Back in 2019, I enjoyed a uniquely West Australian foodie experience with Rottnest Cruises. At the time, I gushed that it was the very best view I’ve EVER had from a dining table. When the legends at Rottnest Cruises asked me back to experience the new take on their popular Luxe Island Seafood Cruise, I jumped at the chance to relive such a memorable experience.
On my travels, I’ve found that WA has incredible fish and shellfish. Finding this quality local produce at Perth restaurants is difficult, since much of it is shipped overseas. There’s really nothing like eating freshly caught seafood. That’s where Rottnest Cruises’ Luxe Island Seafood Cruise comes in. The unique, hands on and exhilarating tour, takes you along Rotto’s stunning coastline, catching Western Rock Lobsters (crayfish), which are cooked by chefs before your eyes and then devoured in a long table seafood feast.
Rottnest Cruises – Luxe Island Seafood Cruise
We (myself and fellow blogger friend Reeva), arrived at Hillarys Boat Harbor for our ferry crossing bright and early (about 7am). The Seafood Cruise lasts for four hours (11.30am to 3.30pm), so if you’re heading to Rotto for the day, you can enjoy a few hours on dry land too. We had time to grab a pastry from the bakery, coffee from The Lane café, wander around the gift shops, meet quokkas and had a stroll up to the lovely little lighthouse at Pinky’s Beach.
We arrived at the Fuel Jetty in Thompsons Bay just before 11.30am to jump aboard the Rottnest Cruises boat. It’s a spacious vessel, which has a capacity for over 40 people, but to accommodate the long table lunch, groups are kept to around 20 people.
We were greeted with a welcome gin lychee blossom cocktail (delicious!).
A tropical fruit platter was almost too pretty to touch.
Rottnest Cruises – The Catch
We cruised around to the north east side of the island, to where their craypots are located, and we were given the opportunity to help pull the pots and fingers crossed… find big, juicy Western Rock Lobsters inside!
Of course, sustainability is always front of mind. Undersize lobsters, and all females (many of which currently have eggs) all get put back into the ocean. It’s exhilarating, the lobster I wrangled out of the pot was so strong!
The boat then moored up at Parakeet Bay overlooking the pristine waters and brilliant white dunes. What an incredible view! And trust me, I’ve had some impressive dining sights in my time – from the likes of Le Jules Verne Restaurant (on the Eiffel Tower) and ARIA (overlooking the Opera House and Sydney Harbour).
Rottnest Cruises – The Feast
While we smell the aromas of our crayfish being cooked ocean-side, we tuck into a seven-course seafood feast with free-flowing premium local wine, beer and soft drink. Here’s what I ate:
Mandurah Blue Swimmer Crab cakes, with kaffir lime and zesty chutney.
Barbecued North West prawns, seasoned in a fragrant Siam-inspired citrus marinade.
Coconut and Lime North West Red Emperor Ceviche with fresh avocado and mango salsa.
Seared West Aussie scallops, cooked in Lemon Butter, with side salad greens and fresh, crusty Artisan bread and butter.
Then it was the star of the show… the barbequed western rock lobster, smothered in a herb butter and perfectly cooked.
I enthusiastically tackled my massive cray. The soft, juicy flesh easily tearing away from the shell. It is easily the freshest, tastiest crayfish I’ve enjoyed. My freshly-caught Rottnest Island Western Rock Lobster cooked in garlic butter, served with fragrant rice and a zesty green papaya salad was absolutely delicious.
After, we moved to the front of the boat to enjoy our desserts in the sunshine. Reeva enjoyed a piquant lemon cheesecake, with passionfruit compote and vanilla bean ice cream.
I loved the scrumptious gluten free alternative – a fruit pavlova. Most of the dishes are GF, or can be made GF, so no one has to miss out! The desserts are perfectly light, after all that seafood.
And all that lush food is washed down with premium Margaret River wines by Howard Park, plus quality WA bottled beers, from craft brewers Spinifex and Little Creatures, plus Corona and 150 Lashes. There’s even alcohol free bubbles and soft drinks.
Rottnest Cruises – Simply PERTHfect!
There is an opportunity to swim off the boat too.
The friendly team provide outstanding service – everyone on the boat were treated like royalty. And it blows me away how well they can plate up and serve out of a small galley. What a kitchen view though! The family owned charter company also operate Mandurah Cruises. They have recently returned from their first season in Broome, where they operate a similar tour, with a pearling twist – sounds amazing.
I cannot recommend this tour enough. The Rottnest Cruises’ interactive Luxe Island Seafood Experience is an afternoon I’ll never forget. It’s a must for foodies, great gift idea and perfect for seeing a different side to Rottnest too.
I had a pinch-myself moment – munching on juicy lobster, gazing over the clear turquoise ocean to the white sands of Rotto. I certainly lived the high life during the four hour cruise. It’s easily one of the best things I have ever, ever done. You might say it was a PERTHfect day!
Book yourself a Luxe Island Seafood Cruise, or find out more about Rottnest Cruises on their website. The cruises run in warmer months, from October and costs $259pp inclusive of food and drinks. The new cruise is even better than the original and combines the excitement of fishing and sightseeing around Rottnest, with the best of West Aussie wining, dining and relaxation.
Thanks to Rottnest Cruises for inviting me along for the cruise. All words and opinions are my own.