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Ngank Yira Bidi, Rottnest Island

  • Half day
  • 9.4 km
    • Bush Walk Grade 4

The Ngank Yira Bidi is a 9.4km walk on Rottnest Island,  an A- Class reserve,  situated just 18km off of the coast of Western Australia. The walk boasts impressive ocean, coastal and inland views. Interpretational signage compliments the trail; telling the underlying tales of Rottnest’s past, present and future.

The area seen here was home to the parade ground back in the days the army inhabited Rottnest Island. Alas, it was not all work in this area; the soldiers were allowed to play cricket on the parade ground too!
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Trail Start

Get directions

Rottnest Island Fuel Jetty (70 metres south of Visitors Centre), Rottnest Island, 18km from Western Australia Mainland.

Trail End

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Oliver Hill, H2 (WWII Gun) Plotting Room, Rottnest Island.

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Ngank Yira Bidi is part of the greater Rottnest Island ‘Wadjemup Bidi'. The trail is a major new recreation and conservation initiative that will be implemented in sections over a six year timeframe, which started in July 2013. It involves the construction of a ~45km network of trails that will provide an exploratory narrative of the Island’s environment, connecting you with the beautiful natural features, abundance of wildlife and rich cultural history that the island has to offer. There will be five primary walks linking facets of the islands diversity. The alignment of the trail was designed to allow walkers to hop on and off of the Islands bus services between sections.

Ngank Yira Bidi explores many significant historic military sites as well as diverse landscapes from coastal headlands and bays, to woodlands and inland lakes.

Ngank Yira Bidi starts in The Settlement, Thompson Bay (where the ferry arrives at the main jetty) and meanders through the south west corner of the Island through Bickley Battery and up to Oliver Hill. Traversing the Defense Heritage Trail out at Kingstown, the walk ventures west towards the picturesque Henrietta Rocks, where there is an old ship wreck that is easily accessible from shore.

The Henrietta Rocks beach access structure, installed in 2012, gives easy access to walkers and beach goers and acts as a perfect vantage point to view the striking turquoise surrounding ocean and the snorkelers exploring around the wreck.
At this point the walk continues on along the beach and then takes a inland turn heading north into the centre of the Island. You will pass the Rottnest Island air strip and arrive at the beautiful Serpentine Salt Lake where you can expect to experience a diverse range of birdlife, both resident and migratory.

The peaceful walk along the lakes edge will take you up to Oliver Hill, where you can explore the 9.2inch Word War II gun. There are Rottnest Voluntary Guides on duty 364 days of the year; for a small fee guides can lead you through the underground tunnels, divulging the mesmerizing history that the deep dark depths of the shafts contain.

After you have completed your tour, or had a spot of lunch taking in the 360 degrees view, you may wish to relax on your journey back to the Settlement on the Rottnest Island train "Captain Hussey" (check the train schedule before you leave the settlement, as it may be on a restricted service in off peak times. Also be aware that the train can be busy during peak periods and it is recommended you get your ticket before you set off). Or you may wish to continue your adventure, heading back to the coast through the woodland heath, to uncover the splendor of Salmon Bay.

Rottnest Island Visitor Centre

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Be trail ready for Ngank Yira Bidi, Rottnest Island

Here is everything you need to know before visiting this trail.

Time / Duration

3 - 4hrs

Length

9.4km from start, Thomson Bay, to finish, Oliver Hill. This trail links to Wardan Nara Bidi at Porposie Bay and Oliver Hill.

What To Pack

Group B (Bushwalks and/or longer trails) required.

Trail Start

Rottnest Island Fuel Jetty (70 metres south of Visitors Centre), Rottnest Island, 18km from Western Australia Mainland.

Get directions

Trail End

Oliver Hill, H2 (WWII Gun) Plotting Room, Rottnest Island.

Get directions

Bush Walk

Grade 4

Bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited.

Difficulty Notes

Some uneven surfaces and seasonal access to beaches. Please use roads to by-pass these sections in adverse conditions.

Hazards & Warnings

Be aware there are poisonous snakes on Rottnest Island. The Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis) is a timid creature, but may bite if trod on or harrassed. Seek immediate medical assistance. Be aware of unstable rocky outcrops; always stick to the trail.

Facilities

Bike hire is available at Pedal and Flipper in the settlement. There are lots of bike racks situated specifically to allow you to hop off, lock up, and enjoy the walk trail.
Water available ONLY in Thomson Bay - ensure you fill up water bottles before leaving Thomson Bay. The Voluntary Guides sell bottled water at Oliver Hill and Wadjemup Lighthouse (cash only), but it may not be cold on a warm summer day!
Toilets available in Thomson Bay, The Army Jetty, Kingstown, Oliver Hill.
Shops are situated in the Settlement, Thomson Bay.
Bins and recycling points are situated at bus stops; please take all litter with you.
  • BBQ Facilities
  • Bicycle Rack
  • Cafe
  • Camping
  • Lockers
  • Lookouts
  • Picnic Area
  • Public Telephone
  • Public Toilet
  • Shaded Area
  • Sheltered Area
  • Shop
  • Visitor Information Centre
  • Water Access Points

Best time of year

All year round

Fees

Visitor Fees are included in ferry travel. If you are travelling by private vessel you can pay online at www.rottnestisland.com or come in to the visitors centre at the Main Jetty on the Island.

Trail Access

Ferry - Departing Perth/Fremantle (www.rottnestexpress.com.au or www.sealinkrottnest.com.au) or Hillarys Boat Harbour (www.rottnestfastferries.com.au)

Prohibited Items

No pets. No bikes on trail (Bikes are encouraged on the Island, but not on the walking trails). No Camping or open fires.
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2 trail goers have rated Ngank Yira Bidi, Rottnest Island as 4.5 out of 5!

We love to hear from people who've been on our Western Australian trails, so it would be most appreciated it if you wanted to leave a review.

Michelle Strickland

Reviewed 28 Apr 2019, 5:47pm

Relatively easy trail with varying landscapes. Inland and coastal scenes with history lessons. Great signage and exciting little detours. A few swimming opportunities. No water stops so take everything with you. Trail ends at the battery. I walked down the central road back to the settlement after. If you had more time than me walk across the island from the battery to the other coast, this would be more scenic! I will definitely do again!
Rosalie Small

Reviewed 30 Jul 2014, 3:30pm

This is the first instalment of the new Wadjemup Walk Trail for Rottnest. Being a passionate Rottnest person, I'm really excited to see this new initiative taking shape. The Bickley Bay Walk has a Coastal Defence Heritage focus, but if this is not your cup-of-tea, there are plenty of gorgeous views, a shipwreck, and a meander along the edge of a salt lake, the beach and at parts through woodland to enjoy!

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