Going to Perth? In this installment of our Perth Travel Guide Series, follow us to Rottnest Island, a must do place of interest in Perth.

Rottnest Island Attractions – Cape Vlamingh and Cathedral Rocks

It was already close to lunch time by the time we hopped on the Island Explorer Bus to get to our third and final destination at Rottnest Island – Cape Vlamingh and Cathedral Rocks.

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If you have come to this page through a search engine, you might want to read Part 1 of this article before continuing.

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Want to visit all of Rottnest’s must see locations? Check out this 3.5-hour all-inclusive island tour with visits to the Wadjemup Lighthouse, Henrietta Rocks, Oliver Hill Gun Fortification and Tunnels and the majestic look-out point at the rugged Cathedral Rocks and Cape Vlamingh.

Click here for more information.

Cape Vlamingh and Cathedral Rocks (Stop 11)

Rottnest Island has remained relatively untouched by commercial activities despite its promotion as a tourist attraction.  Other than Thompson Bay where the Rottnest Express docks at,  there were no other places which sells food and beverages. So be prepared to bring your own picnic lunch.

Both Cape Vlamingh and Cathedral Rocks are located on the western tip of Rottnest Island (known as West End), and ranks as the most beautiful and scenic spot in Rottnest Island.  If we had to choose, this would the stop that we would never miss.  If you have the intention to visit Rottnest Island, budget more time at the West End.

At the western end of Rottnest Island, wildlife are much more abundant as well.  We had a good time documenting the lives of these wildlife. Bring your binoculars if you are into bird-watching.

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Boardwalk at Cape Vlamingh

The boardwalk at Cape Vlamingh is one of my favourite places at Rottnest Island.

Built as recent as 2012, the boardwalk offers advantageous viewing angles of the unsurpassed beauty of Rottnest Island.

You’ll understand why this is my favourite place on Rottnest Island when you see these pictures.

My favourite rock structures – the blowholes!


Unlike the one at Little Salmon Bay, this blowhole does have water spraying out of them – if you have the patience to wait long enough for a big wave to come by.


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Cathedral Rocks – Must Visit in Rottnest Island

Cathedral Rocks is a short walking distance away from Cape Vlamingh.  I have no idea why this crop of rocks were named as such, but it definitely is a place worth visiting.

We spent a long time at Cape Vlamingh and the Cathedral Rocks.  Since it was the last of our planned stops at Rottnest Island, we were not in a hurry to get back.

Such a wonderful sight.  If you stay until the evening, you might just be able to catch the sunset over the ocean on a clear day, as this facing the west.

The Cathedral Rocks are not just scenic – there are plenty of wildlife residing on and near the rocks!

We spotted plenty of seals frolicking in the waters near us.  Lucky I brought my binoculars along!  I could see them so clearly with it!


Spot the seals in the water.


Other wildlife available too.


If you have a pair of binoculars or a good DSLR camera, you will be able to spot the family of seals sun-bathing on the Cathedral Rocks.

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Ride back to Thompson Bay

Finally, in the late afternoon, driven by hunger, we boarded the Island Explorer Bus back to Thompson Bay – the only place on the island where food is available.

Snapshots of the other bays and beaches of Rottnest Island.  As the Island Explorer Bus moves in a clockwise direction, we covered the southern and western ends of the island earlier, leaving the northern end unexplored.

Much of these northern areas look uninhabited – very ideal if you want a piece of private beach for yourself.


None of us on the Island Explorer wanted to get down at these stops too – probably because we were all too tired by this time.  Judging from the views from the bus, we probably didn’t miss out on much either.  My personal opinion is that the best views were all at the south side and the west ends.

Finally got back to Thompson Bay where we had a super-late lunch, and made use of the restroom facilities.


As a form of testimony to the co-existence of wildlife with humans, a peacock walked into the cafe as if he had every right to a free meal, to the amusement of all of us.


The only supermarket at Rottnest Island.

Quokkas are banned from the supermarket, but I doubt they cared.

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Taking Rottnest Express back to Fremantle

Making our way back to the Thompson Bay docks where the Rottnest Express departs for Fremantle. It was only 4pm, but the docks are packed with people waiting to go back!

Rottnest Island may be a very expensive place to visit, but it allowed us to see a different face of Perth and had impressed us with its unparalleled beauty.

Join us next as we explore Fremantle.

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