Recreational Business Proposals

The Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) is inviting firms and organisations to provide selected recreational activities on Rottnest Island.

Organisations can apply in their own right or can partner with other organisations to provide a range of activities and services which are flexible, inclusive and responsive to the needs of Island visitors.

The following background information is provided to assist with business proposal concepts and submissions. To apply to undertake recreation business activities on the Island for any of the available business opportunities applicants are required to complete a business proposal application form and return to the RIA along with the additional documents requested.  Business proposals can be forwarded to the RIA by mail to PO Box 693 Fremantle 6959 or by email to

These guidelines apply to services that do not require a property lease and where a ‘concession agreement’ will normally apply. The leasing of property such as retail outlets is conducted through a separate process, and interested parties are directed to the RIA’s property agent, McGee’s Property whose details may be found at the following website:

Rottnest Island Visitors

Visitor numbers to Rottnest Island have been increasing over recent years as a result of dynamic promotional strategies and a focus on destination marketing.  During 2016-17 over 647,524 visits were made to Rottnest Island with over 69% of visitors being locals. 

To facilitate the viability of Rottnest Island as a tourist destination, the RIA considers it necessary to grow visitor numbers to 800,000 per annum by the year 2034 with a focus on growth in the off peak period to avoid increasing pressures on current facilities and the environment.  The RIA aims to achieve this, in part, by increasing the range and quality of visitor experiences.


No staff accommodation is available on Rottnest Island. The business operator will be required to commute or hire holiday accommodation from either the RIA or other private operators. Staff will be required to commute to the Island by ferry on a daily basis. A special commuter rate applies which is available from the three ferry service providers.

Premises and Built Facilities

No commercial properties are currently available for recreational services on Rottnest Island.

Any requirements for storage facilities or any other infrastructure (e.g. fences and gates) will be required to be installed at the expense of the approved business operator. Any built structures on the Island are subject to the RIA’s Development Planning Policy and Guidelines.


Rottnest Island is largely vehicle free and pedestrians, wildlife and cyclists generally have right of way. Vehicles must not be brought onto the Island without the permission of the RIA. The RIA reserves the right to reject any or all applications to bring vehicles on to the Island. 

In the event that a vehicle is approved as part of the operation of a proposed business, it is an express provision of any licence agreement that there is no private use of any vehicle on the Island. A Rottnest Island driving permit must be obtained for all staff that are required to drive a vehicle on the Island.

The proponent will be responsible for all transportation to the Island of products/goods/equipment associated with the business. 

The RIA does not operate transport services to the Island. However, a barge service operates from Fremantle to the Island on a daily basis and ferry operators may carry items of freight.  All costs associated with carriage of freight are the operator’s responsibility.

Ferries and Barge Contact Details

Rottnest Express               9335 6406 (B-Shed, Victoria Quay Fremantle) or 9430 5844 (Northport Rous Head)

Rottnest Fast Ferries         9246 1039 (Hillarys Boat Harbour)

SeaLink Rottnest Island    1300 QUOKKA or 1300 786552 (B-Shed, Victoria Quay, Fremantle)

Pelagic (barging services) 9336 4200 (Mews Road, Fremantle)

Marine Facilities

There shall be no provision for moorings/pens associated with any licence offered unless such facility is critical to the safe operation of the proposed business. 

In the event that a mooring or pen facility is approved as part of the operation of a proposed business, it is an express provision of any licence agreement that there is no private use of any such provided facility.

Island Resources and Energy Conservation

Water and power are scarce resources on Rottnest Island. Business proposals requiring significant access to and supply of these resources may face additional costs associated with provision of these services. 

Successful proponents will be expected to actively commit to water and energy conservation with customers and ensure staff awareness of these issues through appropriate training.

Waste Minimisation

Effective waste management policies on Rottnest Island are critical to the future of the Island as a holiday destination and A-Class reserve.

Business proposals should seek to minimise the amount of waste produced during their operations. Proposals should consider waste removal from the Island wherever possible.

Terms and Conditions

The following basic terms and conditions will apply for commercially based activities, and are generally not negotiable. Other specific conditions will be negotiated and included in a ‘concession agreement’.

If a Business Proposal Application is supported by the RIA and proceeds to the preparation of documentation for operation of the business on the island the RIA’s Commercial Managers (McGees) will charge a fee for the preparation of the documentation (these fees are set by McGees and subject to change):

  • A one off fee of $825 inclusive of GST by the RIA’s commercial agent for property document processing fee.
    • A one off fee for the preparation of the legal costs to prepare the concession agreement which is a minimum of $1,650.

In addition to the above fees the following fees and commercial terms will apply to all concessional agreements on the Island:

  • A 10% commission of gross sales revenue to be paid monthly. 
  • An annual $500 administration fee.
    • Other fees such as a commission on ticketing through the Visitor Centre, which will need to be negotiated.
    • Other items such as the duration of the concession agreement are negotiable and will be based on various criteria such as the level of investment required by the proposer.   A seasonal or one year trial period may be offered if there is some uncertainty about the viability or suitability of the service.
    • In terms of duration, concession agreements are anticipated to be in the order of three to five years. However, the first 12 months of the term may be viewed as a trial period for the approved licensee after which a review of the viability and suitability of the activity/service by the RIA will be conducted.
    • Business operators are welcome to join the Rottnest Island Chamber of Commerce. Their contact details are:

Important Notices and Disclaimers

  1. This is not an offer and nothing in this document creates a contractual or other legal obligation by the RIA to any proponent.  All proponents are strongly urged to seek professional advice and to make their own prudent commercial enquiries before proceeding. The RIA reserves the right not to accept submissions for business proposals, which are not aligned with the RIMP or any other reason.
  2. Once an operation start date has been agreed with a proponent, and they fail to commence by that date without reasonable grounds, the RIA reserves the right to withdraw the approval with immediate notice.