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Visitor Operations

What’s involved in managing key visitor assets and facilities at a global tourism destination.

A lot of work goes into the operations of visitor services, accommodation and tourism experiences on Wadjemup / Rottnest Island

From planning your visit to booking accommodation, arriving on the island, and enjoying the activities it has to offer, Rottnest Island Authority’s key role is to manage and improve the visitor experience on Wadjemup. This also includes marketing activities, and how we position the island as a tourist destination for local, national, and international markets.
Visitor Centre
Visitor Centre

Managing the island’s key visitor services and facilities

One of the key focus initiatives of the Rottnest Island Management Plan (RIMP) 2023-28 is to maintain and enhance the visitor experience.

Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) manages three critical services that play a pivotal role in enhancing the overall quality of visits.

Rottnest Island Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre is the first building visitors see when they step off the main jetty in Thomson Bay. It serves as the main information hub for tourists on Wadjemup, providing assistance and information on various attractions and activities around the island.

Stay Rottnest

Stay Rottnest is the largest accommodation option on the island. It provides a range of accommodation options for visitors to the island, and includes self-contained units, dormitories, a hostel, and campground.

Pedal & Flipper Hire

Pedal & Flipper Hire is the main hire facility on the island. From bikes, e-bikes, kids’ bikes and safety gear to snorkels, flippers, beach games and more, Pedal & Flipper Hire provides visitors with a vast range of equipment that promotes exploration and enjoyment of everything Rottnest Island has to offer.

Accommodation and hire numbers

Understanding the impact of management operations helps us improve plans for the future. Here are the visitor information, accommodation and hire numbers for the 2022-23 period which demonstrate the scale of visitation to Wadjemup.

Visitors used the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre.

Bikes were hired.

People stayed in one of the self-contained units.

People stayed at the campground.

People stayed in the dormitories.

Managing Wadjemup’s heritage locations

Wadjemup’s heritage assets and locations are integral to the island’s history, and tell the story of how the island has evolved throughout the years. Managing and maintaining these well-known locations are an important part of promoting Rottnest Island as a significant tourism destination.

These include:

The Wadjemup Lighthouse

The Wadjemup Lighthouse was constructed in 1896 and is still in operation today. While the Australian Maritime Safety Authority is responsible for the upkeep and management of this important nautical landmark, we partner with the Rottnest Island Voluntary Guides Association to run tours of the lighthouse.

Learn more.

Oliver Hill Battery

With its 9.2-inch guns facing out across the ocean, Oliver Hill Battery is a stark reminder of Australia’s role in the Second World War. It’s a nationally significant heritage icon that demonstrates the role of the Australian Defence Force and Australian men and women during the war.

Learn more.

Wadjemup Bidi trails

Wadjemup Bidi is a 45 km web of walking trails that stretches all across the island, and an important cultural heritage asset that requires regular maintenance. Made up of five individual sections, it provides intrepid visitors with a way to see a different side of the island.

Learn more.

The Pilot Boathouse

The Pilot Boathouse offers insight into Wadjemup’s maritime history, where visitors can learn about the pilot boat program and its crew, who for 57 years were tasked with guiding ships safely through the dangerous reefs around the island to Fremantle Harbour.

Learn more.

Wadjemup Museum

Wadjemup Museum was developed in partnership with the Wadjemup Aboriginal Reference Group (WARG). It was built as a way to acknowledge the past, and help all visitors to the island engage with, promote, and preserve Wadjemup’s environmental and cultural heritage, while moving forward together on a shared path towards understanding and healing.

Learn more.

Wadjemup Museum for Children

Wadjemup Museum for Children provides a range of artefacts, displays, and interactive exhibits that provide visitors of all ages with a way to engage with the stories of the island, past and present.

Learn more.

Managing Rottnest Island as an iconic tourist destination

Wadjemup is a favourite holiday destination for local, national, and international visitors alike; for nature enthusiasts, adventurers, and families looking for an island escape.

Managing Wadjemup as a tourist destination is guided by the Destination Marketing Strategic Plan.

Under this plan, and in collaboration with island businesses and tourism partners, we’re working towards:

  • Increasing visitor demand in the shoulder and low season, by identifying and marketing to new and diverse markets;
  • Maintaining our current visitor segments; and
  • Creating new products, services, experiences, and events that reflect the Rottnest Island brand.