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The boardwalk is elevated above hundreds of wedge tail shearwater nests. Look for the tell tail sign of a nest with disturbed sand, or a cheeky king skink basking on the exposed disturbed soil.
At the end of the board walk look left across Fish Hook Bay and see if you can spot the Osprey nest. Its not hard, it is huge! If you are lucky there may be residents in the nest.
If you look right at the end of the boardwalk you will see a fantastic natural rock feature, which is ferocious weather, spits bubbling waves through the fissures in the rocks.
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About Ngank Wen Bidi, Rottnest Island
The most western section of the Wadjemup Bidi is named the Ngank Wen Bidi. The meaning of the Whadjuk Noongar name in English is "the place where the sun is waning or dies", or in other words “the place of the setting sun".
The trail allows you to circumnavigate the West End, taking in all of the best spots along the way. Three trails intersect each other at Narrow Neck and the Ngank Wen Bidi is the one that will guide you to the most western point of Rottnest Island.
There is access infrastructure along the northern coast, with the fist port of call being a stroll along Lady Edeline beach. The beach is spectacular all year round and is nice and secluded when the weather is coming in from the south. A set of stairs at the west end of the beach links to a bus stop, and also allows you to jump on the trail and head towards Marjorie Bay.
Marjorie Bay is one of the Islands best kept secrets. The boating community have known about this little gem for decades, with the bay being decorated with yellow mooring buoys. The eastern end of the beach boasts a natural lagoon within the reef. This is a popular spot for cooling off in the summer months, and remains protected from any currents and swell.
Continuing west, the trail snakes in to Mabel Cove. Look out for the crocodile rock! Heading off in to the scrub it won’t be long before you emerge to the views of Eagle Bay. The crystal clear turquoise waters are breathtaking.
The trail then arrives at one of the Islands highlights, the Cathedral Rocks Seal Viewing platform. From here you can have a rest, take in the view and be entertained with the frolicking antics of the New Zealand Fur Seal Colony. Please remember to respect the wildlife and remain on the viewing platform. Free to use binoculars are available for a closer look.
Following the limestone path to the south, head for the West End boardwalk. The specifically designed boardwalk allows access on to Cape Vlamingh, whilst protecting the nesting shearwater seabirds, who burrow in to the ground. The views from the boardwalk are incredible, especially in the humpback whale migration months. Humpbacks and southern right whales can be seen off of Rottnest Island heading north at the beginning of winter, and heading back down south between late August and November. Their recognizable blow of misty air and vapor can easily be spotted off the coast, and commonly very close to the land. Free to use binoculars are available at the top of the boardwalk.
Once you have taken in the highlights of the most western point, head back towards the bus stop and follow the trail along the southern coast. The views looking back along the south coast of the Island are beautiful. The contrast between the land, limestone and ocean are breath taking. Be sure to take care on this section of trail. The ocean is not accessible from the southern side of the Ngank Wen Bidi, as the Island rises out of the ocean via extremely dangerous limestone cliffs. The views are fantastic and worth the trip, and you can always have a dip in the ocean at the end of the trail at either Strickland Bay or Lady Edeline beach.
Note: Cathedral Rocks Seal Viewing Platform and West End boardwalk are wheelchair accessible. These can be accessed by bus, but not by the Ngank Wen Bidi trail.
Be trail ready for Ngank Wen Bidi, Rottnest Island
Here is everything you need to know before visiting this trail.
Time / Duration
Up to 3 hours
What To Pack
Group A (Urban trails or short trails near facilities) required.
What To Pack
Group A (Urban trails or short trails near facilities)
- Full large water bottle per person.
- Sun hat or bike helmet (compulsory in WA).
- Sunglasses, sunscreen (30+) and insect repellant.
- Clothes to suit the activity and potential weather conditions (See suggestions below).
- Binoculars and camera (optional).
Additional Useful Items- Snorkelling equipment
- Extra water (no water outside settlement presently)
Narrow Neck, Rocky Bay
Bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited.
The west end of the island is littered with ground nesting birds. It is paramount that walkers remain on the trail to avoid broken ankles from nest collapse, and damage to the wildlife.
The southern coast is extremely dramatic, but at the same time very fragile. Be sure to take note of warning signage and remain on the trail at all times.
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 harassed. 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.
Toilets available along the trail at Cape Vlamingh (West End) and Narrow Neck.
Bins and recycling points are situated at bus stops; please take all litter with you.
Note that there is WHEELCHAIR access to the points of interest at the West End. There is a compacted limestone path to the Cathedral Rocks Seal Viewing Platform, which would require assistance for access and egress. The West End board walk is recycled plastic panels and is easily accessible by wheelchair.
- Access with assistance for the Disabled
- Picnic Area
- Public Toilet
- View Platform
Best time of year
March to November
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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Cape VlaminghThe view from Rottnest Joy flights of the Island are absolutely spectacular. This snap was taken from the plane looking back east over the Island. It gives you a good understanding of the "West End" and where the Ngank Wen Bidi goes.
Cathedral Rocks Seal Viewing PlatformThis site was opened to the public in 2013 and what a hit it has been. The composite fibre lookout is perfect platform to watch the seals playing in the water below. Free to use binoculars allow you to have a closer look. The site is complimented with a beautiful piece of artwork by Fleur Marron, a local artist.
Pied Oyster CatcherThe west end of the Island is a wildlife paradise. As well as marine life you regularly get critters wandering around the shearwater nesting areas! Keep your eyes peeled for king skinks, osprey eagles, pied oyster catchersand many more!
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