From its jungle-topped isles to its sandy cays, Australia is home to some seriously spectacular islands. Ideal for a romantic weekend away or short break, Rottnest Island just off the coast of Perth is no exception. Home to picture-perfect beaches, aquamarine waters, fascinating wildlife and excellent dining, this unique destination has plenty to enchant couples. Got a free weekend on your calendar? Here's how to spend it in sun-kissed 'Rotto'.
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After checking in somewhere lovely, get yourselves into holiday-mode with a massage at Karma Spa @ Karma Rottnest. Trust one of the spa's experts to curate a personalised treatment for you using a selection of essential oils or keep things simple with a rejuvenating massage to feel totally relaxed.
Continue the indulging with laid-back sunset drinks and dinner at Thomsons Rottnest. A coastal-cool hangout with amazing views, refreshing tipples and delicious cuisine, the waterfront restaurant showcases the best local and seasonal produce. Our advice? Watch the sun set cocktail in-hand before feasting on a mouthwatering seafood platter. Romantic first-night dinner? Nailed it.
Get ready for a day of exploring the island with a belly-filling breakfast and Rottnest's best coffee at The Lane Cafe. From here, hire a bicycle – it's the best way to travel around here – from Pedal and Flipper Hire and discover pristine bays and beaches. Top spots for a rejuvenating dip include The Basin in the island's north and Thomsons Bay in the east. Both blessed with shockingly turquoise waters and sugar-white sands, these summer-ready spots look straight out of a 'Welcome to Rottnest Island' postcard.
Up for a little adventure? The island is brilliant for snorkelling, thanks to crystalline waters, limestone reefs, whimsical seagrass meadows, bright corals and amazing techicolour fish (Rottnest is home to roughly 400 different species). For an unforgettable day out, make your way to Parker Point or Little Salmon Bay in the south. Here, you'll find the most coral of anywhere around Rottnest and plenty of beautiful sea creatures. Want more? Head to Parakeet Bay in the island's north for charming coves, schools of electric blue fish, sea stars and the occasional ray.
You really can't come to Rottnest Island without seeing it's most famous residents – the quokkas. As the light fades, these curious creatures can be found virtually everywhere on the island and are a true delight to see – who can resist that face?
After getting in a few mandatory quokka snaps, wander over to Frankie's on Rotto in Thompsons Bay, grab yourselves a scrumptious wood-fired pizza and chill out at the nearby park. Complete the beachside picnic idyll with a cone from Simmos Icecreamery nearby. Using the freshest Western Australia produce, this local icon has been voted as one of the top 15 ice creameries in the world by USA Today – that's enough of an excuse to justify ordering a few scoops, if you ask us!
If you've got time to spare before returning to reality, treat yourselves to one of Rottnest Cruises' sensational Wild Seafood Experience tours. Departing Thomsons Bay at 11am, the two-and-a-half-hour cruise includes plenty of sight-seeing, drinks and a fantastic fresh seafood barbecue. Adding to it all, you'll haul in pots of live Western Rock Lobster yourselves and learn about the region's tasty morsels while taking in sigh-inducing views of the island. The perfect way to top off a Rottnest Island escape? We think so.
Or, for a wonderful experience that you can fit in before checking out, hop back on your bike and check out Cathedral Rocks in the island's west. A special viewing platform here allows you to get close to the resident New Zealand Fur Seal colony without disturbing them. Watching the mischievous creatures play together and bask on the rocks is a blissfully simple experience you'll cherish forever – just what a weekend getaway calls for!
Looking for romantic Rottnest Island accommodation? We've got just the place...
Images courtesy of Tourism Western Australia and Rottnest Island Authority, and sourced via www.thomsonsrottnest.com.au and www.rottnestcruises.com/