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Rockingham Western Australia

A popular seaside destination at the southern end of the Perth. Offering a wide range of aquatic experiences. The coastline is protected here by Garden Island, a major US Navy base which creates Cockburn Sound.

At a Glance

The clear and shallow waters are a haven for wildlife including fairy penguins, bottlenose dolphins and sea lions. The beaches are sheltered and uncrowded.


Where is Rockingham?


Rockingham is 47 kilometres south of Perth.

Rockingham is located at the southern end of the greater City of Perth in the Experience Perth tourist region. The city centre is located on a peninsular at the southern end of Cockburn Sound, a major geographic feature on Perth's coastline. Garden Island lies just off the coast and is a major naval base for the Australian Navy. The Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is also just off the coast. One of the best ways to get to Rockingham is to hire a car from Perth Airport.

Rockingham Western Australia

Things to see in Rockingham


Swim With Dolphins

In Rockingham's sheltered bays and islands, over 200 local Bottlenose dolphins live and play. The pod is friendly to people and revel in the daily visit from groups of swimmers in the clear water. Available to adults of all ages and children over 6 years old accompanied by a parent. Tour guides use underwater scooters to attract and arouse the dolphins interest. A magical experience and one of only a handful of sites in the world where this experience is possible. show more

Swim With Dolphins Rockingham

Image © Catherine Derieux


Penguin Island

A beautiful nature reserve just a 5 minute ferry ride across the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. Famous for being home to Western Australia's largest colony of Fairy Penguins. Visitors can meet them at the Discovery Centre. Rangers host daily Penguin feedings three times a day. The penguins can also be seen swimming in groups all around the waters of Cockburn Sound.

Penguin Island Rockingham

Image © Tourism Western Australia


Shoalwater Marine Park

Apart from the penguins, the marine park aOther than dolphins and penguins, the waters here abound with marine wildlife including sea lions, stingrays, pelicans & ospreys. Visitors will enjoy the white sandy beaches and secluded bays which are great for swimming. Colourful limestone reefs present great snorkelling opportunities. A network of timber board walks and nature trails allow visitors to explore and take in the beautiful coastal scenery. Sea birds are fairly tame and nest within metres of the board walk with relatively no fear of people. 

Shoalwater Marine Park Rockingham

Image © Tourism Western Australia


Cockburn Sound Fishing

This area is famous for the abundance and size of Pink Snapper which can be caught from October through to February. There are many boat launching areas making access quick and easy. The clear and protected waters mean a great day out on the water and a good catch is basically a guarantee. Squid can be caught in the shallower water where there is weed. Seasonal restrictions may apply, so always check with the Department Of Fisheries before heading out.

Cockburn Sound Fishing Rockingham

Image © Tourism Western Australia

What's the weather like?


As part of Australia's sunniest Capital City of Perth, Rockingham enjoys eight hours of sunlight each day. Warm Summers and cool wet Winters follow a Southern Hemisphere climate. In Summer (December to February), the average maximum temperature is 31°C with an average minimum temperature of 19°C. In Winter (June to August), the average maximum temperature is 16°C with an average minimum temperature of 9°C. The Leeuwin current bring warm water down the West Coast of Australia with the temperate climate, provides an ideal marine environment in the shallow waters around Rockingham.

Get to know Rockingham's history


Rockingham is named after a sailing ship that was one of three bought by Thomas Peel to carry settlers to Western Australia who arrived in 1830. The ship was blown ashore and abandoned after a failed attempt to refloat and the vessel broke up after sinking in the shallow waters. The development of a railway and jetty in 1872 allowed transport of jarrah timber and sandalwood to be exported. Rockingham prospered until the Fremantle Harbour opened in 1897 which reduced the export capacity.

The area maintained a good economy due to the abundant fishing and tourism pull of the local beaches for residents in Perth. The development of the Royal Australian Navy's fleet base HMAS Stirling has sustained the area's growth and Rockingham is now one of the fastest growing suburbs in the Perth Metropolitan area.

Looking for visitor and tourist information, maps and brochures, booking assistance and local expert tips in Rockingham? Check out the Rockingham Visitor Centre!