How to Live on Rottnest Island so You Can Hangout with Quokkas Forever

How to Live on Rottnest Island so You Can Hangout with Quokkas Forever

So you want to live with the quokkas forever ever? 24/7 cuteness.

Luckily we have a solution because you can’t just buy a house, pack up and move to Rottnest Island. However there are ways to temporary live with the quokkas.

Unless you want a very long expensive holiday staying in the tourist accommodations then the only other way to live on Rottnest Island is to get a job on Rottnest Island

So if you had no intent of working on the island, just so you could live there then I’d recommend you to stop reading this article. 

Now that there gone, let’s dive into some value.  


Tourist accommodation types are limited and mostly expensive  

  • Options: Hotels, glamping tents, rental houses, cabins, dorms, and camping.
  • Weekly Rates: Expensive $3000+ to Budget $280 (no power camp site)

However, staff accommodation options

  • Staff rent rates: $90-$120 per week



Currently, Rottnest Island is a tourist destination with limited accommodations available, there are hotels, cabins, dorms, rental houses and camping options. Ranging from expensive to a tent. 

But the staff that work on the island pay cheaper staff rates to live in houses and cabins that you share with other work staff. 

So technically the only way to live on Rottnest Island for long period of time at a reasonable price is to work on the island. 

While there are many jobs available on the island, hospitality and tourism, most of these positions are seasonal and highly competitive. Also, keep in mind, Rottnest Island is only accessible by ferry, so if you’re sole plan was to find a job so you can live on the island. Make sure you find a job that permits living as a requirement, otherwise you'll need to be prepared to commute to work on a ferry and miss out on quality quokka time. 

In the majority of cases, to live on Rottnest island you need to work on Rottnest Island. so this article will teach you about working and finding jobs on Rottnest Island. 

“I want a job! So I can stay on the island and hangout with the quokkas” I hear you say! Luck is on your side, because it’s a little bit different to finding jobs on the mainland Australia. The work market here is changing all the time and with tourists coming through the island there's always something new happening.


Types of job industries available to work in on Rottnest Island

As a breakdown, you can generally find work in the following industries:

  • Hospitality
  • Retail
  • Construction and engineering
  • Tourism provider (info desks, tour guides, ranger, bicycle and snorkelling rental)
  • Transport (bus driver, boat driver, Segway tour guide)


Possible companies to work for on Rottnest Island

  • Rottnest Island Authority - island administration, baggage handling
  • Pedal & Flipper (bicycle and snorkelling rental shop) - talk to Rottnest Island Authority
  • Rottnest Island Visitor Center - accommodation reception
  • Hotel Rottnest - kitchen staff, think breakfast and dinner, house staff or receptionist
  • Samphire Rottnest  (Resort)  - kitchen staff, think breakfast and dinner, house staff or receptionist
  • Rottnest Island General Store - food stocking, supply
  • Rottnest Bakery - need freshly baked goods for island staff and morning ferry arrivals
  • Rottnest Island Subway (yes the sandwich company are on the island)
  • Lane Café Rottnest - coffee!
  • Frankies on Rotto (Restaurant)
  • Isola Bar e Cibo (Restaurant)
  • Lontara (Restaurant)
  • Frankies on Rotto (Restaurant)
  • Dome Cafe - coffee!
  • Karma Resort - hotel staff
  • Indianic - Clothing Store
  • Rottnest Island Cinema
  • Rottnest Island Pitch and Putt
  • Rottnest Island Golf Course
  • Island Cleaning Staff - Company called Programmed ( they usually commute daily on the ferry, but there may be unique job offerings)

The most important thing you’ll read in this entire article if you plan on living on the island you need to do a job that requires you to be working very early or very late on the island. Outside of ferry times. Meaning you have to sleep on the island to be able to work your job when there are no ferries. E.g in the morning such as cafe opening, hotel breakfast kitchen and restaurant, receptionist or cleaner or preparing the baked goods for the bakery. Any job that requires night time staff, e.g. bar, pub, restaurant, hotel.  Essential morning work or essential night time work.  

The job will then offer you special weekly rates for accommodation that only staff are allowed to rent and use. Far cheaper than the tourist options. Plus you make friends and family by working along side all the staff on the island. 


How to get jobs on Rottnest island

So now you have the list of all majority of potential companies you can contact above. This article can only get you so far.  Now it’s up to you, to execute and get in touch with them. Google them, find their website, look at their socials, see what they offer, do your reseach and get in contact with them. I wish you the best of luck. 

Please make sure you do your research on the companies so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and what the job requirements are. Stop wasting your time and theirs. 


Email them: We feel that most people will start by emailing for job positions. If you have great experience and your qualifications will make you stand out then this might work for you. But we definitely recommending calling or chatting to people for the best possibility of finding work. 
Call them: Search Google and find their contact numbers. “Hi, [insert company name], I’m wondering if you have any job positions open? And who do I talk to about that?”. The best follow up with an email to show them who you are.
Walk in Person: If you’re on the island for a holiday then go ask people in person. You’ll already be ahead of the game because your personality, character and friendliness call put your miles ahead of any email or CV that they receive., You could also go to the Rottnest Island Bakery and ask For the manager and then ask them for a job openings or your tell them about your willingness to work them for them.


You don’t know unless you ask.




Legal rules, are you are eligible to work?

If you’re a tourist or a resident Different rules apply

Rules for getting jobs

  • You must be over 18 years of age. 
  • You can be an Australian or New Zealand resident
  • A tourist needs to have a valid Australian working visa. This will be either an Australian Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417), or a subclass 462 Work and Holiday Visa.
  • Your passport must have at least 6 months validity from date of entry into Australia and remain valid for the duration of your stay in Western Australia. If you have dual nationality, both passports need to be valid for 6 months from date of arrival 

When you’re on your work break or a day off you can enjoy all the island has to offer. Quokkas and beaches will become your life. 


If you have experience in that industry you’re more likely to get the job

  • Experience in the same industry. This is a great place to start if you already have some experience in hospitality and want to continue doing similar work on Rottnest Island. You'll be in a better position than someone without experience. 
  • If you have experience in a completely different field from the job your applying to give reasons why. Maybe you want a change of life and start to pursue a different career path. Explain that on your job application.



What is the general attitude of the people looking for staff

Look, If you’re generally a friendly person, hard-working and willing to learn. Then you’re more likely to get the job. HR are looking to hire people who they get along with. 

The best way to stand out from the crowd is by showing them what value you can bring to their company.

Let them know why you would fit in well here, what skills or knowledge you have gained over your life that make you suitable for this job and how much passion you have for it.

If it’s your dream to work on Rottnest Island tell them that. 


Ask for job, even if they don’t have any openings

Some employees might be leaving soon and the company hasn't put up an opening available yet. Or maybe they want to replace a current that they don’t like, and you could be that replacement they didn’t know existed until you contacted them. 

Asking is your best way, even if they say no now. You’re on their radar for potential jobs in the future.



Again please make sure you know that the job you’re going through means that you will be living on the island and not commuting daily. 

Take all these tips and advice into account when you’re looking for a job on Rottnest Island, and don’t be discouraged if you can’t find one right away. Remember: it takes time to build up your skills and experience, but once they are in place, finding work will be much easier!


Thank you for reading, follow for more

- @daxon

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