I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published June 19th 2012
When we think of Rottnest Island, usually we don't visualise it in winter. In contrast, the picturesque island generally conjures up thoughts of summer holiday fun and long hot days lazing on the beach. Consequently, during the colder months of the year, the number of visitors to Rottnest plummets, especially during the working week, and much of the accommodation on the island remains empty until the warmer weather returns.
Aerial view of beautiful Rottnest Island
However, Rottnest Island offers much for the visitor during this time of the year, and the relative absence of noisy families and party animals provides an impetus for quieter holiday-makers and nature lovers to reclaim it. Many creative people such as artists and writers especially cherish this time as it provides peace, tranquillity and space for introspection amidst the beauty of nature.
Without a doubt, 'Rotto' during winter is just as beautiful as it is in the summer. Although the cooler weather prohibits swimming for all but the most intrepid, it's perfect for cycling, and there are some spectacular rides which are suitable for all age groups and levels of fitness. Similarly, while sightseeing is often hot, sandy and sweaty during the hotter months, in winter it's much more comfortable, provided you rug up sufficiently. There are also bus tours which take in all the major sites, a tour of the various shipwrecks in a glass-bottom boat, guided walks around historical places of interest, a quaint old-fashioned train, the awesome Oliver Hill Battery with its numerous underground tunnels, and an old-fashioned movie house where wholesome family movies are screened twice a week.
For the community minded, there are also numerous volunteering opportunities which include beach clean-ups, dune rehabilitation, seed collection, tree-planting, guiding visitors on interpretative tours, building and maintenance. Finally, for the nature-lover, the island's wildlife emblem, the loveable quokka, is just as active during winter as in the warmer months, and is seen regularly.
One of Rottnest's delightful quokkas
Something that many people don't realise, is that during the winter months Rottnest Express Ferries and the Rottnest Island Authority provide some very attractive specials in order to lure visitors to the island. For example, in order to fill up cabins and other accommodation, the Rottnest Island Authority has slashed their prices dramatically and is currently offering some amazing holiday packages such as various combinations of discounted ferry fares, accommodation and / or bicycle hire. In addition, for retirees or other folk who want to spend an extended period on Rottnest, 2012 is the first time that furnished, self-contained villas and cottages can be booked for up to 16 weeks. For a full list of these incredible specials, check out the Rottnest Island Authority website.
Similarly, ferry fares to the island are currently on special, and it's possible to purchase a full-fare return ticket with Rottnest Express (either a same day return or an extended visit) for an incredible $35.00: about half the price which I last paid, several years ago. These fares are only available on-line (in other words, this offer isn't applicable if you book over the counter or by phone) and for a limited period, from June 4 until September 26, 2012.
In conclusion, these amazing winter deals make the beautiful Rottnest Island an even more attractive holiday possibility than it already is. Whether you're a family looking for a memorable and affordable break during the holidays, retirees yearning to escape the rat-race, or a creative soul craving some inspiration and solitude, Rottnest in winter will be sure to live up to, and even exceed, your expectations. So do yourself a favour and book a break. You definitely won't regret it.
Thanks for your feedback! I love Rotto in winter (especially the peace and quiet) and that's what inspired me to write this article. Also...I couldn't believe the $35 ferry fares, and just had to tell the world...