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The majority of Perth’s beautiful islands are an easy day trip from the Perth metropolitan area, offering scenery, wildlife and weather that make for an idyllic and adventurous boating experience.

Abrolhos Islands

Arguably WA’s best location for boating, jump straight off your deck to snorkel and dive in pristine water filled with spectacular coral gardens and approachable marine animals at the Abrolhos Islands.

Other major drawcards are the thriving rock lobster population and the excellent fishing, rated among the best in the world. If you aren’t interested in casting a line or getting too wet, there’s still plenty to see in the shape of migratory whales and the many species of birds to spot.

There are a few public moorings to be had, but you’ll often find they are already taken, in which case you’ll need to carefully anchor in a patch of sand or mud. Be mindful that the islands don’t have public accommodation, so you’ll need to be well equipped and self-sufficient.

Mackerel Islands

Head further north, where the world-class reefs and virtually secluded islands of the Mackerel Islands make the journey to the Pilbara worthwhile. The closest town is Onslow, which is where you’ll launch your boat.

If you’re planning on diving or snorkelling, you’ll be shell-shocked (no pun intended) by the array of turtles that use the unspoiled islands as a refuge. Best of all, you can turn your boating adventure into a tropical holiday, thanks to the accommodation on Thevenard and Direction islands.

The summer months in the Mackerels are far too hot to enjoy anything besides air-conditioning, so plan your trip for between April and September.

Nearby, the Montebello Islands, or ‘Monties’, are another popular location, with different charters on offer. View the protected coral reefs and natural landscapes alongside a variety of marine mammals such as turtles, humpback whales (in season) and dugongs, as well as a wide range of birdlife.

Rottnest Island

Navigate your way to Rottnest Island and discover a beautiful, unique marine environment. Rottnest Island has some of the most pristine reefs, bays and beaches in the world, and boasts 450 species of fish within its reefs.

To conserve this special marine environment, admission and anchorage fees apply to all boats visiting the island. Boaters can help look after Rottnest Island by correctly maintaining facilities and services and respecting sanctuary zones, speed limits and ‘no boating’ areas.

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Image credit: Couple diving off boat in Rottnest, couple snorkelling on Rottnest and Thomson Bay on Rottnest – Tourism WA, Carmac Island, Rottnest Island Ferry in Swan River and Rottnest Island – Shutterstock

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