Thinking of visiting Rottnest Island? Great decision!

Here’s what you need to know about the Rottnest Island ferries.

If there’s one place in Perth – or the whole of Western Australia – you simply can’t miss, it’s Rottnest Island.

Great for a day trip or a multi-night stay, visiting Rottnest Island is a truly unique experience you can’t have anywhere else.

Being an island – and a small one at that – the best way to get to Rottnest Island is by ferry.

There are two Rottnest Island ferry routes to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. 

Here’s how to choose the best ferry for your trip to “Rotto” and the best way to book.

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The Rottnest Island ferries

There are two ferry routes connecting Rottnest Island to the mainland. One leaves from the north side of the city while the other leaves from the south.

Whichever one you choose to take, you’ll need to travel a little way out of central Perth. 

The route to the south departs from the B Shed ferry terminal in Fremantle, around 16km from Perth. This route is the fastest, taking around half an hour to reach Rottnest Island.

It’s operated by two ferry companies – the Rottnest Express and Sealink Rottnest – so you have a choice of who to book with.

The Rottnest Express runs the most frequently, with up to four sailings per day, and takes just 30 minutes to make the crossing.

Sealink runs 12 weekly crossings, each of which takes a slightly longer 35 minutes.

Hillarys: Rottnest Fast Ferries

The Rottnest ferry that leaves from Hillarys, to the north of Perth, is operated by Rottnest Fast Ferries.

This ferry takes slightly longer to reach Rottnest, taking a total of 45 minutes from harbour to harbour.

It is the only Rottnest ferry that from this terminal and departs from Perth up to four times per day.

Rottnest Island ferry prices

The prices for the ferries varies, so it’s worth taking this into account when planning your Rottnest trip.

The ferry prices for all routes can vary from day to day, and depending on which time slot you book.

The Rottnest ferries leaving from Fremantle tend to be slightly cheaper, with a return ticket costing around AUD $75 per person.

Rottnest Fast Ferries, on the other hand, are likely to set you back closer to AUD $90. 

Whichever ticket you choose, check whether the landing fees are included. If not, you’ll need to add an extra AUD $16.50 per adult and AUD $6 per child.


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Book your Rottnest ferry tickets

With tickets often selling out, it’s a good idea to book your ferry tickets as soon as you’ve decided when you’ll visit Rottnest.

Here’s how to book your Rottnest ferry tickets:

Booking ferry tickets online

The easiest way to find a good deal is by using a ferry booking site such as this one, which will show you all of your options.

You can easily search the two different harbours above to find the best or cheapest option. 

You can also compare different times and – if you’re staying on the island for more than a day – the best return dates. 

TRAVEL TIP: Planning to stay overnight?

Book these eco-tents for luxury with a conscience.

Rottnest Island day tours

If you already have an idea of how you’d like to spend your time on Rottnest Island, it might be cheaper to book an all-in-one ticket. 

Hire a bike: The most popular way to explore Rottnest is by hiring a bike. It’s also the most eco-friendly way to travel once you arrive.

The cheapest way to do hire a bike on Rottnest Island is by buying a ferry and bike hire combo ticket.

Your bike will be supplied by the ferry company, so it’ll be there with you as soon as you arrive. Book here to get your hotel pickup included as well >>

Cycle and snorkel: Enjoy Rotto’s turquoise waters with a bike and snorkel combo and explore from land and see.

Book here to get your bike hire, snorkel hire and return ferry in one >>

Sky dive: Feeling brave? For adrenaline junkies, Rottnest Island is a thrilling sky diving spot. It’s not cheap, but a package ticket will save you some pennies!

Book here to save >>

Enjoy a barbecue seafood lunch: Foodies will love the chance to enjoy fresh seafood on a BBQ cruise. Oh, and did I mention that it includes unlimited beer, wine or soft drinks? 

Book here for a delicious day on a local fishing boat >>

Immerse yourself in history: Love history? Book an inclusive tour to Oliver Hill. After a short land train ride, you’ll get to learn about WW2 on the island and take a tunnel tour. Landing fees are included, too! Book your trip here >>

EXPLORE BY SEGWAY: A different kind of two wheels, Rottnest Island is the perfect place for a segway ride. Expect epic views and lots of fun!

Book here to enjoy a 90-minute ride with a local guide >> 

Quokkas on Rottnest Island-12
The island’s cute quokkas are just one of many reasons to visit Rottnest!

Getting to the Rottnest ferry

The last piece of the puzzle is figuring out how you’ll get from Perth to your port of choice. Luckily, it’s pretty easy!

I would 100% recommend renting a car for your trip to Perth.

Many of the coolest spots in this area are a short drive away. With a car, you’ll be free to explore Yanchep National Park, the Pinnacles or Rockingham (where you can visit Penguin Island!). 

You’ll also be able to drive to either harbour, where you’ll find plenty of parking available.

If hiring a car isn’t for you – no stress. Both harbours are well connected by public transport.

To get to Fremantle, the 910 bus departs from central Perth and takes just under an hour. Alternatively, the Freemantle Line train will take you to exactly the same place in just 42 minutes.

To get to the Hillarys Boat Harbour, it’s a little more complicated. If you don’t have a car, the easiest way to get there is by Uber. It will cost around AUD $40 from central Perth and takes around 25 minutes.

Alternatively, you can take the Joondalup Line to Stirling and change to the 423 bus.

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Alajode UK travel blog and vlog by a female digital nomad
Jodie Marie Dewberry

Jodie has been travelling the world full time since 2017, sharing the most unique places in the world along with tips for living as a digital nomad. She is a passionate wildlife photographer and has worked with a number of prominent travel brands, including airlines, tourism boards, hotels and tour operators.

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