Rotto visit records smashed
Rottnest Island continues to draw crowds, with visitor records smashed in the last financial year.
Despite ageing infrastructure and the perceived expense of travelling to the island, more than 647,000 people went to Rottnest last financial year, the annual report of the Rottnest Island Authority has revealed.
The figure is a record, up 5.9 per cent from last year’s figure of 610,000 people.
Visitors are also leaving the island impressed, with the tourist spot getting an all-time high satisfaction rate of 97 per cent.
Driving the trend is interest in the island’s quokka population, a spokeswoman for the authority said. “Quokkas are synonymous with Rottnest and the interest in them continues to grow,” she said.
The friendly, furry creatures featured in more than 22,000 selfies, the report found. Of the 647,000 who visited the island, more than 325,000 were day trips while the venue also attracted 476 weddings, 214,000 boat moorings and 87,000 bike hires.
But the island is facing “significant challenges” with its ageing infrastructure, which the authority said would benefit from an improved asset management system.
The authority also had to replace ceilings in 22 units after a partial collapse of two during a storm lead to an island-wide investigation.
The report also told the story of “Steve”, a quokka who escaped to the mainland in January.
It was suspected he had been in a bin on the island when the rubbish was transported by barge to Perth. Despite the establishment of a public hotline to report sightings, Steve remains at large.
This week, a new ferry service, set to allow an extra 700,000 passengers a year to the island, was announced.