Penguin Island, Suzanne Long / Auscape International

Population 108312

Lying on the edge of Cockburn Sound just 47 kilometres south of Perth, the coastal city of Rockingham offers sheltered waters ideal for swimming, snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing, fishing and crabbing. Established in 1872 to ship timber from Jarrahdale to England, Rockingham was the busiest port in Western Australia until the end of the 19th century, after which all port activities were shifted north to Fremantle. It was only because of the industrial area nearby at Kwinana in the 1950s and the development of the HMAS Stirling Naval Base on Garden Island in the 1970s that the town was revitalised. Today, its magnificent beaches and proximity to Perth are Rockingham's main attractions.

Visitor Information

19 Kent St; (08) 9592 3464

Nearby national parks

  • Serpentine National Park

    This delightful park, only an hour’s drive from Perth, has attracted recreational visitors for over a century. They come to picnic...more

  • Yalgorup National Park

    Located just south of Mandurah in a long, narrow strip between the Old Coast Road and the Indian Ocean, and protecting a wetland system...more

  • John Forrest National Park

    Declared in 1900, John Forrest is the oldest national park in Western Australia. Lying at the northern edge of the Hills Forest in the...more

Nearby towns

  • Mandurah

    Mandurah, which has long been a popular holiday destination for Perth residents, is today the southernmost point of Perth's ever-expanding...more

  • Thomson Bay

    Although only 11 kilometres long and 5 kilometres wide, Rottnest Island boasts crystal-clear waters for swimming, coral reefs for...more

  • Pinjarra

    A pleasant 84-kilometre drive south of Perth along the shaded South Western Highway brings you to Pinjarra, picturesquely set on the Murray...more

In Town

Rockingham Museum

: folk museum featuring local history exhibits including displays on the Group Settlement farms, the timber industry, domestic items and antique photographic equipment; open 1–4pm Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat and Sun; Cnr Flinders La and Kent St; (08) 9592 3455.

Art Gallery and Craft Centre: features local artists; 43 Kent St; (08) 9592 7330.

The Granary: museum of artefacts celebrating the history of WA's grain industry; open for tours (minimum group size 4) by appt; northern end of Rockingham Rd; (08) 9599 6333.

Mersey Point Jetty: departure point for cruises and island tours; Shoalwater.

Kwinana Beach: hull of wrecked SS Kwinana.

Cape Peron: the lookout was once the main observation post for a WW II coastal battery; Point Peron Rd.

Bell and Churchill Park: family picnics and barbecues in shaded grounds; Rockingham Rd.


Penguin Island Take a trip to this offshore island, which is home to a colony of little penguins. The Discovery Centre allows you to see the penguins up close in an environment similar to their natural habitat and to learn about them through daily feedings, commentaries and displays. The island also provides picnic areas, lookouts and a network of boardwalks, and you can swim, snorkel or scuba dive at any of the pristine beaches. The island is open to the public in daylight hours Sept–June. Ferries to the island leave regularly from Mersey Pt, south of Rockingham. The ferry also provides bay cruises and snorkelling tours.

Sloan's Cottage: restored pioneer cottage; open Mon–Fri; Leda; 2 km W.

Lake Richmond: walks, flora and fauna, and thrombolites (domed rock-like structures like the famous stromatolites of Hamelin Pool near Denham, built by ancient micro-organisms); 4 km SW.

Wineries: in the area include Baldivis Estate (15 km SE) and Peel Estate (17 km SE); contact visitor centre for details.

Secret Harbour: surfing, snorkelling and windsurfing; 20 km S.

Serpentine Dam: major water storage with brilliant wildflowers in spring, bushland and the nearby Serpentine Falls; 48 km SE.

Garden Island: home to HMAS Stirling Naval Base, two-thirds of the island is open to the public but is accessible only by private boat during daylight hours.

Shoalwater Bay Islands Marine Park: extends from just south of Garden Island to Becher Pt. Cruises of the park are available; contact visitor centre for details.

Dolphin Watch Cruises: swim with dolphins between Pt Peron and Garden Island; daily Sept–May; contact visitor centre for details.

Scenic drives: including Old Rockingham Heritage Trail, a 30 km drive that takes in 23 points of interest in the Rockingham–Kwinana area, and Rockingham–Jarrahdale Timber Heritage Trail, a 36 km drive retracing the route of the 1872 timber railway.

Fishing spots near town

Perth 32 km

The Swan River produces many species, including bream, mulloway, herring, tailor, tarwhine, silver trevally, Samson fish and flathead. This is a year- round fishery for the much sought bream. In summer the bream run... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Diving around Perth 25 km

There are some shore dives in and around Fremantle and Perth, and plenty of great boat dives to Rottnest Island and further afield. Dolphin Dive Fremantle is an eco-accredited dive shop with a large boat, and will rent... Find out more

Perth Zoo 35 km

You can certainly while away a few hours at this excellent zoo, which is involved in conservation and has a breeding program for native endangered species, including the western swamp tortoise, Shark Bay mouse and... Find out more

Kings Park and Botanic Garden 36 km

Arguably the most scenic botanic gardens in the country, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, with its hilltop location, offers great views over the city and beyond, and has plenty of space for picnicking, cycling and walking.... Find out more

Cycling on Rottnest Island 36 km

You can hire a bike before you get to Rottnest, and take it on the ferry, or hire on the island at Rottnest Island Bike Hire (located behind the Quokka Arms Hotel). The company has tandems, child seats, trailers and... Find out more

Hiking the Bibbulmun Track 46 km

You do not need to dedicate six to eight weeks to walk the superb 965-kilometre Bibbulmun Track in order to enjoy it. There are plenty of places to get on and off the track, so you can stretch the legs for a few hours,... Find out more

Whitewater rafting – Dwellingup 58 km

Dwellingup Adventures has a one-day rafting trip on the Murray River suitable for novices and children from ten years and upwards. This operator also hire canoes, kayaks, rafts and mountain bikes and, for self-guided... Find out more

Golf courses around town

The Links Kennedy Bay 10 km

Kennedy Bay has a brief and chequered history. Since opening for play in 1998 this acclaimed links course has been forced to close twice because of financial circumstances involving different owners. The most recent... Find out more

Secret Harbour Golf Links 15 km

Towering sand dunes covered with thick coastal scrub were the sight that greeted Graham Marsh, former player turned course designer, when he took his first look at the proposed Secret Harbour Golf Links in the early... Find out more

Meadow Springs Golf & Country Club 24 km

Nearly eight years after American designer Robert Trent Jones Jnr oversaw the final stages of construction on his acclaimed Joondalup layout, he found himself back on the WA coast. This time it was to sign off on... Find out more

Cottesloe Golf Club 34 km

Cottesloe is internationally renowned for its superb beach, backing on to rows of towering Norfolk Island pines and wonderful terraced lawns, an idyllic spot to soak up views of the Indian Ocean. If you were expecting... Find out more

Araluen Golf Resort 37 km

Steep forest-covered hills above deep valleys are not the ideal landscape on which to create a golf course. But that did not stop the developers of Araluen Golf Resort – in the Roleystone Hills, 45 minutes... Find out more

The Cut Golf Club 38 km

There was a time not long ago when golfers could be forgiven for thinking there was little chance of any new links courses being built on the Australian coastline. That was before the post-2000 building boom kicked in... Find out more

Mt Lawley Golf Club 42 km

Perth was a booming town in the late 1920s, and as more and more people headed west from the eastern states, the demand for golf courses grew. Four of Perth’s finest layouts – Lake Karrinyup, Cottesloe,... Find out more

The Western Australian Golf Club 44 km

The Western Australian Golf Club is a hidden gem, particularly to visitors from interstate or overseas. Set amid the rolling hills of suburban Yokine, and covering some of the highest points to be found north of... Find out more

Lake Karrinyup Country Club 46 km

For more than five decades Lake Karrinyup was widely considered one of Australia’s classic courses. It first won national acclaim when it hosted the 1952 Australian Open, won by Norman von Nida. The Open... Find out more

Joondalup Country Club & Resort 58 km

Few inland courses in Australia boast such visually sensational holes as you will encounter at Joondalup. This 27-hole layout, a 25-minute drive north of Perth’s CBD, is a unique golfing experience and the... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Bettyblue Bistro

With views as far as Garden Island, the unpretentious Bettyblue Bistro serves honest food, making it a favourite with locals and family groups. The portions are generous, steaks are cooked to perfection and the seafood... Find out more

Emma’s on the Boardwalk

With bay views from every table and a menu to rival any cosmopolitan restaurant, Emma’s on the Boardwalk is deserving of its many awards. The grilled rock lobster is the signature dish, although the adventurous... Find out more

Sunsets Cafe Bistro

As the name suggests, vibrant sunsets and ocean views make this bayside bistro so popular. Blackboard specials include fresh delicacies such as duck and seafood. Whether meeting for a social gathering or a family meal, a... Find out more

Y2K Cafe & Restaurant

Tastefully decorated with modern decor and wooden floors, the Y2K Café & Restaurant offers views of the adjacent parklands and the waters of the Cockburn Sound. Famous for cooked breakfasts, head chef Ralph... Find out more

Nearby eco-friendly places to eat

The Sandcastle 23 km

The Sandcastle is an up-market option in South Fremantle, with beautiful food, much of which comes from sustainable resources, and organic wines and beers. As well as stocking organic vegetables, grains and meats, the... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Little Creatures Brewing 24 km

After dabbling in wine and working as a brewing consultant in the US, craftbeer pioneer Phil Sexton re-surfaced in the local beer scene, along with a couple of other former Matilda Bay Brewing heavyweights, with the... Find out more

Sail & Anchor Hotel 25 km

The Australian craft beer movement was kick-started at the Sail & Anchor Hotel in 1984 when the first house-brewed ale flowed there. Phil Sexton and his partners in the Matilda Bay Brewing Company were building the... Find out more

Gage Roads Brewing Company 26 km

Established in 2002 by former Sail & Anchor brewing team Peter Nolin and Bill Hoedemaker, Gage Roads Brewing started producing beer from the Palmyra site in mid-2005. The US-born pair was apparently frustrated that... Find out more

Billabong Brewing 27 km

Owner Alan Proctor started Billabong Brewing as Western Australia’s first brew-on-premise operation, where homebrewers come to make their own beer and bottle it, using professional equipment. In 2006 Proctor... Find out more

Swan Brewery 29 km

The Swan Brewery was established in 1857 by early Western Australian settler Frank Sherwood, who had emigrated from England with his family in 1842. Interestingly, he originally set up a school of classics and languages... Find out more

Elmar's In the Valley 56 km

Having established a successful smallgoods business, German-born couple Elmar and Anette Dieren branched out to establish this sizeable bar, restaurant and beer garden complex, which also includes a microbrewery. While... Find out more

Duckstein Brewery 57 km

Duckstein Brewery actually has two separate breweries and outlets located in both the Swan Valley and Margaret River wine regions. The original 60-litre microbrewery (or should that be microscopic brewery) is one of the... Find out more

Mash Brewing Company 58 km

The simply named Mash Brewing Company debuted in April 2006, adding to the significant cluster of craft breweries operating out of the Swan Valley. Inspired by the Little Creatures model, the brewery is positioned... Find out more

Feral Brewing Company 60 km

Based in the Swan Valley, Feral Brewing produces a range of sometimes challenging beers that are served on tap at their bar/restaurant (and a handful of other outlets), plus their flagship bottled product Feral White,... Find out more

Campsites around town

Allison camping area 36 km

On Rottnest Island at Thomson Bay, Allison camping area is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of this little patch of paradise just off the coast of Perth. Swimming, fishing, snorkelling and boating are... Find out more

Dandalup camping area 39 km

Stunning valley views and a ghostly stand of butter gums surround this campsite, 34 km south of Jarrahdale. Dwellingup is 44.9 km to the north.... Find out more

Wungong camping area 42 km

At this bush campsite surrounded by majestic jarrah trees, kangaroos may be sighted at early morning or dusk. Wungong is 26 km north-east of Jarrahdale and 35 km south of Carinyah camping area.... Find out more

Bibbulmun Track camping areas – Northern Section 46 km

The Bibbulmun Track traverses some of the south west's most scenic and beautiful areas for some 963 kilometres from the Perth suburb of Kalamunda to Albany. The northern section begins at Kalamunda Trackhead  with a... Find out more

Carinyah camping area 47 km

This campsite is nestled in a grove of she-oak trees 42 km south of Mundaring and 35 km north of Wungong camping area.... Find out more

Monadnocks camping area 48 km

On the Bibbulmun Track, Monadnocks camping area is 15.6 km from Canning camping area and 12.7 km from Mt Cooke camping area.... Find out more

Canning camping area 50 km

On the Bibbulmun Track, Canning camping area is 11.1 km from Brookton camping area and 15.6 km from Monadnocks camping area.... Find out more

Herron Point camping area 52 km

Herron Point camping area is on Herron Point Rd, 7 km west of Old Bunbury Rd (turn off 16 km south of Pinjarra), on the shores of Peel Harvey Estuary. It’s perfect for fishing, boating, swimming, sailing and other... Find out more

Hewetts Hill camping area 52 km

On the Bibbulmun Track, Hewetts Hill camping area is 10.3 km from Kalamunda and 10.6 km from Ball Creek camping area.... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Woodman Point Holiday Park 17 km

Large and popular, this tourist park has walking access to the beach and is just 7 km from Fremantle. The managers run nature walks around the local area year round. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Discovery Holiday Parks – Perth 40 km

This is a great park with excellent amenities, in the eastern suburbs 16 km from the centre of Perth. It also has a van-storage area. Access to the park is easy from all directions along main arterial routes. Bookings... Find out more

Karrinyup Waters Resort 46 km

Just 14 km north of Perth and close to the Mitchell Freeway, this park is just a short distance from the beach. With very good amenities and facilities that include a spa and solar-heated pool, this is a good base for... Find out more

Banksia Tourist Park 47 km

This is an ideal location for those arriving in Perth from the north or the east wanting to stay on the outskirts. The park is in a semi-rural setting just a few minutes from Midland. The quality park is well laid out... Find out more

Perth Vineyards Holiday Park 50 km

Situated in the grape-growing area of the Upper Swan River, about 14 km from the centre of Perth, this quality park has easy access to the main routes north and east. It has grassy and paved sites, some with good shade.... Find out more

Binningup Beach Caravan Park 96 km

This is a nicely shaded park close to the beach in a small beachside community. It suits the budget-minded traveller out of peak periods. Wood-fired pizzas are available on Friday and Saturday evenings. Bookings are... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

5 Star @ Aria

Anyone for a penthouse on the beach? A stay here should suffice as the three-bedroom apartment also has never-ending ocean views only interrupted by Garden Island and Fremantle. The apartment is luxuriously appointed... Find out more

Luxury @ Nautilus

Situated within an apartment complex, this beachside accommodation is located just 40 minutes south of Perth. The two-bedroom apartment is stylishly decorated, with internet access, a well-equipped kitchen, barbecue and... Find out more

Manuel Towers

Despite an attempt at making a play on words, the only similarity between Manuel Towers and Fawlty Towers is that the B&B is run by an English lady and a Spaniard. The unique building features stone, recycled... Find out more

Payne’s Find

Payne’s Find is a well-appointed contemporary home right on the waterfront. Given its location, sensational views and direct access to the water, fun is guaranteed. Spread over three floors, there is plenty of... Find out more

Rest areas around town

North Dandelup park area 35 km

43km S of Armadale (L) or 15km N of Pinjarra (R)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees. Toilets behind nearby hall.

Pinjarra park area 43 km

At Pinjarra

On the south side of town opposite the cemetery.

Gleneagle rest area 43 km

25km SE of Armadale (L) or 107km NW of Williams (R)

Secluded in a forest setting well off the highway.

Sullivan Rock rest area 50 km

37km SE of Armadale (R) or 95km NW of Williams (L)

Just off the highway among trees.

Marrinup camping area 55 km

T/O at Pinjarra

At a clearing in the forest 24km south-east of Pinjarra via Pinjarra-Williams Rd and Grey Rd (unsealed).

Bandicoot Brook rest area 61 km

21km S of Pinjarra (R) or 79km N of Bunbury (L)

Just off the highway among some trees.

Baden Powell camping area 64 km

T/O at Pinjarra to Dwellingup

In the forest of Lane Poole Reserve 10km south of Dwellingup via Nanga Rd. A new campsite is currently being built across the road from the existing one, which will stay open.

Chuditch camping area 67 km

T/O at Pinjarra to Dwellingup

In the forest of Lane Poole Reserve 17km south of Dwellingup via Nanga Rd.

Forsyths Mill rest area 68 km

11km E of Mundaring (R) or 27km W of Bakers Hill (L)

Secluded in a natural bush setting just off the highway.

Nanga Mill camping area 68 km

T/O at Pinjarra to Dwellingup

In the forest of Lane Poole Reserve 19km south of Dwellingup via Nanga Rd.

Hoffman Mill Camp Area 87 km

T/O 44 km S of Pinjarra (L) or 56 km N of Bunbury (R)

Large camp area located 18 kilometres east of the highway via Logue Brook Dam Road and Clarke Road. Good facilities and shade.

NOTE: Access road part unsealed. Area closed April–November.

Bannister rest area 90 km

84km SE of Armadale (L) or 48km NW of Williams (R)

Just off the highway among trees.

Bakers Hill park area 90 km

At Bakers Hill  

Adjacent to the highway at the information bay on the west side of town.

Harvey River park area 90 km

At Harvey

Under shady trees on the banks of the Harvey River.

Crossman rest area 98 km

At Crossman

Just off the highway among trees.

Eadine Springs rest area 99 km

9km E of Bakers Hill (L) or 14km W of Northam (R)

Secluded picnic area among trees. Well off the highway.

What's on around town

Musselfest: Feb. 

Blues Alive Festival: Mar. 

Rockingham Community Fair: Nov.

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