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How To Plan The Perfect Day Trip To Rottnest Island From Perth

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Hello readers! This post is a continuation from my Outback trip since I flew to Perth directly from Alice Springs! Unlike my experience in the Outback, I was completely alone during this trip. I stayed at the Perth YHA Hostel and arrived with no plans! Perth is the most isolated city in the world. Western Australia is Australia’s largest state, covering almost 1/3 of the country, but has a very small population. Perth is the only major city in WA, which attracted me because I knew it would be very different from any other city I visited. I actually really liked Perth because it was easily walkable, modern, clean, and much more relaxed than the cities on the east coast. I also liked it because I could take a day trip to Rottnest Island!

Day One: Exploring Perth

This morning I boarded my flight in Alice Springs and flew to Perth. I landed in the early afternoon and after getting settled, immediately walked to Elizabeth Quay, a modern riverfront area with shops, restaurants, a carousel, and Perth’s Bell tower. I got ice cream and walked around here for awhile, taking in the sights and sounds of a new city.

Perth, Western Australia skyline
Kangaroo statues in downtown Perth, Australia

From here I walked about 20 minutes to Kings Park and Botanic Gardens. A friend I met in the Outback recommended this spot to me, and I’m so glad I checked it out! The park sits on top of a hill overlooking the Swan River and the entire city. There is a war memorial in the park and flora from WA in the Botanic Gardens. I loved walking around here alone; it was so relaxing and a great way to truly take in my surroundings since I wasn’t talking to anyone.

I made it back to the city as the sun was setting, got a quick bite to eat, and enjoyed my first sleep back in a bed!

Day Two: Day Trip To Rottnest Island

Today I woke up early and took an Uber to Hillary’s Boat Harbor to board my ferry to Rottnest Island. Rottnest Island and their quokkas is what attracted me most to WA – I was so excited to get my own quokka selfie! Rottnest is also known for its biking trails, so I took advantage of this and rented a bike for the day! Beginning at the ferry terminal, I biked 13 miles total – going from one end of the island to another, stopping at the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen and meeting many quokkas along the way!

Stairs leading down to a beautiful beach on Rottnest Island
An empty beach on Rottnest Island

I returned to the main street on Rottnest for lunch and some shopping before heading to a nearby beach to journal. I ended up falling asleep under the sun for almost two hours, but woke up with enough time to quickly bike back to the ferry!

Rottnest Island is such a hidden gem. The colors in the Indian Ocean surrounding the island, plus the abundance of quokkas (who are the happiest animals in the world btw – they smile for photos) truly make this place one of a kind. There are now direct flights being offered to Perth from London, so put this place on your bucket list. I could not recommend a day trip to Rottnest Island enough!

Posing with a quokka for a selfie on Rottnest Island
Posing with another quokka for a selfie on Rottnest Island

Day Three: Exploring Western Australia

Today was my last full day in Perth, but since the city is small, I decided to spend it on an excursion through WA! This state is so vast I would need weeks to see it all, but I was glad to have been able to see some more of it.

Cervantes, WA

Our first stop was to a wildlife sanctuary where I met koalas, wombats, and kangaroos-  three of Australia’s classics! Since it was early in the morning I fed the roos breakfast! From here we drove to Cervantes, a small coastal town located north of Perth known for their lobster. We toured a family-owned lobster factory and enjoyed a complimentary lobster lunch! This tour was an example of one of my favorite things about traveling – going somewhere lesser known, discovering its craft, and learning from locals!

Meeting a koala at an animal sanctuary in Perth

Nambung National Park, WA

From here we drove to the Pinnacles Desert. This is one of WA’s claims to fame and was super unique. This desert, located within Nambung National Park, is full of unique limestone formations. I’d never seen anything like it!

The Pinnacles Desert in Western Australia outside of Perth
The Pinnacles Desert in Western Australia outside of Perth

Lancelin, WA

Our final stop of the day was the Lancelin Sand Dunes. I’ve been sand boarding before in the desert of Inner Mongolia, but this time we were able to ride a jeep into the desert and cruise through the dunes, stopping to sand board as the sun was setting over the Indian Ocean. The sand dunes were located right next to the sea, so the views were incredible. This was definitely the highlight of my day!

Sand boarding at sunset in Western Australia
Sand boarding at sunset in Western Australia

From Lancelin it was a two hour drive back to Perth. When we arrived I got myself dinner, showered, and checked out of my room because I had a redeye back to Sydney. My flight left around midnight and I landed in Sydney the morning of June 5, just in time for my first final on the 6th!

I had such a wonderful time exploring the most isolated city of the world and taking a day trip to Rottnest Island. I would recommend this to anyone!

A Word On Solo Travel…

Solo travel doesn’t intimidate me anymore. I traveled to the Northern Territory for three days and then to Western Australia for another three days, without knowing a single person, and loved it! I felt very safe and in control the entire time, and appreciated the flexibility that came along with being solo. Although I was traveling solo, I rarely felt alone. Since I was without friends I was forced to meet new people, especially on excursions or in restaurants. I really enjoyed putting myself out there and sharing my story! I would love to do a post in the future all about solo travel. It’s a unique experience that I think everyone should have.

Coming up next: A short post about Australia’s capital… and no, it’s not Sydney!

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Day trip to Rottnest Island

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