“Rottnest is many things to many People”
- Michelle Reynolds, Executive Director of the Rottnest Island Authority.
There is a certain romance Western Australians feel towards Rottnest Island, or Wadjemup (meaning place across the water where the spirits are). The island is a culturally and environmentally significant national treasure. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Rotto’ by the locals, the island is a popular tourist destination that plays an important role in Western Australia’s identity. Its pristine natural environment has captured the imaginations and hearts of many visitors whether they be domestic or international, while its history enthralls tourists but sadly alludes others.
Rottnest and the governing body The Rottnest Island Authority relies upon the income generated through tourism to continue its stewardship of the island and its guests. However with most turn over occurring in the peak summer season and the island failing to capture returning visitors in the shoulder and winter seasons the Island faces over tourism within the summers and lack guests in winter.
There is a clear opportunity to increase year round use of the island while diversifying the options,attractions and sparking curiosity on the island. Highlighting the overlooked historical and cultural significance of Wadjemup turning the page in the islands narrative which will result in the island becoming not just a tourism hotspot but a proud symbol for all Western Australians.