Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island

Postby petie » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:55 pm

Hi

Read the threads already started about Rottnest, but looking for a bit more info.

Hoping to head over with my wife and our bikes in the new year for a couple of nights.

There was mention of bikes being damaged on the ferry trip over, does anyone have any more information about this? We will be taking our MTBs, not overly fragile of course, but I would hate for them to be damaged on the trip over. Salt and sand damage through use I can handle.

Had anyone else stayed a couple of nights with their own bike? Was there somewhere reasonably secure to store your bike?

Any other tips worth mentioning (apart from booking soon before everything sells out!!)?

Thanks in advance!
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by BNA » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:51 pm

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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby RobertFrith » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:51 pm

I've been to Rotto a fair bit. With a variety of bikes. I've never had any issues with damage, though with the number of bikes that get moved there's always potential. You can easily watch your bike being loaded and unloaded FWIW.
Most of the accommodation has gated yards, just lock your bike up at night and you'll be fine.
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby Andersen » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:15 am

From memory it's about $15 to take a bike on the ferry (correct me if I'm wrong) - pretty steep IMO! For the cost of the ferry to Rottnest nowdays I'm more inclined to head to bali for $200 return!!!
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby petie » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:32 am

Thanks for the info so far. My wife and I are actually on an around Australia trip (in the car), so Bali is out. Have never been to Rottnest before so want to see it!
Sounds like someone may have had a bad experience with a precious bike and told everyone, it doesn't sound like I need to be too worried!
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:58 pm

They basically just move them on and lean them against each other.

Which should be fine if we all treated our bikes for utility and if we we not putting super-sophisticated breakable and bendable bits. But if you are about elite gear and style and paintwork or have bikes that can't take a knock then I suppose you are taking a risk.

I can't see an issue with an MTB though. And suited to the light rigours of Rotto anyway.
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby Thoglette » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:08 pm

petie wrote:Any other tips worth mentioning (apart from booking soon before everything sells out!!)?


Your bike will get covered in salt spray. So make sure you give the bikes a good rinse when you return.

Perthites tend to have a "rotto bike" which can be spotted by the rust. And the milk crate cabletied to the rack along with the fishing rod holders.
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby kx315 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:09 am

^ +1 To Thoglette's comments I would rinse/lubricate on arrival and return....salt spray has claimed a couple of my bikes over the years.
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby roller » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:09 am

have a great trip, rotto is fantastic for cycling.

I used to absolutely love my annual 2 week holiday there as a kid, we would ride out to the west end each day (via the northern road) then home via the south.

smash it up the big hill to the oliver hill gun enplacement, a spooky place after dark.

seeing if we could ride all the way from Kingston Barracks to Bathurst Lighthouse without touching the handlebars.

hire bikes with one gear and back breaks, they copped a hammering.

thems were the days.

<3 rotto.
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby petie » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:40 pm

Thanks for the great replies! Will definitely be washing the bikes well when we get back.
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby nachoman » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:07 pm

People may also be interested to know you can now do a Segway tour from Kingstown Barracks.

Someone that works on the Island told me this week that they were introducing electric bikes for hire. The Rottnest website confirms this is true ($500 bond required), and also contradicts itself by saying electric bikes are prohibited on another page...
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby Easy rider » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:30 pm

I just came back yesterday! Take a fly net to cover your face, they are really bad at the moment (or you can buy them there).

The crew aren't at all rough with the bikes, but they do just lean them against each other, and secure it with one rope around about 20 bikes, which is attached to the metal barrier the first bike leans on. So while the bikes won't roll off the deck, there's probably scope for them to move around a bit and rub against each other during heavy swell. I can imagine gears might potentially get damaged in heavy seas, but I've never had a problem myself over the last 20 trips.

They give you a coloured tag which is your bike's ticket there and back - leave this on until you get back. The colour also tells them where it should be taken back to, Hillarys, Perth, Northport Freo etc.

Wind conditions may dictate your plans on any given day, but I often try to ride around anti-clockwise if possible - i.e. to Geordie Bay and the north coast first, out to the West End if you're game, then back along the south coast. The reason is that ALL vehicle traffic must travel one-way in a clockwise direction, and I prefer to see it coming than get occasionally surprised from behind. It's one of those places you can forget to keep on the far left because the buses only come through every half hour or more, and they are all you're likely to see other than other bikes. Enjoy!
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby petie » Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:19 pm

So I ended up just buying a day ticket and hiring their bikes. Was way too late with accommodation booking and everything was booked out right through our window of opportunity. The campground had sites available but it seemed to be pretty sparse facilities-wise by most reports. We only have car sized (not carry-able) camping gear with us meaning we wouldn't be camping comfortably.

Anyway, looking forward to the day trip. If we do like it, we'll just have to work out how we can get back for a few nights!

Thanks again!
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby petie » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:32 am

Well, the bikes we hired were very average, but the island and Quokkas were amazing!
It was great to see bikes everywhere and so few cars, the way it should be everywhere!
The bikes from the hire company on the island looked in much better nick than the ones from the ferry company that we hired. Would have been extremely pleasant to have our own bikes but having them on a platform out the back of the boat in the salt spray is probably better to avoid...


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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby Thoglette » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:18 pm

petie wrote: ..the island and Quokkas were amazing!


Glad you enjoyed it - it's got a special place in most sandgropers' hearts.
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby Easy rider » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:54 pm

Bookings are open 18 months in advance, and during most of summer it's necessary to book accommodation at least 12 months ahead of time to get anything with a decent view. But the Lodge accommodation is almost the same price per night as a house now, and the Lodge is easier to book with short notice.

I would certainly advise anyone looking to hire bikes to use the hire centre on the island, not only are they better bikes, they are generally in better condition, partly due to not enduring the ferry crossing hundreds of times a year - every one coming off the boat has a seriously rusted chain lacking any lubrication. Also you get good service and repairs if needed, the boat crew can't do that.
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby Easy rider » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:11 pm

Also note that you don't have to carry all your luggage or camping gear from the ferry, just get it to the ferry where they give you a tag to put on it, and it gets delivered by truck from the ferry to your accommodation, and then picked up and delivered to the ferry on the way home.

I'm back there next week for a week, then again at Easter!
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby petie » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:33 pm

Easy rider wrote:Also note that you don't have to carry all your luggage or camping gear from the ferry

Our tent is quite large and they made it clear we would be on our own with larger than standard items :(

As for the ferry bikes, they had the right idea. Belt drive, IGH, drum brakes and very few steel parts. Trick is they need to actually do routine maintenance...!
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby Mububban » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:23 pm

nachoman wrote:Someone that works on the Island told me this week that they were introducing electric bikes for hire. The Rottnest website confirms this is true ($500 bond required), and also contradicts itself by saying electric bikes are prohibited on another page...


Well this sucks the big one :( I'm currently getting my MTB converted to electric assist. I guess when we go on our regular trips to Rottnest from now on I'll be swapping out the front wheel and removing the battery. Bugger.

Why allow their own e-bikes, but not BYO???
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby Mububban » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:09 pm

I just had a brief chat with a very friendly lady from the Rottnest Island Authority who informed me of the following:

As the Rottnest Island Authority is a government agency, any changes they wish to implement need to be gazetted for a certain period of time.
Although the Rottnest website currently says BYO electric bikes are banned, they hope that by the end of this month the changes might be approved, which will allow BYO electric bikes.

WA still has a 200W limit, while the rest of Australia is 250W, this is currently up for revision and hopefully we'll move in line with the rest of Australia/the world. WA might move to 250W in WA in April, possibly sooner.

Once that happens, the island authority act will be updated and the island themselves will update their current 200W bikes to 250W bikes. Apparently they had a hard time sourcing 200W bikes, as the rest of the world uses 250W.

So hopefully come our planned holiday mid-year, it'll be all good for me to take my bike over. I'm on her mailing list to get an update whenever the 250W limit increases, and when the island updates its Act.
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Re: Rottnest Island

Postby Mububban » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:24 pm

I emailed the lady again today as I hadn't heard back, and she confirmed that 200w e-bikes can now be brought to the island. I imagine that if/when WA ups the limit to 250w, the island wil allow that too but that's just a guess.

So hooray for me as we're going later on this year and hauling 50kg of kids and bike trailer with my skinny legs ain't much fun :)
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