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Ngank Wen Bidi, Rottnest Island

  • 1-3 hours
  • 7.6 km
    • Bush Walk Grade 4

The Ngank Wen Bidi is a loop trail that circumnavigates the spectacular West End of Rottnest Island. The trail links visitors from Narrow Neck to Cape Vlamingh (the most western point of the Island), via both the north and south coast. Expect to see marine wildlife, bird life and some of the most secluded beaches on the Island.

The 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.
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Trail Start

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Narrow Neck, Rocky Bay

One of the most beautiful bays on the Island. The eastern end of the beach has a stunning natural lagoon formation in the reef. It is perfect for a dip along the way!

Look for the crocodile in the rock!

A perfect vantage point to watch the frolicking seals below. There are free to use binoculars at the site which can give you a closer look, or you can use them to spot marine wildlife in the surrounding waters.

The 110m boardwalk, made entirely out of recycled plastic provides the opportunity to venture out the furthest west point of the Island.
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.

From this point you can look back along the whole of the southern coast of the Island. Just beware of the extremely fragile limestone. The cliff edges are not save. Stay on the trail at all times.
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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.

Rottnest Island Visitor Centre

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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

Length

7.6km loop

What To Pack

Group A (Urban trails or short trails near facilities) required.

Trail Start

Narrow Neck, Rocky Bay

Get directions

Trail End

Bush Walk

Grade 4

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

Difficulty Notes

There is some beach walking on Marjorie Bay. Beware of seasonal access to Marjorie Bay and take the linking trail from the main road in to the western end of Marjorie Bay.
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 & 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 harassed. 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.
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
  • Lookouts
  • Picnic Area
  • Public Toilet
  • View Platform

Best time of year

March to November

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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