Stolen moments set against a backdrop of turquoise waters; a languid feast shared with family and friends watching impossibly golden sunsets; dancing under a myriad of stars in the middle of the Indian Ocean… if you have an innate love of the ocean and are seeking a magical place of seclusion and understated elegance for your wedding, you will be captivated by Rottnest Island, just off the Western Australian coast.
With 63 sparkling bays, raw natural surrounds and rich cultural heritage, Rottnest Island is a destination-wedding venue that oozes understated luxury, romance and impossible beauty.
We recently travelled to the island to shoot our first White Edit editorial ‘Of Sun & Sea’, and discovered infinite options for those searching for the ultimate destination venue within Australia.
Situated just a 20 minute ferry ride from Fremantle, off WA, “Rotto” (as the locals call it), is renowned for its coastal charm, purity and simplicity.
The moment you step on to the island a feeling of tranquility washes over you, and while it seems a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life, there is no compromise in service or facilities.
From a chic pre-wedding cocktail party poolside right through to your honeymoon, your soul will relish in the natural beauty of its surroundings and delight in the effortless style.
We uncovered a number of hidden gems around the island from beachfront restaurants, poolside function areas, iconic, heritage listed buildings and for those dreaming of a traditional church ceremony, the Anglican Chapel. With its weathered, white-washed stone facade and picket fence, nestled in amongst Moreton Bay fig and olive trees, it is simply enchanting.
However, the real allure of the island for us lies in the dramatic landscape. From the breathtaking salt lakes and unexpected lush gardens through to the secluded beach lagoons, with their white sand and crystal blue water hidden amongst rocky coves with vast ocean views.
For those who have spent time on Rottnest previously, holding your wedding on one of the island’s many beaches will awaken a nostalgia for the past; of summers spent splashing on the shore or running through the pure white sand as the sun kisses your face. A feeling of carefree happiness whilst surrounded by friends and family – a feeling which will only be enhanced on your wedding day.
Whether you decide to erect long tables on the sand, set up a beach marquee or choose one of the beachfront restaurants, the incredible Rottnest Island events team will go out of their way to make it happen.
Continued under gallery…Photo Gallery Ç
Rottnest Island: Need to know
Best time of year
- Rottnest is beautiful all year round but the island is in high demand as a wedding destination from September through to November and again between February and April.
- It does get windy at times however the best thing about an island is that there is always a bay or beach that is naturally protected against the direction of the wind.
Travel to the island
- There are several options for traveling to the island including a ferry service or private boat charter. Some brides even choose to arrive by plane or in style via helicopter.
- The ferry takes about 25 minutes from Fremantle, 45 from Hillarys (Sorrento) or 90 minutes from Perth City.
- You can fly to Rottnest and back to the mainland in about 12 minutes at $120pp via Rottnest Air Taxi. Ozwest Aviation offers charter flights for up to 10 people starting from $130pp and Rotorvation flights (helicopter) are $475pp (min 2 persons, max 4 per flight).
Getting around the island
- The island has a strict no vehicle policy which ensures the island’s serenity and natural beauty remains pristine. But you won’t be left stranded – there’s a small fleet of buses, private electric cars and golf buggies available for functions.
- Charter buses are charged by the hour and prices range from $185.50 per hour for up to 50 guests and $227 per hour for up to 60 guests.
- Rottnest is a protected sanctuary for unique wildlife and nature reserves so you must acquire a permit from the Rottnest Island Authority at least 3 months before your wedding date. It is a very quick and easy process.
- Photographers and videographers are asked to be mindful of culturally sensitive sites around the Island and the delicate natural environment.
- Aristos Waterfront Restaurant hosts between 120 (indoors) and 200 guests.
- The Rottnest Lodge holds up to 85 people and offers holiday accommodation and resort style facilities.
- Hotel Rottnest caters for up to 250 people and has 18 rooms available for guests to stay.
- Rottnest Island Country Club features a room that can hold up to 100 people or the whole venue can cater for 200 people.
- Group accommodation can be arranged up to 18 months in advance by contacting The Island Authority.
- The Rottnest Island Authority has some new ceremony packages that eliminate brides having to bring over major equipment. You can organise as much of the ins and outs of your day as you want or if you’d like to do as little as possible, there’s an option for that too.
- Rottnest is a great place for wedding guests to relax and explore, whether it’s a spa package, champagne seafood lunch, golf or swimming, diving and surfing at one of the 63 beaches.
People with disability
- The island caters for people with disabilities with wheelchair accessible toilets and ramps.
- There are also beach wheelchairs and electric motorised buggies available to hire and 8 units have been renovated for people with mobility impairment.