Quokkas selfie Rottnest Island

Get a Quokka Selfie on Rottnest Island

Your guide on how to get a Quokka Selfie on Rottnest island.

Often referred to Rotto island, by the locals. Rottnest Island is home to the happiest animals on Earth, the quokka.

There’s plenty to do on this tiny island, but the super cute quokkas are the star attraction.

What are quokkas? Your new spirit animal?

They quintessentially hold the record for having the Best Resting Happy Face in the WORLD!!

These rare and unique animals, have a similar body structure to a kangaroo and jump like them too (but no boxing moves). Yet, their size is on par within a domestic house cat (without cat like tendencies, e.g. plotting to kill someone/ thing) & they have the cutest cheeks with smiling faces.

Being pouched marsupials, they are part of the macropodidae family (kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons, wallaroos). They have herbivorous appetites and are native to Australia (primarily found on Rottnest Island).

And the word quokka is fun to say.

Simply, pronounce kwah’ ka, quickly. Think of the muppet Fozzie Bear’s catch phrase, “Wocka-Wocka” and make the words rhyme.

Quokka with baby

During our visit, we were fortunate to see many mama quokkas carrying their babies in their pouches.

Fun Fact – the quokka baby is called a joey, just like kangaroo babies.

Take a ferry to Rottnest Island.

A quick 25 minute ferry ride off the coast of Perth, in Western Australia. Will take you to the lovely, Rottnest Island.

What’s behind the name, Rottnest Island?

When the Dutch landed on Rotto and saw heaps of quokkas in the late 17 century. They named the island ‘Rotte nest’, stemming from the Dutch word rottenest.

To the Dutch, these indigenous animals were seen as large rats.

Today, they are dubbed the happiest animal on Earth. Many visitors (& celebrities) go to Rottnest island, to lay on the ground next to them and get their selfie.

It really is the ultimate souvenir.

Rottnest Island Express

Is a popular and easy option to purchase tickets. The ferries depart from 3 locations off the coast of Perth at multiple times a day. The ports are in Perth, Fremantle and Northport.

They offer maps of island, snorkel gear and bicycles. On the ferry they sell drinks and snacks. They also offer pick up at some neighboring hotels.

Check out all the packages, Rottnest Island Express packages offer.

Rottnest Island Quokkas

Besides quokkas, What else is there to do on Rottnest Island?

HEAPS of things to do!!!!! This beautiful island is a perfect little getaway.

There are segway tours, seaplane or helicopter tours, skydiving, fishing areas, whale watching, golf, sea lions, bottle-nose dolphin watching, birdwatching, surfing, snorkeling, camping, relaxing on the beach, picnics, barbeque areas, or having a bite to eat at one of the few restaurants or cafes.

Check out upcoming events such as the Quokka’s Birthday held in September, a Rottnest swim & run events, etc.

What’s the best time to visit Rottnest Island?

For most Westerners, it’s weird to think of December as a summer month, and June a winter month.

Australia’s seasons are:

Winter – June to August. Ave 57F (14C) – High 65F (18C)
Autumn – March to May. Ave temp 66F (19C) – High 78F (25C)
Summer- Dec to Feb. Ave temp 74F (23C) – High 80F (27C)
Spring – Sep to Nov. Ave temp 63F (17C)- High 72F (22C)

We arrived in early September and the weather was GORGEOUS! Definitely a nice break from Singapore’s humidity 😉

Quokkas Rottnest Island

What’s behind the quokka smile?


There are two types of quokka smiles. It’s believed the smiling is really panting. An evolutionary feature. Panting will cause them to open their mouths slightly, when hot (similar to dogs).

When they are not panting, they still look like they are smiling, due to the the shape of their mouth.

What a perfect design 🙂

Can I have a quokka as a pet?

That’s a hard NO. Quokkas are wild animals. Not pets.

These totes, adorbs, balls of fur are protected by Australia’s Rottnest Island Authority Act of 1987.

In fact, if you’re caught picking one up and or feeding one. You can get slapped with a fine ($100 – $1,000) and taken to court.

Feeding them is super harmful to their digestive system. It’s running the risk of compromising their natural diet and contamination.

Quokkas selfie on Rottnest

How do you get a quokka selfie?

While resisting the urge to lure them in with food. Quokkas are curious by nature. The easiest way to get that selfie, is to sit next to them and allow them to approach you.

This tactic not only works, but it truly is the best and harmless way.

Where to stay on Rottnest Island.

There are plenty of choices of types of accommodations. There’s premium, to budget options, and sustainable ones.

Take a look at all the types of accomodations.

Rottnest Island Views

How to get around Rottnest Island?

Walk, bicycle, catch a bus.

Rottnest Express offer bicycle rentals (and you can bring your own). There’s also an option to purchase a bus package that drops off and picks up around the island.

We rented bicycles and it was a perfect way to see the island.

The island is 19 square kilometres (7.3 sq mi). We took our time bicycling and exploring. We could have easily stayed longer, but we had to catch the last bus of the day, back to the port.

Between stopping at the many serene and secluded bays, hiking along paths and spending time with the quokkas. We could have easily spent 12 hours and still want more time.

Rottnest Island Bays

Best Tips for visiting Rottnest Island

Bring your selfie sticks. Quokkas move quickly and it’s easier to get a selfie with them, with a use of a stick.

Stay a night (or 2) on the island.

When getting your quokka selfie, sit and be patient. Quokkas are friendly and curious creatures, they will come to you.

Rottnest Express gives discounts to early online purchases. Discounted tickets are 1/2 off and are called the Telethon Saver. Don’t wait to buy the Telethon tickets, as they will sell out first.

Bring a hat, sunscreen, plenty of water and a picnic if you’re cycling around the island. If you plan to swim, bring your swimming costume, a microfiber towel, googles or snorkeling gear. Check out the bays and swim around the ship wrecks.

Bicycling is a fantastic way to get around the island. There are slight hills but nothing like a huge spikes in elevation.

Rottnest Island View Beach

Happy Quokka Selfie!

Outdoor enthusiast thriving in the expatriate traveling lifestyle. Looking to connect with your sense of adventure.


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