Australia is an extremely popular travel destination. Given the location of the Great Barrier Reef (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), the technical terrain offered by the outback for mountain bike enthusiasts and hundreds of islands, cruise destinations, beach resorts – it’s no surprise that people flock to Australia in order to get away and embrace the outdoors.
The Gold Coast on the eastern shore captures the attention of many, as do some of the more popular islands. When you want to slip away from the big seasonal crowds of the more prominent destinations in Australia where do you go? Where can you travel to escape the crowded beaches and the hustle of beautiful (but busy) places like Port Douglas or Cairns?
You book a trip to Rottnest Island.
Granted, the name might seem a little off but don’t let it fool you into thinking that this location is anything but ideal.
No Vehicles Allowed
For starters, just being in this location off the south west coast of Australia is a benefit by itself but there is a huge perk to traveling here – like a complete lack of private vehicles. If you want to get somewhere on the island, you need to do so under your own power. This location is a cyclist’s paradise.
Granted we’re not talking about sweeping mountain ranges or massive technical trails but the island was designed for bikes in mind so there is no shortage of trails. Cycling the roads always forces you to check your shoulder for motorists, but it won’t take you long to break the habit and breathe easy as you take in the spectacular views.
Pure Cycling – Check. What else ya got?
If you didn’t know that the beaches in Australia were rated by local travel guides, you do now. The Rottnest Island beaches were marked as some of the top beaches in Australia in 2007. The island, which is just over 11 kilometers long and 4.5 kilometers wide (at its widest point), boasts 63 secluded beaches and 20 bays. While the island gets upwards of 500,000 visitors each year, you won’t be standing shoulder to shoulder and it will be easy to find a secluded spot to relax and enjoy after you get your fill of riding for the day.
Popular Activities of Rottnest Island
Aside from some of the best fishing in the south pacific around Australia and the ability to go just about anywhere by bike, there are a few other perks to making the trip:
Diving and Snorkeling around Rottnest
All around Australia you can find beautiful aquatic life. While you can’t experience the Great Barrier Reef here, Rottnest has its own beautiful network of coral reef that is stunning in its own right. The clear waters around Rottnest Island are teeming with life among the reef formations, and it’s the perfect escape for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts that love clear blue waters.
Scenic Flights around Rottnest
You can’t leave this perfect island destination without getting your feet off the ground and experiencing the beauty from the air. The Rottnest scenic flights depart near the primary settlement and will take you on a tour of the coastal waters where you can get a view of Swan River, the coast, the flora and fauna and Fremantle in a way that can’t be seen from the ground.
Traditional Australian Food
After you’ve spent time and energy running about, lounging and cycling the island it’s time to eat. On the island there are a variety of places to stop and grab just a bite or site down for a gourmet meal that encompasses all of the local flare and culture of Rottnest Island.
Or you could just grab a Subway Sandwich – Rottnest is as convenient as it is relaxing.
But how are the trails?
Well that’s the thing about Rottnest. The whole island is trails and paved pathways with loops that go around the entire island. If you’re fast enough you can cross the island in a little under an hour but that’s giving little to no time for enjoying the sites.
The landscape is mostly flat on the island, terrain is undulating, but there aren’t many steep climbs and drops so don’t expect intense technical riding.
Don’t sweat trying to get your ride here unless you really want to. There are plenty of quality bikes for rent. If you’re looking for something a little more challenging than a cruise around the island circuit then be sure to check out “Race Around Rottnest”. It’s being held this year Saturday October 17th, 2015.
It’s a charitable event to raise Autism awareness and gather funds to help research treatments for families. You can turn your passion into something that will help others while discovering the natural beauty of Rottnest as you tackle off-road courses that includes riding (of course), an ocean swim, ocean paddle and a trail run.
If you love cycling and being outdoors, and you’re looking for a little vacation while enjoying the lifestyle then Rottnest Island is calling your name.