We stayed at Longreach Bay on our last two visits to the island. We chose Longreach on the recommendation of friends and family who have been going for years, and it is now our favourite place to stay too.
Longreach Bay is close to Geordie Bay and is a 5-minute bus ride from the Main Settlement or a 10-30 minute bike ride (adults with an average level of fitness would take around 10 minutes, but smaller kiddies could take more like half an hour as there are a few smallish hills to negotiate).
I like staying a little way away from the main settlement as it is nice and quiet but still easy to go into town if you want to. There is a free shuttle bus that takes you to Longreach/Georgie Bay which is great if you have younger children or do not feel like riding. At the time of our visit, the shuttle bus was running every half an hour between 7:40 am – 8 pm (hourly after 5 pm) so you can still go for dinner in the main settlement and get the last bus back.
The shuttle buses are modern and air conditioned. There is also a luggage section on the back if you have a pram or anything bulky to carry with you.
The accommodation at Longreach, like most of the island, is relatively basic, but it is the location you pay for. It is clean and comfortable and contains most things you need.
We stayed in the two bedroom unit. There are also three bedroom units available which are slightly bigger but still have one bathroom with one toilet. The units are not air conditioned but have ceiling fans for summer and a gas stove for winter.There are no dishwashers so bring paper plates if you hate washing up! If you are staying for a while and have an appliance (like a coffee machine) that you can’t live without, you can always bring it along. You can also get a decent coffee at Geordie’s café which is only a couple of minutes’ walk away.The bathroom has a shower, a large sink (big enough to bath a baby) and a toilet with a separate door. The water pressure in the shower at our unit was not great, and I assume this is because Rottnest is self-sustaining, so they prefer water usage to be kept to a minimum. Small bars of soap are provided, so you need to bring your own toiletries. There is also one towel per person, so I usually bring a couple of spares as well as our beach towels and a hand towel for the bathroom.Like many beaches on Rottnest, Longreach is particularly good for kids. The bay is beautiful, and the water is very calm and shallow. You can snorkel from the beach, and there are lots of fish, and we also saw a few stingrays swim past. The ocean view units are right on the beach so children can run down to the sand and while you watch them from your balcony if you wish.
Our children who are 4½ and 6 loved the sense of freedom of going to the beach ‘by themselves’ even though we never let them out of our sight for a minute!There is also a roped off swimming area at one end of the beach and public toilets for those who are just stopping by for a visit. In hot weather, it is worth bringing your own beach tent or umbrella as there is no shade on the beach itself and it can get hot.
The units have a balcony at the front overlooking the water with a small outdoor setting.
They each have a small enclosed yard at the rear with a washing line and a BBQ. The walls are quite low which is nice as you can chat to your neighbours but toddlers would probably be able to escape if left unattended. Because I am a bit paranoid, we locked up our bikes at night.You are also likely to get visits to the yard from quokkas and lizards. We left our gate open most of the time so the quokkas could come and go as they pleased but made sure the fly screen was always kept shut. Chalk is also a good thing to bring as the kids can amuse themselves by drawing on the floor in the yard.The 2nd row of units also have ocean views, but because they are behind the front units, the views are not as good.The last couple of years we have stayed at the same time as a family who had brought over their boat. Because it is not too big, they were able to anchor it on the beach, and we could access it in the shallows.
Our kind family members also have cray pots and lots of fishing gear, so we were able to enjoy fresh fish and crayfish, although these were not caught in Longreach Bay itself but at other locations around the island.
A couple of minutes’ walk from the units, just near the bus stop, are a laundry, playground, tennis court, café, general store and bottle shop which was handy. The Geordie Bay General Store stocks fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, bread, all sorts of other food as well as some beach toys, ice, bait, fishing gear, sweets, toys, souvenirs, sun cream, etc. If there is a van available, they can also deliver free of charge to your unit, so if you are buying a lot of things, it is worth asking. Note: the main store in town also delivers to Longreach and Geordie Bay units.
Geordie’s does coffee, fresh juice, breakfast, lunch and dinner some evenings. We have eaten there a few times and really like it. You can also buy the art that is displayed on the walls.R
Right next to the Longreach Bay café is a playground with shade sails.There are also a couple of tennis courts (no black soled shoes). Bring your own racquets and balls, or they can be hired from the Pedal and Flipper bike shop in town.There is a self-service laundry and also a couple of dryers.
If you feel like a change of scene, there are some lovely nearby beaches to choose from. Fays Bay, Geordie Bay, Parakeet Bay and The Basin are all a short distance away.
We love staying at Longreach and would definitely recommend it. If you can, it is worth getting a unit right on the beach.Note: Check in time for your accommodation is at 2 pm. If you get luggage labels when you book your ferry tickets, your luggage will be delivered to your accommodation at some point before 2 pm and is left outside, in the yard. It is worth asking if your accommodation will be ready early when you arrive on the island as sometimes it is and you can get the keys. Check out time is at 9 am on your day of departure, but you need to have your luggage out the front of your unit by 8 am so it is worth being organised the night before.
Like all Rottnest accommodation, bookings open 18 months in advance and if you plan on going during school holidays, particularly in summer or at Easter you need to book very quickly as the island can often get fully booked for accommodation at peak periods.
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