19km off the coast of Fremantle and Perth – Rottnest gets the swells that Perth should get. There are numerous good breaks and Rottnest has some of the best surfing conditions and most consistent breaks in Western Australia. Rottnest benefits from powerful long interval groundswells that arrive from the South and Southwest.
The most popular break on the island is Strickland Bay on the west side of the island. A short rippable right-hand wave and a longer left that does barrel. It is a consistent world-class wave and breaks over the coral reef. ‘Stricko’s” is one of a dozen fantastic waves on the island.
Although public ferries run from Perth and Fremantle over to Rottnest, it’s extra to bring your surfboard. Rottnest is a car free zone and the only way around the island is by island bus, long bike ride or walk but the best and easiest way to surf here is from a boat.
There is a number of high-quality reefs breaks Rottnest, Some are renowned for being fast, hollow and heavy – therefore well suited to the serious surfer. However, it is also true that these same breaks are frequently smaller than they are big. West End Charters takes clients of intermediate plus surfing ability to these areas and they have enjoyed amazing waves in the shoulder to head high range.
Popular surf spots include:
- The Rotto Box
- Riceys Beach
- Stark Bay
- Strickland Bay
- The Basins Ledge
- The Fruit Bowl – between Catherine Bay and City of York Bay
- Chicken Reef – Salmon Bay
- Transits – Thomson Bay
Strickland Bay, Salmon Bay, and Stark Bay are particularly popular breaks for surfers, body boarders, and stand-up paddle boarders. Strickland Bay has been ranked in the top 50 breaks in the world. Rottnest also has various reef breaks on both sides of the Island including Radar Reef, Cathedral Rocks, and Chicken Reef. Waves off Rottnest can often be two to three feet larger than those at Perth beaches.
Accessing many of the surf breaks requires guidance and a boat. For serious surfers, this tour is best organised with a group of people.
Rottnest is referred to as Western Australia’s very own Island getaway featuring a casual atmosphere, picturesque scenery and some of the world’s finest beaches and bays.