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The 9 best beaches you need to visit on Rottnest Island

Couple on Rocky Beach, Rottnest Island

Covered in snow-white sand and surrounded by turquoise waters, Wadjemup / Rottnest Island is home to some of Western Australia’s best beaches. With 63 incredible beaches to discover on the island, you won’t have time to visit them all on your trip.

Whether you’re looking for a secluded cove to lay down your towel in tranquillity or a popular spot to spend a day with the family, Rottnest Island has a beach for you. Check out our list of Rottnest Island’s best beaches to find the place for you.

Rottnest Island Coastline at Bathurst Lighthouse
Rottnest Island Coastline. Image credit: Rottnest Island Authority

Near the settlement

You don’t need to journey far from the settlement to find amazing beaches on Rottnest Island. These stunning beaches are located within a 30-minute walk of Thomson Bay. Enjoy azure waters, soft sand and protected snorkel spots, without leaving the conveniences of town.

1. The Basin

There are plenty of reasons why the Basin is one of Rottnest Island’s most popular beaches for families. For starters, toilet, shower and BBQ facilities make it the perfect spot to set up for a full day relaxing by the beach. It’s located an easy 10-minute stroll from Thomson Bay and surf lifesavers patrol the beach on weekends from November to January.

But the biggest draw has to be the Basin’s protected tidal pools. The hollowed-out reef has created a natural swimming pool, perfect for paddlers of all ages. The protected shallow waters make it one of the best places for water activities for kids, including snorkelling.

Pinky Beach
Pinky Beach. Image credit: Rottnest Island Authority

2. Pinky Beach

Just before the Basin, Pinky Beach is another top beach for families. Located on the northern part of the island, Pinky Beach is protected from west, southwest and south winds. The coral reefs provide ample snorkelling opportunities just off the beach. Lying in the shadow of Bathurst Lighthouse, Pinky Beach is a favourite spot to watch the sunset. Bring a blanket to admire the changing evening sky from the sand or grab a drink from Pinky’s Rottnest Island just behind the beach.

3. Fay’s Bay

On Rottnest Island’s northernmost tip, Fay’s Bay is a small sandy cove perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The seagrass beds and limestone reefs are a haven for colourful fish. Fay’s Bay is off the beaten track enough to feel like a secret beach. But its proximity to Geordie’s Bay means conveniences are just a short walk or bike ride away.

Geordie Bay
Geordie Bay. Image credit: Rottnest Island Authority

4. Geordie Bay

One of the biggest beaches on Rottnest Island, Geordie Bay’s curved sandy beach is a laid-back spot to while away a day by the water. Geordie Bay is about a 7-minute bike ride from the settlement, but the holiday units above the beach and moorings in the bay ensure this beach remains popular. It’s also a well-known spot for quokkas. Observe them during the evening or look out for their unique tracks on the undisturbed sand in the morning.

Further Out

If the busy beaches around the settlement feel a little bit crowded, there are stacks of quieter beaches further around the island. Head out on your bike or take the Island Explorer bus to discover these off-the-beaten-path gems.

Parakeet Bay
Parakeet Bay. Image credit: Rottnest Island Authority

5. Parakeet Bay

Just a 5-minute bike ride from Geordie Bay, Parakeet Bay is another protected cove on Rottnest Island’s north coast. The sandy-bottomed bay is perfect for swimming and a great place to spot stingrays in the shallow waters. It’s a popular spot for boaters too, who drop anchor or pick up a mooring to spend the day diving off the side.

Ricey Beach
Ricey Beach

6. Ricey Beach

Right around the other side of the island from Thomson Bay, Ricey Beach is one of the quieter beaches on Rottnest Island. The coral reef just offshore protects the beach from the powerful Indian Ocean, making it a great spot for families. The reef also makes it a haven for fish, so be prepared to share the area with fishermen trying to catch some salmon, herring or skippy.

Little Salmon Bay
Little Salmon Bay

7. Little Salmon Bay

On the southern side of Wadjemup / Rottnest Island, Little Salmon Bay is best known for its snorkel trail. Dive beneath the waves to follow the 700-metre loop past colourful fish and unique coral formations. Along the way, a series of 10 plaques provide information about the marine life and environment under the water at Rottnest Island. There is plenty to discover and learn, so allow about an hour to fully enjoy the experience.

Way out west

The beaches of West End are less well known, but there is still plenty to see here. The small knob of land at the western end of the island is connected by Narrow Neck, with Rocky Bay and Strickland Bay on either side. Unprotected from the wind and swells, West End is more rugged than the rest of the island. But the wild environment and wildlife spotting make it more interesting for nature lovers.

Rocky Beach
Rocky Bay. Image credit: Rottnest Island Authority

8. Rocky Bay

On the south side of Narrow Neck lies Strickland Bay, a popular spot for surfing with one of the most consistent breaks on Rottnest Island. Just on the other side of this thin strip of land are the protected waters of Rocky Bay. The underwater rocks that give the bay its name have created clear lagoons, which are the perfect habitat for marine life. Observe schools of colourful fish as you snorkel or, if you’re lucky, you may even spot an octopus, stingray or sea turtle.

Australian fur seals at Cathedral Rocks
Australian fur seals at Cathedral Rocks

9. Cathedral Rocks

Cathedral Rocks are closed for human access, but the waters are still enjoyed by other water-loving mammals. Wander along the viewing platform to observe long-nosed fur seals diving in the waters of Rotto’s western tip. Keep an eye out for bottle-nosed dolphins all year round and whales from September to November.

If you’re chasing sun and sand, the beaches of Rottnest Island are some of WA’s best. Be sure to visit these top beaches or discover some of the other amazing spots not included in our list. Download the map to start exploring!

Best beaches map
Rottnest Island Best Beaches Map

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