Nature, Flora & Fauna

Rottnest Island is listed as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). Visitors to the island can observe the Island’s famous marsupial, the quokka. During the autumn and winter months (March to August) young joeys may be seen peaking from their mothers’ pouch and come spring (September to November), hopping around exploring their new world. Observe the delightful antics of the New Zealand fur seal colony out at Cathedral Rocks when you stand on the Seal Viewing Platform, part of the Wadjemup Bidi.

Snorkel with 135 species of tropical fish as compared to eleven species recorded off the metropolitan coastline. The tropical current often brings visitors to our waters such as the Green Turtle. See pelicans and stingrays cruising Thomson Bay. Around 35,000 migrating Humpback and Southern Right whales linger in the calm waters around the Island. In April each year they head north to feeding grounds while on their return trip during September to December, the whales and their newborn calves spend much of their time playing in the protected Rottnest waters gaining strength before returning to the colder southern waters. You can often see them from the Island itself.

See osprey nests known to be over 70 years old at West End and Fish Hook Bay. Osprey’s mate for life and return to their nests, adding more to the stacks every year. This majestic raptor has a 1.5 meter wing span. Out at West End can be seen the nests of Wedge-tailed shearwaters commonly known as ‘muttonbirds’ and they can be up to two meters deep. Look out for Banded Stilts, Crested Terns and Red-capped Plovers on the Lake Herschel and Lake Baghdad. Crested Terns have a shaggy black cap of feathers on their head. Listen out for the White-striped Freetail bat flying over the Settlement at night – recently discovered as the second mammal species living on the Island. Hear the distinctive nightly calls of our 3 species of frogs – the moaning frog (Burrowing frog), the motorbike frog (Western Green Tree frog) and squelching frog (Sandplain froglet). The Tree frog is quite restricted in its distribution, whilst the moaning frog and the froglet are usually associated with low-lying areas, freshwater swamps and seeps. Keep an eye out for geckos at night around your unit (Marbled gecko and Spiny Tailed gecko).

Admire the fields of Rottnest Island Daisy flowering near Green Island during spring. Also known as the blue lace flower, this native is actually a member of the carrot family and has become a very popular ornamental garden plant.

Grab hiking boots and a water bottle and venture out along the Wadjemup Bidi Walk Trail to investigate the flora and fauna of the island. For further and detailed information about the wildlife of the island click on the following link


Osprey (2)

crested tern

Quokka & Baby