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Island Gateway

The Island Gateway project enriches Rottnest's arrival point with upgraded amenities, a welcoming sculpture designed by WA artists and the Whadjuk Noongar community, and a more pedestrian-friendly mall.


The Island Gateway project is a comprehensive enhancement of Rottnest Island’s main arrival and departure hub, designed to improve the overall visitor experience significantly. As part of the Rottnest Island Management Plan 2020-24’s initiative to enhance the overall visitor experience, the Settlement Mall has been improved with a more pedestrian-friendly zone, complete with family-oriented amenities.  

The inclusion of a new public artwork by WA artists Sharyn Egan and Jahne Reese, titled Koora-Yeye-Boordawan-Kalyakoorl, celebrates the rich Noongar heritage and welcomes visitors with a powerful cultural statement. Ongoing infrastructure improvements such as new play equipment and the refurbishment of public toilets will ensure the area meets contemporary visitor needs.

Key benefits

Upgrades to mall infrastructure, including water and electrical services
New landscaping including a grassed areas and shrubbery
Installation of additional shelter and shade elements
New furniture – tables, seating, play equipment and bike racks
Improved signage, and lighting to activate the Settlement Mall in the evenings
A new welcoming sculpture at the base of the Main Jetty

Improving a National Tourism Icon

On 9 April 2019, the Federal Tourism Minister announced an investment of $17.2 million for vital infrastructure upgrades to help enhance the visitor experience, embrace cultural heritage, and ensure the long-term sustainability of Rottnest Island. The Island Gateway upgrades were undertaken as part of this funding.

Key dates

Stage 1: Museum Refurbishment, Settlement Mall Upgrades and Artwork – Complete
Stage 2: Playground – Planned 



Frequently asked questions

  • Activating the full extent of the mall, and infrastructure and amenity upgrades to reduce congestion and make the mall and surrounding areas an even greener, more enjoyable, pedestrian-friendly part of the island. 
  • New public artwork to welcome visitors at the main arrival and departure point of Wadjemup / rottnest Island, located between the Main Jetty and the Visitor Centre.
  • Works completed during 2022 include the refurbishment of the Visitor Centre public toilets.

Called Koora-Yeye-Boordawan-Kalyakoorl (Past-Present-Future-Forever), the sculpture has been constructed in limestone, concrete and aluminium, and creates a powerful statement at the end of the Main Jetty.

The sculpture is the work of Western Australian artists Sharyn Egan and Jahne Rees with significant input from the Whadjuk Noongar community. The sculpture responds to an overarching theme of Gnalang Wadjemup (Our Wadjemup), integral to Noongar culture yet encompassing universal principles of welcome to all who visit the island.

The sculpture was installed during November 2021, and officially launched in December 2021.

Standing at a height of 9 m, the sculpture comprises two main elements: a traditional shield made of limestone concrete, entwined with the figure of a breaching whale made of thick contoured aluminium pipe. The whale, which can be seen when the sculpture is viewed from the side, carries the human spirit traveling from the physical world to the spiritual realm. When viewed from the front, the shield bears the image of a proud Noongar warrior standing tall with his spear. From this vantage point, the aluminium pipe used to depict the whale looks like prison bars, referencing Rottnest Island’s century-long history as a prison for Aboriginal people.

Sandblasted text on the shield gives visitors insight into the artwork’s meaning.

A birds-eye view of the sculpture shows a map of Wadjemup, including its salt lakes and the ‘Emu in the Sky’ — a constellation known to Aboriginal astronomers all over Australia.

Contact and further information

You can reach us on the following details to find out more about this project. Our contact lines are open Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, excluding public holidays.


This project was made possible by funding from the Australian Government and the State Government of Western Australia.
Start date
End date
This project was made possible by funding from the Australian Government and the State Government of Western Australia.