Take the ferry to Rottnest Island (or as the locals say, Rotto) just 18 kilometres (11 miles) off the coast where there are 63 beaches, 20 bays and no cars to spoil the tranquility. Rent a bicycle at Rottnest Island Peddle and Flipper, which also rents all sorts of boards, wetsuits and snorkelling gear, and ride four kilometres (2.5 miles) through the island’s centre to Oliver Hill, where huge guns and underground tunnels were installed last century. Take in the sweeping views and walk to the salt lakes. Spot diverse birdlife and quokkas, the island’s cute native marsupial, which has become something of an Instagram star. Cycle north 3.4 kilometres (2.1 miles) to Little Parakeet Bay for a swim in the clear, protected waters. Enjoy a relaxed seafood lunch at Geordie’s Café and Art Gallery. If you would rather go by bus, jump on and off the Islander Explorer Bus or take the 90-minute Discovery Tour, which circumnavigates the island and gives information about wildlife and the island's cultural and historical heritage.
If you’d like to explore underwater, follow a snorkel trail at Parker Point or over various shipwreck sites. Scuba dive in Fish Hook Bay, where coral reefs make the water a patchwork of different shades of blues. Surf at Strickland, Salmon and Stark Bays. Go birdwatching for wedge-tailed shearwaters, osprey, sacred kingfishers, singing honeyeaters and sandpipers and watch the sunset from Wadjemup Lighthouse or just beachcomb your way around the island. You can also take an Eco Express bus, boat or snorkel tour and there is also sea kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling and walking tours. From September to November whale watching trips along what's called "the humpback highway" (between Fremantle and Rottnest Island) are offered. Take the ferry back to Perth to dine at vibrant Brika, with its Greek share plates served up in a rustic setting. Explore Perth’s laneway bar scene at places such as the Wolfe Lane Bar, Cheeky Sparrow, and Helvetica.