Snorkeling, Diving, Fishing & Surfing
Most people come to Rottnest to snorkel, swim, surf, dive, or fish. As soon as you arrive, rent a bike and your preferred aquatic gear, and pedal around the coast until you come to a beach you like. (Pack drinking water and food; only Settlement and Geordie Bay have shops.) The Basin, Little Parakeet Bay, Little Armstrong Bay, Little Salmon Bay, and Parker Point are good snorkel spots. There are two snorkel trails, with underwater information points, at Little Salmon and Parker Point. Surfers should try Cathedral Rocks or Strickland Bay. Fishermen will catch squid, herring, and tailor, as well as all kinds of reef fish, but several areas are now off-limits to fishing.
Several companies conduct boat trips to some of the 100-plus dive sites around Rottnest, which feature reefs, limestone caverns, and the island's 14 shipwrecks. Perth Diving Academy (tel. 08/9225 7555; www.perthdiving.com.au) has round-trip boat trips to Rottnest from Fremantle that include two dives and lunch for A$150. From December to February tours operate daily; from June to August they operate only Thursday to Sunday, leaving at 8:30am, returning 3pm. Single-dive trips are also available on Saturdays and Sundays only, with night dives, or early morning with departures at 6:30am, returning at 9am. Bookings and dive qualifications are essential, and equipment hire is extra. Trips are subject to the weather and minimum numbers.