle the north part, missing out on highlights like Parker Point and Salmon Bay, which as we discovered on this trip are absolute must-sees!”
Getting to Rottnest Island
“As men of convenience we always look for the quickest route from A to B! That’s why we booked the SeaLink ferry from Fremantle (B shed Terminal) to Rottnest Island, which takes less than 30 minutes!
"We decided on the 7am ferry because we thought there would be less people on board - and we were right! It was pretty much empty, just the way we wanted to start our Rottnest holiday. Nothing like arriving on an island by 7.30am. Booya!”
READ ALSO: A Quick Guide to Rottnest Island
Getting Around on Rottnest Island
“As mentioned already, a one day trip to Rottnest was nowhere near enough for us. We had read online that you only needed 2-5 hours to see ALL the best parts of the island. But we’re here to say that’s not true - sorry internet, but what’s the point of visiting paradise if you can’t see it all?
“This time we booked two nights at Discovery Rottnest Island and spent two days on electric bikes from a gang called Pedal & Flipper, which were perfect for cycling around the whole island! They were open at 8.30am, so we didn’t have to wait long after arriving on the ferry to start our Rottnest adventure!
“On Day 1 we went north again, rediscovering The Basin and Pinky Bay, where Bathurst Lighthouse keeps watch over a stunning beachfront, and then on Day 2 we went south, spent the morning at Fays Bay, which incredibly we had to ourselves, and then did a spot of snorkelling at Parker Point and Little Salmon Bay - unreal.
READ ALSO: Things to See, Eat & Do on Rottnest Island
"Because all of the beaches were so different and beautiful, having the e-bike on hand (as well as staying for two nights) was ideal. It meant we didn’t have to rush and try to pack in as much as we could in two or three hours. The e-bike also made our lives easier, because Rottnest is quite hilly and these made it super easy to get around."
Rottnest’s Best Swimming Spots
“All of the beaches on Rottnest Island are magical in their own special way. But who doesn’t love having a quiet secluded beach all to themselves?
"For that reason alone, Fays Bay was our favourite because of how quiet it was in the mornings - we couldn’t believe that it was all ours! The water here (and everywhere on Rottnest) was so clear and calm the solitude was just amazing.
“Stark Beach was another really beautiful spot. It’s not as dramatic as some of the others, but it did remind us of the Whitsundays in Queensland. Parker Point was our favourite snorkel spot, and Salmon Bay was probably the most picturesque although it did have some strong competition.
READ ALSO: Your Guide to an epic week in Margaret River
Staying at Discovery Rottnest Island
“The accommodation at Discovery Rottnest Island was incredible.”
“We stayed in a Deluxe Family Tent and if I had enough room to take the bed we slept on home in my luggage I would’ve - it was like sleeping on a cloud! We even asked the Discovery staff where the bed was from so that we can buy it for ourselves once we finish our van tour.
“The tent we stayed in was super clean and had way more amenities than we expected. There was a sink, a modern ensuite bathroom with a walk-in shower (omg) and a huge king-size bed! Being able to sleep with the tent open and the fly net zipped made us feel that much more at one with nature.”
Meet a Quokka on Rottnest Island
“One of the most unique aspects of staying at Discovery Rottnest Island is the fact that there are so many quokkas around!
"Because quokka’s are nocturnal there’s a better chance of seeing them after 5pm (another reason we stayed overnight), and at Discovery Rottnest Island they were literally at our doorstep!
“These cute little mammals look like mini-kangaroos, so for two guys from the UK, we couldn’t stop snapping selfies with these little guys. Just like the staff, turns out they were pretty LGBTQIA+ friendly too!”
Eating at Pinky’s Beach Club
“As one of the premium features of Discovery Rottnest Island, we couldn’t wait to experience breakfast at Pinky’s Beach Club.
“Hash browns are on our ‘last supper’ menu, and the hash browns here were sooo good! We had brought some food over on the ferry for a packed lunch, but because the breakfast was so abundant, we didn’t even need it!
“Think hash browns, eggs any way you want them, mushrooms, sourdough, cereal, yoghurt, fruit bowls (including dragonfruit!), macadamia nuts, bacon, sausages, and as much ground coffee and fresh juice as you can handle.
“Because we knew we were onto a winner, we also chose to have dinner (and a couple of cocktails) at Pinky’s Beach Club. We weren’t the only creatures of habit there either, the Quokkas came right up to our table, which was the cutest thing ever!
“Food-wise, we can’t recommend eating here enough. The crab linguine was to die for and when I tasted Charlie’s I couldn’t resist helping myself (aka sharing with my darling partner) and ordering it again the next night!
"I can also highly recommend the Salt & Pepper tofu for entrees (which we also shared) and the slow-cooked chicken Maryland on the bone - the crab linguine though, amazing!
Welcoming LGBTQIA+ to Discovery Rottnest Island
“As a gay couple, it’s important to us how welcoming and friendly a property or accommodation is going to be to members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“And by that, we don’t just mean safe from abuse, because most places are that way these days, but actually if we will be able to hold hands by the pool without judgement, or give a cheeky kiss to each other at dinner without feeling frowned upon.
“At Discovery Rottnest Island, we honestly felt like we could be ourselves. The staff were super welcoming, and the manager spoke with us at length to make sure everything was fine with our stay. At one point, one of the waitresses spent quite a bit of time capturing some photos for us overlooking the lighthouse at Pinky’s while we enjoyed a cocktail (or two).
“In short, we felt so welcome as a gay couple and we noticed that other gay couples were also staying here too."
Check out Michael and Charlie’s Rottnest Island video on their YouTube channel below and start booking your island escape today!