Boating FAQ

Essential information for bringing your boat to Rottnest Island

Getting informed is the best way to ensure a smooth, successful, and safe visit; not just for yourself, but for your passengers too. Below you will find answers to common questions about anchoring, mooring, licensing, and other topics of interest.

Should you have a question that isn’t answered on this website, call Marine Administration on (+61 8) 9432 9320 with your query.

 

  • Where can I anchor my boat?

    There are 37 beach anchor points around the island; visit the Marine Maps page to view their locations on an interactive map, or download the Marine and Boating Guide 2022-2023 (PDF 1.9MB). Vessels can also be anchored anywhere within the Rottnest Island Marine Reserve (PDF 451KB), providing the boat is at least 50 metres from any mooring, well clear from seagrass meadows and reefs, and outside any boating prohibited areas as specified by signage.

  • What is the process for taking my boat to Rottnest Island?

    All visitors to the island pay an admission fee, whether arriving by ferry, plane, commercial vessel, or private vessel. Boat owners can pay individual admission fees per visit or purchase an annual admission sticker online . Individual fees per person are available for day trips and extended stays; they can be paid online , when booking a hire facility, or upon arrival at the Visitor Centre on the island. Annual admission stickers are valid from 1 September to 31 August each year. The applicable annual fee  is based on the size of your vessel. Once the individual or annual admission fee is paid, you can anchor your vessel in the designated areas or hire a mooring. Failing to pay your admission fee will result in a penalty.

  • What are the yellow buoys on the beach in Geordie and Thomson bays, between the Fuel Jetties and the south side of Hotel Rottnest?

    The yellow buoys indicate free beach-anchoring points which are available on a first-in, best-served basis. Owners of vessels under eight metres long who have paid admission fees may use them free of charge. There are 22 beach anchor points in Thomson Bay, five in Longreach Bay, and a further five at the eastern end of Geordie Bay. Anchor point locations can be viewed on the Marine Maps page.

  • I want to hire a mooring. What do I need to do?

    You can book a swing mooring or jetty pen on this website or by phone.  Bookings can be made up to 100 days before your visit; arranging your mooring early is recommended to avoid missing out.

           -    To book online, visit the mooring bookings page

           -    To book by phone, call +61 1800 111 111 during business hours (8:30  am to 5 pm AWST, Monday to Friday


  • Can I use any mooring? What do the coloured buoys mean?

    Vessels may only moor where they are authorised to do so; unauthorised use of a mooring will result in a penalty. The coloured buoys indicate the four types of mooring as outlined below.

    Green: These are moorings that can be hired for daily use, from 10 am.

    Yellow: These are private licensed moorings, part of the Shared Mooring System. Only vessels that have been issued with the appropriate sticker may use these moorings.

    White: These are emergency moorings for approved vessels only.

    Red: The mooring buoy on Kingston Reef in Thomson Bay is a courtesy mooring for daytime use only with a two-hour limit. Maximum vessel length is 24 metres.

  • Which bays can I take my boat into?

    Boat operators can enter any bay, provided that their skill level, vessel suitability, and weather conditions are taken into account. Vessels can be taken into any bay. RIA recommends referring to the Rottnest Island WA412 marine chart before your visit. During the year, you may also wish to join a boat convoy to learn about the best approaches to Rottnest Island; reach out to your local sea rescue group for further information.

  • Can I raft another vessel alongside my vessel?

    Rafting is permitted on all swing moorings hired through Rottnest Island Authority. The mooring must be endorsed and display the lettering “+6.75 metres” on the float; the boat may not exceed 6.75 metres in length. Admission fees must be paid for each vessel.

  • Does my tender vessel incur an admission fee?

    A tender is a vessel that is under 3.75 metres in length and enters the reserve via another vessel. In most situations, no admission fees will apply to tenders. However, admission fees do apply if the vessel is being used independently within the Rottnest Island Marine Reserve (PDF 451KB). Additionally, all vessels greater than 3.75 metres in length must pay an admission fee.

  • How can I access a private licensed mooring?

    The Shared Mooring System can only be used by licensees and authorised users. You can become a licensee to gain priority access to a licensed mooring. Alternatively, you can apply to become an authorised user, subject to the licensee of that mooring granting their consent.

  • I know a licensee. How can I become one of their authorised users?

    A licensee may appoint you as an authorised user if your vessel is a suitable length for their mooring. An authorisation process must be completed before you can access the mooring; usage can only begin when the appropriate RIA-issued sticker is correctly displayed on the port side of your vessel. For a detailed overview of the application process and requirements, visit the Authorised User of a Licensed Mooring  page.

  • I don’t know a licensee. Can I still become an authorised user?

    Yes, RIA can appoint you to a mooring, depending on availability. To learn more about the process, visit the Authorised Users page.

  • Can I swap moorings with another licensee?

    Yes, provided that the permanent mooring swap is within the same bay. Both licensees will incur an administration fee once the required application has been submitted and approved.

  • I want to become a licensee. What are the steps required?

    There is a waiting list for licensed moorings. You can join the list by submitting the relevant application form and paying the application fee. When a mooring suitable to your vessel becomes available, RIA will contact you to arrange the mooring site licence.

  • I want to join the waitlist. How long will it be until I can become a licensee?

    Applicants may only join the waiting list for one bay at any given time. The waiting time can vary widely; it is dependent on the bay selected, size of the vessel, and popularity of the site. Although RIA is unable to provide an exact timeframe, applicants are advised that the average wait time is approximately 5-10 years.

  • Can a lost mooring or admission sticker be replaced?

    If your mooring or admission sticker is lost or becomes damaged, it can be replaced. An application must be submitted and a replacement fee be paid prior to the sticker being replaced. You can access the application form and fee information on the replacement stickers page.

  • What should I do if someone else is using my mooring?

    The best course of action is to call the boat owner and request for the vessel to be removed. During casual mooring use, skippers must remain contactable and may only leave their vessel for up to 20 minutes when required. Their contact phone number must be displayed while away from the vessel. Should the skipper be uncontactable, contact (+61 8) 9372 9788 for assistance from the Rottnest Island rangers.

  • How does RIA determine the maximum vessel length for a mooring?

    Maximum Vessel Length (MVL) is calculated to determine what size the vessel must be to fit the mooring, this is done by using a formula which takes body swing radius, pickup rope length, and maximum swing room into account.

  • Where can I access water and fuel?

    The Fuel Jetty enables round-the-clock access to diesel and unleaded petrol, seven days a week. This is a self-service facility; should you require operator assistance during office hours, call +61 439 964 858 or contact the Visitor Centre. Potable water is available from the Geordie Bay jetty and small amounts of LPG can be purchased from the Geordie Bay General Store if required.

  • I have paid an annual admission fee for my boat. Can this be refunded when I travel on the ferry?

    No, it cannot. Vessel owners who have paid annual admission fees are not entitled to refunds or discounts of any kind on ferry use. Annual admission stickers are issued to vessels rather than individuals; they are only valid for people using that vessel to travel to the island.

  • Where can I find maps and further details about boating at Rottnest Island?

    The Marine Maps page provides an interactive map indicating mooring locations, anchor points, and other relevant information. You may also wish to download RIA’s annual Marine and Boating Guide 2022-2023 (PDF 1.9MB) for further details to enhance your visit to the island.