Rottnest Island Visitor Information
Rottnest Island is a land mass located 18 kilometres off the coast of the City of Fremantle and roughly 30 kilometres west-south-west of the Central Business District of Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Rising 46 meters above sea level, the island has a land area of 19 square kilometres, which is occupied by an estimated 300 residents. It is within the Electoral District and Federal Division of Fremantle.
While Rottnest Island had been observed by numerous sailors since the early decades of the 17th century, it was not until March 1658 that Europeans were believed to have made their first landing. In December 1696, Willem Hesselsz de Vlamingh, a sea-captain employed by the Dutch East India Company, named it Rattennest, which means "rats' nest" in Dutch. A settlement was established in the 1830s when William Clarke and Robert Thomson received land grants in the island.
Thanks to its rich cultural, historical, and natural heritage, Rottnest Island regularly attracts visitors by the thousands, making tourism one of its most important industries. Some of the most notable sites for both local and visiting tourists to experience, enjoy, and appreciate include the Aboriginal Burial Ground, Bathurst Lighthouse, Boys Reformatory, Garden Lake, Kingstown Barracks, Lomas Cottage, Oliver Hill Battery, Parakeet Bay, Pilot Boat Shed, Rottnest Island Museum, Salt Store Gallery and Exhibition Centre, The Basin, Vlamingh Memorial, Wadjemup Lighthouse, and WWI Prisoner of War Internment Camp Site.