How to Explore Rottnest Island on Two Wheels

If you love a freewheelin’ adventure Rottnest Island essentially has no cars ­ so cycling is one of the best ways to explore the island at your leisure! Cycle along open road, breathing in the fresh air and marvelling at the epic views of the bushland, ocean and coastline – it doesn’t get much better!

There are more than 22km of cycle trails on Rottnest Island, all of which take in the unique beauty of our Class A Reserve, winding through grassy headlands, past incredible ocean vistas, colourful salt lakes and an array of birds and wildlife. Here’s our rundown on how to explore Rottnest on two wheels!

Hire  your bike ahead of time

If you want to explore the island by bicycle, we’d recommend booking in advance with Pedal and Flipper. Once you arrive at the island, you can head straight there and skip the queue to collect your bike! Pedal and Flipper have mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, electric bikes and a large selection of kids’ bikes. You can also hire bikes with baby seats and child trailers for the little ones and they offer a range of mobility assistance options, so there’s something to suit everyone!

If you like the idea of cycling but don’t want to commit, ask the team at Pedal and Flipper about their bike and bus package. You can cycle as far as you like and once you’ve had enough, just leave your bike in one of the racks around the island and jump on the bus back to the Thomson Bay Settlement!

Take one of our epic cycle routes

The Rotto Mini Loop

Distance: 4km / 30 minutes

This 4km loop winds past some of the island’s most popular attractions and is easy to do in less than an hour.

Set off from Thomson Bay and head through the bush towards The Basin, one of Rottnest’s most famous beaches. With its shallow clear waters and protective reef, the Basin is an ideal spot for a swim or snorkel.

Continue along the coast, past Longreach Bay and arrive at Geordie Bay where you can enjoy the sweeping beach or grab a snack at Geordie Bay Café & Art Gallery.

Head back inland, traversing the track between the Golf Course and the lake.

Swing by the Vlamingh Lookout to see the incredible view over the island and then arrive back at the Settlement. A perfect mini loop giving you a taste of Rottnest life!

Beaches, Lighthouses and Lakes

Distance: 10km / 1.5 – 3 hours

If you want to experience more of the island’s beaches and bays, and see the incredible views from the Wadjemup Lighthouse, this 10km loop is perfect for you.

Head south past Kingstown Barracks and prepare yourself for some breath-taking scenery. As you cycle through the vibrant green headlands, with every turn a new turquoise ocean and white sand beach will reveal itself. You’ll also pass some of our most popular beaches including Henrietta Rocks, Porpoise Bay, Parker Point and Little Salmon Bay.

After Salmon Bay, head inland towards the Wadjemup Lighthouse. Wadjemup Lighthouse was constructed in 1896 and at approximately 38 metres, it is the fourth tallest lighthouse in Australia. Admire the breath-taking views of sparkling water and Perth City in the distance – on a clear day you can make out the Pine trees that line the coast at Cottesloe!

After this, head back towards the Settlement via the inland route, taking in the Islands amazing network of lakes and wetlands. Take a magical stroll along the Lakes Boardwalk and as you meander through – discover how the lakes were formed from the interpretative signage along the way. These wetlands are a haven for birdlife, so look out for Banded stilts, Crested terns and Red-capped plovers on Lake Herschel and Lake Baghdad.

The Island Ride

Distance: 22km / 3 – 5 hours

If you’ve got a bit more time up your sleeve and like a bit of a challenge, we’d recommend cycling the whole island!

Some parts of the West End of the island are only accessible by bike, so you’ll find some real hidden gems on this ride.

As you pass the spectacular southern side of the island, you’ll pass some of our most popular beaches including Henrietta Rocks, Porpoise Bay, Parker Point and Little Salmon Bay, so be sure to stop off for a swim or a snorkel if you fancy a dip!

As you head down the narrow part of the island towards the West End, you’ll notice the landscape starting to look a little more rugged and wild. There are viewing platforms at Cathedral Rocks and Cape Vlamingh where you can see our resident marine life including long-nosed fur seals, Australian sea lions, bottlenose dolphins and from August to November, migrating Humpback whales.

As you head back along the coastal route, this part of the island is a feast for the eyes. Along this spectacular stretch you’ll pass Geordie Bay and Longreach Bay – both of which are stunningly beautiful, expansive beaches. Wind your way back from Geordie Bay via the lakes and arrive back at the Settlement ready for a celebratory drink!

Hop off and relax

After your adventures around the island, it’s time for a cold drink and a bite to eat! Indulge in classic fish and chips or some locally caught, perfectly prepared seafood. There are a variety of licensed restaurants and pubs on the island offering locally crafted beer and renowned Western Australian wine.

Now’s a great time to get a pic of a quokka – if you haven’t already! With more than 10,000 on the Island, you’re bound to have seen some throughout the day, but the Settlement in the late afternoon is one of their favourite places to relax.

Make sure you follow our top tips on how to get the best #QuokkaSelfie! (PDF 419kb)

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