When it comes to island escapes, Australia really is spoiled for choice.
From Fraser to Lord Howe, Norfolk and even the luxurious offerings at Lizard Island, there’s no budget that hasn’t been accounted for.
But one island off the coast of Western Australia has proven so popular amid the pandemic you won’t even be able to get a spot for the busy Christmas period eight months away.
Rottnest Island, home to the super cute quokka and surrounded by crystal clear waters, has had almost every camp site, bungalow and cabin sold out for the busy festive season.
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Longreach Bay on Rottnest Island, south of Perth.Source:Getty Images
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Quokka paradise an easy ferry ride away
The island, just 8km off the WA coast, is not only a popular place to stay overnight – day-trippers love it as well.
Typically, a visit to the island takes just 25 minutes on a ferry from Fremantle, 45 minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour in the northern suburbs of Perth, or 90 minutes via a ferry from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty.
With over 63 beaches across the island, the attraction of calm and clear waters is an easy sell.
Rottnest’s most popular activities include swimming, snorkelling, diving and fishing, as well as whale watching cruises and even skydiving sessions.
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Aerial view of Pinky Beach and Bathurst Lighthouse, Rottnest Island. Picture: Tourism WASource:Supplied
Surge in bookings across Western Australia
While the island always experiences high demand during the peak season of Christmas, this coming festive period saw more bookings than normal.
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the week of December 27 to 31 were all booked and paid for by travellers, with the official booking authority listing May 3, 2021 as the next available date to book accommodation for New Year’s Eve.
Since Western Australia’s borders opened to other states and territories, various regions including the Margaret River and Broome have experienced a surge in enquiries and subsequent bookings.
The island’s famous quokka – hands down the cutest animal on the planet. Picture: James VodickaSource:Supplied
The waters around Rottnest Island are crystal clear and perfect for snorkelling and diving.Source:Instagram
Speaking to PerthNow, Seashells hotel general manager Deb Williams said that their hotel in Broome was fully booked until the end of the year.
“The last couple of months have been way busier than usual and we’re very full from now all the way to the end of school holidays in October,” she said.
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