Rottnest celebrates a century of tourism

Rottnest Island, or Rotto as it's called locally in Perth, is celebrating one hundred years of tourism with a range of activities planned for 2011. Rottnest Island, which is just a short ferry ride from Perth or Fremantle, is today one of Western Australia’s most popular tourist destinations -- attracting more than half a million visitors a year. Not bad for an island that started out as a penal settlement just over a century ago.

Rottnest features some of the Australia’s finest sheltered beaches – more than sixty of them -- and is home to the famous quokka, a small kangaroo-like marsupial; as well as a range of unique plant life. It’s a laid-back island -- a car-free zone, which adds to its relaxed feel.

Hiring a bike is the best way to get around on Rottnest (a good way to work off some of those kilos you have put on at Perth’s great restaurants) and there's also a free (yes, free) hop-on-hop-off bus service.

Rottnest’s attractions include guided walking tours and scenic flights, while the thrill seeking visitor will want to have a go at kayaking, diving or surfing -- or even do a little boogie boarding.

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