One of Perth’s best features is the fact that Rottnest Island is less than an hour’s ferry ride away – it’s such a relaxing paradise of a place, yet so close to the “big smoke”. And while most tourists visit “Rotto” just for a day trip, I always tell everyone who’ll listen that you haven’t experienced Rottnest until you’ve stayed at least one night there, and preferably longer. Once the day trippers go back to the mainland you really see how relaxing Rotto can be.
Recently I’ve discovered another great way to enjoy Rottnest – by working as a volunteer. The Rottnest Island authorities run a volunteer program with several different ways you can get involved with helping out on the island. Animal lovers can offer to take part in the frog and osprey monitoring programs, or more practical people can help out with the repainting of the heritage wall along the sea front. There are also special days where you can help out with tree planting on various parts of the island.
Volunteer vacations are becoming increasingly popular across the world, although they’re often in developing countries and for stays of weeks or months, but I think it’d be a great idea to spend just one or two days seeing Rottnest and at the same time helping out the locals. When you’re planning your Perth trip, see if you can coordinate with the Rottnest volunteer organisers to help out somehow, and I’m sure it’ll make your stay on Rottnest even more enjoyable, if that’s possible!