Rottnest Cruises (together with mother nature) provide what is quite possibly the very best view I’ve EVER had from a dining table! I’m a big seafood lover. We’re really blessed in WA to have an ocean chokkas with bountiful fish and shellfish, but it can be difficult to find this quality local produce at Perth restaurants. There’s really nothing like eating freshly caught seafood.
That’s where Rottnest Cruises new Wild Seafood Experience comes in. It’s a unique, hands on and exhilarating tour where you cruise around Rotto’s stunning coastline, catch your Western Rock Lobsters (crayfish) which are then cooked right before your eyes and devoured in a long table seafood feast.
The family owned charter company (who also operate the brilliant Mandurah Cruises) have recently started the luxury boat tours on the sparkling blue-green waters of Rottnest. Step aboard on the boat at the Thompson Bay Fuel Jetty and you’re greeted by the friendly crew with a drink and canapes. Soon, we cruise off to the area where the cray pots are located.
On the Rottnest Cruises Wild Seafood Experience, you’re encouraged to have a go at pulling the pots (about 28 meters under the ocean’s surface) and fingers crossed… there’s some big, juicy Western Rock Lobsters to be found inside!
Chef and I both had a go at lugging the pots up to the boat with rope – we had a lot of fun catching our lunch! In my pot there were three crays. First we determine if the lobster is male or female – females that have eggs are thrown back into the ocean.
Luckily, I got to keep a male for lunch. I got my gloves on and wrestled the wriggly sucker from the pot. And the other people on the cruise successfully pulled more pots with hauls of big lobsters – and even a brakesea cod!
While the crayfish were being prepared and cooked on the bbqs, we moored up in the sheltered Little Parakeet Bay (one of my favourite Rottnest spots). The view from our table was quite possibly THE BEST I’ve ever had ever. And trust me, I’ve had some amazing sights from the likes of Le Jules Verne Restaurant (Eiffel Tower) and ARIA (Sydney).
While we smell the aromas of our crayfish being cooked ocean-side, we tuck into a three-course seafood feast with unlimited local wine, beer and soft drink. We have a lovely group of locals and international tourists on the cruise.
A seafood platter brimming with whole prawns, crab, octopus and freshly shucked oysters is delicious.
Next up, are fresh fish and slaw tacos. There are plenty of tasty salads and bread too.
Then it was the star of the show… the barbequed western rock lobster, smothered in a herb butter and perfectly cooked. I enthusiastically tackle my massive cray. The soft, juicy flesh easily tearing away from the shell. Hands down it’s the freshest, tastiest crayfish I’ve enjoyed.
And of course, seafood is best washed down with a glass of Margaret River wine. The freshly cooked seafood, Mad Fish SBS and view was heaven on earth. How will we ever top this?!
We finish our feast with a light dessert of strawberries dipped in chocolate and a little chocolate cake.
The adventure tour is a must for foodies, as well as being able to see Rottnest from a different perspective, I loved the ocean to plate experience. I had a pinch-myself moment when I was munching on the juicy lobster, gazing over the clear turquoise ocean to the white dunes of Rotto. We certainly lived the high life during the two and a half hour cruise.
I highly recommend this day trip with a difference on Rottnest Cruises’ interactive Wild Seafood Experience – for us it will be an afternoon we’ll long remember!
Thanks to Rottnest Cruises for inviting us to be their guests. All words and opinions are my own.