Review: Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour offers a top two days

Greater Perth is a contrasting mix of urban jungle and beach mecca, and with so much to see and do it can be hard to fit everything in. Visitors can get a superb introduction to the region with this combined Perth hop on hop off bus tour and Rottnest Island ferry ticket. Review: Jennifer Morton

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour

4.5 stars

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour

This Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour allows you to see the very best of the region over two days. Enjoy a Perth hop on hop off bus tour and a return ferry trip to Rottnest Island, where you can explore at your leisure. Duration: 2 days (approx.)

Best price guarantee: If you find this tour elsewhere at a cheaper price, we will beat it by 10%. Some conditions apply. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book this tour with The Big Bus tour and travel guide.

The Rottnest City to Surf tour package is a great way to see and learn about Perth in a very short space of time.

This two-day Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour by hop on hop off bus and boat allows you to see the best of the region quickly and easily. It’s a whirlwind weekend for me as I revisit some favourite inner-city spots like Kings Park, and walk the shores of beautiful Rottnest Island for the first time.

Perth travel guide

Day 1: Perth Explorer

The double-decker Perth Explorer hop on hop off bus tour departs from the Barrack Street Jetty (the older sibling of the stunning Elizabeth Quay redevelopment).

I stay on board for the first round of the 11-stop itinerary, which takes about two hours. This is a good way to see everything on offer and to decide which places to explore in more detail.

Stop four is Crown Perth & Burswood Park, and I decide to take a look inside. Sadly I miss out on trying my luck in the casino – I should have checked the dress code!

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour: Explore inner-city Perth. Image: Jennifer Morton

Next stop is the Perth Mint, and I buy a ticket from our driver for $18. It includes a guided tour of the Mint to learn about the history of gold prospecting in Western Australia, and a live demonstration of a ‘gold pour’ (the making of a bar of gold), which is surprisingly exciting.

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour: Perth Mint. Image: Jennifer Morton

I continue on my second lap. There are three Kings Park stops, and a stop at Watertown – Perth’s outlet shopping hub. The tour ends in William Street just before five o’clock. It’s perfect timing for an early dinner at Jaws Sushi on Hay Street.

Day 2: Rottnest Express

I make my way back to Barrack Street Jetty the following day, and my travel dreams come true as I spy the Rottnest Express ferry. This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m a little early, so I head off in search of a light breakfast, before joining the boarding queue.

The crossing takes two hours, including a short stop in Fremantle. I’ll be back here later. As we approach Rottnest Island, the energy levels on board go from super sleepy to mega excited.

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour: Visit Rottnest Island. Image: Jennifer Morton

Stepping onto the dock, the island’s holiday vibe is palpable. I have three hours of free time to tick the boxes of my Rottnest (known locally as ‘Rotto’) wish list: a) quokka selfie, b) tour by bike, c) swim at beautiful beach, and d) lunch.

I start in reverse order at Aristos, a waterfront restaurant. I order the falafel burger and sit on the net-enclosed deck (this is to keep the ravenous seagulls out). My meal is delicious.

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour. Image: Jennifer Morton

At Pedal & Flipper there are rows of bicycles in all sizes. I rent a bike for three hours for $30. Bike rentals are also available on the ferry but they sell out quickly. I set off in search of jaw-dropping vistas. And quokkas!

Not far from Thomson Bay (the main town) I spot a group of the gorgeous Rotto natives. I approach with caution. They’re adorable but they are wild animals, so treat them with respect. I get my selfie with the furry marsupials. Three ticks on my list with two hours to go. Winning.

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour

Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour: Meet the locals. Image: Jennifer Morton

I don’t have time to do the entire island so I make a plan to go to Parker Point. However, at a crossroad, two dripping bikers say, ‘Go to Salmon Bay – clear water, perfect beach!’ I do – and it is. The beach is full of enviable holiday scenes: visitors relaxing, swimming and snorkelling. Entering the sea is like stepping into a freshly cleaned pool, minus the chemicals. I float gently in the calm water and let my cares drift away.

A mix of sadness and gratitude fills my heart as I board the return ferry home.

This Perth and Rottnest Island combined tour is a fantastic way to see the best of the Western Australia capital. The highlight for me was Rottnest Island, but city slickers may have a different view. The experience really does offer something for everyone.

Jennifer travelled as a guest of Perth Explorer and Rottnest Express.

Additional images: Bigstock


Jennifer Morton

About the writer

Jennifer Morton is a freelance writer and photographer. The Canadian expat has lived all over Canada, New Zealand and Australia. She also spent six months working on a cruise ship in Europe. When Jennifer is not writing about travel, you may find her lounging on the beach, fishing with her son, sipping coffee at a cafe, reading a book or zooming in on a beautiful scene. She’s also likely to be boarding a plane — or jumping out of one.

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