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Boating FAQ

Important information for bringing your boat to Rottnest Island

Important information for bringing your boat to Rottnest Island.

Being informed is the best way to ensure a smooth, successful, and safe visit. Not just for yourself, but for your passengers too. Below are answers to common questions about anchoring, mooring, licensing, and other essential information you need to bring your boat to Rottnest Island.

Don’t find what you need here? Try the Licensed Mooring FAQ, email [email protected] or call Marine Administration on (+61 8) 9432 9320 with your question.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are 37 beach anchor points around Rottnest Island. You can find their locations using the interactive map, in the Marine and Boating Guide, or take a look at the Marine Maps .

Boats can also be anchored anywhere within the Rottnest Island Marine Reserve, as long as it is at least 50 metres from any mooring, clear from seagrass meadows and reefs, and outside any boating prohibited areas as specified by signage.

All visitors to Wadjemup pay an admission fee, whether you’re arriving by ferry, plane, commercial vessel, or private boat.

  • Boat owners can pay individual admission fees per visit, or purchase an annual admission sticker online. These are valid from 1 September to 31 August each year. The annual fee is based on the size of your boat.
  • Individual fees per person are available for day trips and extended stays. You can pay these online, when you are booking a hire facility, or upon arrival at the Visitor Centre on the island.

Once you have paid your fee, either as an individual or annual admission, you can anchor your boat anywhere in the designated areas, or hire a mooring.

Failing to pay your admission fee will result in a penalty.

The yellow buoys indicate free beach-anchoring points which are available on a first-in, first-served basis. If your boat is under eight metres long, and you’ve paid your admission fees, you can use them free of charge.

There are 27 beach anchor points in Thomson Bay, five in Longreach Bay, and a further five at the eastern end of Geordie Bay. You can find more information in the Marine Maps section.

It is easy to book a swing mooring or jetty pen.

  • To book online, visit the mooring bookings page.
  • To book by phone, call (+61) 1800 111 111 during business hours (8:30 am to 5 pm AWST, Monday to Friday).

Bookings can be made up to 100 days before your visit. It is best to arrange your mooring early to avoid missing out.

You can only moor your boat where you are authorised to do so. Unauthorised use of a mooring will result in a penalty.

The coloured buoys indicate the four different types of mooring available.

  • Green. These are moorings that can be hired for daily use, from 10 am.
  • Yellow. These are private licensed moorings, part of the Shared Mooring System. Only boats that have the appropriate permit sticker may use these moorings.
  • White. These are emergency moorings for approved vessels only.
  • Red. The mooring buoy on Kingston Reef in Thomson Bay is a courtesy mooring for daytime use. It has a two-hour limit, and the maximum boat length is 24 metres. There are also five courtesy beach pens in Geordie Bay. 

Boat operators can enter any bay, provided that their skill level, vessel suitability, and weather conditions are taken into account.

Before your visit, refer Rottnest Island WA412 marine chart for more information.

During the year, your local sea rescue group may also operate a boat convoy to help you learn more about the best approaches to Rottnest Island. Get in touch with them to find out more.

You are allowed to raft boats when they are on anchor, but only one boat can raft to another at any time. Approved vessels of up to 6.75 metres on swing moorings are only permitted where the mooring has been certified with “+ 6.75 m” rating.

Please be aware that admission fees must be paid for each vessel.

Rafting is permitted on all swing moorings hired through Rottnest Island Authority. The mooring must be endorsed and display the lettering “+6.75 metres” on the float; the boat may not exceed 6.75 metres in length. Admission fees must be paid for each vessel.

A tender vessel is a boat that is under 3.75 metres in length and enters the reserve via another vessel. In most cases, you do not have to pay an admission fee for a tender vessel. However, some circumstances do apply.

  • If you are using the tender vessel independently within the Rottnest Island Marine Reserve then you have to pay an admission fee.
  • All boats bigger than 3.75 metres in length must pay an admission fee—this includes tender vessels.

The Shared Mooring System is available for use by licensees and authorised users. Becoming a licensee gives you priority access to a licensed mooring.

Alternatively, you can apply to become an authorised user of a mooring, as long as the mooring’s licensee gives you their consent.

You can become an authorised user of a mooring if:

  • A licensee appoints you as an authorised user; and
  • Your vessel is a suitable length for their mooring.

To become an authorised user, complete the authorisation process. You will then receive a RIA-issued sticker which you must correctly display on the port side of your boat.

Yes, RIA can appoint you to a mooring, depending on its availability. Head to the Authorised Users page to learn more about how it works.

Yes, but only if the permanent mooring swap is within the same bay. Both licensees will need to pay an administration fee once the application has been submitted and approved.

Becoming a licensee is easy. Submit your application form, pay your application fee, and you will then join the waitlist to become a licensee. When a suitable mooring becomes available, you will be contacted to arrange the mooring site licence. 

You can only join the waitlist for one bay at any given time. The length of time you will be waiting will vary, depending on the bay, its popularity, and the size of your boat.

RIA cannot provide an exact timeframe, but the average wait time is approximately 5-10 years.

If you lose your mooring or admission sticker, or it becomes damaged, yes, it can be replaced. Simply submit an application for replacement, and pay a replacement fee, and you will be sent a replacement sticker.

The best course of action is to call the boat owner and request for the boat to be removed.

During casual mooring use, skippers must remain contactable and can only leave their boat for up to 20 minutes when required. They must display their contact phone number while away from the boat.

If you cannot reach them, contact the Rottnest Island Rangers on (+61 8) 9372 9788.

Maximum Vessel Length (MVL) is calculated to determine what maximum size the boat can be to fit the mooring. This is done by using a formula that takes into account body swing radius, pickup rope length, and maximum swing room.

The Fuel Jetty enables round-the-clock access to diesel and unleaded petrol, seven days a week. It is a self-service facility, but you can call (+61) 439 964 858 or contact the Visitor Centre if you need assistance.

Drinkable water is available from the Geordie Bay Jetty and Thomson Bay Fuel Jetty, and small amounts of LPG can be purchased from the Geordie Bay General Store

No. Boat owners who have paid annual admission fees are not entitled to refunds or discounts of any kind for travelling by ferry. This is because annual admission stickers are issued to the boat, rather than the individual. They are only valid for people using that boat to travel to the island.
You can find more information in the Marine Maps  section, in the Marine and Boating Guide, or you can find their locations using the interactive map.