Details for trail on a map
Trail StartGet directions
Rottnest Island Fuel Jetty (70 metres south of Visitors Centre), Rottnest Island, 18km from Western Australia Mainland.
Trail EndGet directions
Oliver Hill, H2 (WWII Gun) Plotting Room, Rottnest Island.
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About Ngank Yira Bidi, Rottnest Island
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.
Be trail ready for Ngank Yira Bidi, Rottnest Island
Here is everything you need to know before visiting this trail.
Time / Duration
3 - 4hrs
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.
What To Pack
Group B (Bushwalks and/or longer trails)
- Minimum 2 litres of water per person per day
- Sturdy shoes
- Sun hat or bike helmet (compulsory in WA)
- Sunglasses, sunscreen (30+) and insect repellant
- Binoculars and camera (optional)
- Map or guide book where suggested
- Snacks and/or lunch depending on length of trail
- Clothes to suit the activity and potential weather conditions including a water/windproof jacket
- First Aid kit
Additional Useful Items+water
Bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited.
Hazards & WarningsBe 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.
FacilitiesBike 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
- Picnic Area
- Public Telephone
- Public Toilet
- Shaded Area
- Sheltered Area
- Visitor Information Centre
- Water Access Points
Best time of year
All year round
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.
Ferry - Departing Perth/Fremantle (www.rottnestexpress.com.au or www.sealinkrottnest.com.au) or Hillarys Boat Harbour (www.rottnestfastferries.com.au)
Prohibited ItemsNo 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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Rosalie Small rated Ngank Yira Bidi, Rottnest Island a 4 out of 5
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Work hard play hardThe 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!
Trails on railsNumerous sections of the Wadjemup Walk Trail traverse the historic train lines that pattern the Island landscape.
Catch some rays in private bays!This little nook is one of the Islands hidden gems. The limestone formations in the rock are incredible and the waters are calm and protected by the surrounding reef.
Stay a whileWhy not take a picnic and lunch on the beach? Make sure you carry plenty of fluid with you. It can get hot out here!
Historic pastThe first section of the Bickley trail is dotted with interpretation about the Islands Military past.
Old meets newThe Rottnest Island Authority are working on formalising beach access ways to popular spots. This minimises erosion and retains conservation value of the areas. You can easily snorkel the Shark Wreck just off the shore at Henrietta Rocks!
Spring has sprungRottnest is bathed in a sea of daisies come spring. The Trachymene caerulea, also known as Blue Lace Flower, is a Lovely, sturdy small annual shrub with attractive long-stemmed soft blue to mauve flowers in pin-cushion shaped clusters.
Woman of WarInterpretation dresses the walls of the historic buildings at Bickley Battery, taking visitors on a magnificent visual journey!
Seat in the sunThere are lots of resting spots along the way. Sit on a bench seat and absorb the sprawling landscapes, or find a shaded spot under a tree, either in the shade or the sun!
UribesDid you know that there are numerous shipwrecks around the Rottnest Island reserve. You can even snorkel some of them. Plaques have been located next to the wrecks as well as onshore to indicate their locations as part of a 'wreck trail' concept produced by the Western Australian Museum in association with the Rottnest Island Authority.
Bickley BatteryBickley Battery has recently undergone refurbishment. The Buildings are safe for visitors to enter and get a real feel for the views that the servicemen would have had.
Porpoise BayThis section of the trail is subject to inundation during high tide events. Walkers can follow the bitumen road and re-join the trail in time to traverse through the woodlands to the salt lakes.
One extreme to anotherTen minutes; that is all it takes to get from the sweeping white sands of Porpoise Bay to the breathtaking, Samphire fringed, Lake Serpentine. This is a great spot for bird watching too!
Salt LakesThe Rottnest Island’s 200ha of Salt Lakes cover a 10th of the surface area of the Island. They are hyper saline and can become as much as seven times saltier than the surrounding ocean in the height of summer.
Endless vistasBench seats have been installed along the trail in areas where walkers may wish to sit and take in the view that little bit longer.
Ragged formationsThe limestone surrounding the Island is ever changing and is very much in the hands of Mother Nature. It is incredible that vegetation can establish in the slightest of crevice and then spends a life gripping on to these highly exposed formations.
Fire in the hole!Visitors can actually stare down the barrel of the H1 gun up at Oliver Hill. This 9.2inch gun was never fired in anger. You can enjoy a tour of the Oliver Hill guns and tunnels accompanied by one of the highly knowledgeable Rottnest Island Voluntary Guides.
Guns and TunnelsYou can follow the defence heritage trail, as part of the Rottnest Wadjemup Walk Trail, over to the H2 gun and take in the breathtaking 360 degree views.
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