The best way to get to the island is by ferry, Rottnest Express, which currently departs from three terminal; Barrack Street Jetty at Perth City, the B-Shed at Fremantle and Northport at Rous Head Harbour, also at Fremantle.
We took the early morning ferry from the Barrack Street Jetty, because it has the added benefit of a picturesque cruise along the majestic Swan River to Fremantle.
Swan River is Perth's natural heartbeat - the city's location right on the river banks makes this city one of the most beautiful in the world. Like I've said before, the Swan River gives Perth a feel like Sydney but I'm not sure if the people of Perth would like that comparison. The view of the river and city from Kings Park is among Western Australia's most scenic - city sky scrapers shining against a brilliant blue Perth sky, green parklands and the shimmering blue river combine to create a stunning vista
From the ferry boat, we get to see the city skyline from the river perspective, beginning with the Swan Bells Tower as the ferry leave the Barrack Street Jetty, the Narrows Bridge and then passes The Old Brewery. The Old Brewery was formerly known as The Swan Brewery Co. It was sold in 1979 for redevelopment, incorporating the rich history and panoramic view of the river. The venue was re-opened in October 2001, featuring a cafe-restaurant and function venue.
Behind and above the Old Brewery we could see Kings Park and more prominently the Lottery Federation Walkway, spectacular elevated 52 m glass and steel arched bridge suspended amongst the canopy of tall eucalypts.
Following the river on its way to the City of Fremantle, we passed by some of Perth's prime river side apartments, mariners with many yathcs and boats in their berth and we see some of the city's most opulent homes overlooking the river. There is even a river police station.
Not long after this point, we came across a pair of Bottlenose Dolphin. There was a dolphin calf with its mum swimming with the ferry. The following are two very short video clips of the dolphins in the Swan River.
At Fremantle, the ferry makes a brief stop to pick up other day-trippers and passenger before heading to Rottnest Island. Fremantle is a harbour that serves as the port for Perth. The distinctive white dome like building is the WA Maritime Museum on Victoria Quay.
Beside the usual sail boats, cargo container ships and fire-fighting trawlers you would find at a harbour, the one notable ship we saw is the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin, in honour of the late Australian conservationist. It was flying a pirate flag, the Jolly Roger, a Skull and Crossbones ensign where the skull has the image of a dolphin and whale. The crossbones are made up of a shepherd staff and Poseidon's trident.