Autumn’s cool, breezy mornings and sunshine-filled days are ideal to venture outside and rediscover the natural beauty of Rockingham.
Travel just 45 minutes to Perth’s outer Southern suburbs to discover where the coast comes to life with breathtaking beaches, abundant marine life and ancient natural wonders.
Step up and enjoy one of the many walking and running trails, or dive in and discover one of Western Australia’s most protected and culturally significant marine areas, the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park.
Explore the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park
Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, together with its island nature reserves, encompasses over 6,000 hectares and stretches from Garden Island’s causeway to the southern tip of Becher Point. Here, you can add diving, snorkelling, swimming with dolphins, kayaking and wildlife cruises to your itinerary.
As well as being one of Western Australia’s most important protected marine areas, the locality has extensive cultural significance to the Noongar people of the region. In the Dreaming, the park’s Penguin Island was part of a giant crocodile called Yondok who was torn apart in a fight with Waugal, the Rainbow Serpent.
Within this pristine habitat of shallow lagoons and rocky shores are dolphins, sea lions and penguins and many species of seabirds. If you spot a sea lion lounging on the shores of Penguin and Seal Island, chances are it’s a male resting up after foraging for squid, lobster, crabs and fish.
Penguin Island is perhaps the park’s most well-known destination. The entire island is only 12.5 hectares in size and, at just 600 metres o Mersey Point, is easily accessed by Perth Wildlife Encounters‘ hourly return ferry service. Visit the Penguin Island Visitor Centre for more information.
Feast your eyes on spectacular coastline at Point Peron
Rockingham is surrounded by spectacular coastline and Point Peron is the ultimate spot to experience the eye candy. Enjoy the majestic, uninterrupted ocean views of Shoalwater Islands Marine Park while wandering the long stretch of walking trails. After, explore the stunning bays - nature’s perfect spot for swimming, snorkelling, fishing or simply relaxing.
For divers, Point Peron offers a shallow shore dive with crystal clear waters, ideal for exploring the underwater playground of limestone reef caves and diverse marine life (including very friendly dolphins!). For underwater adventurers, check out the Cape Peron Snorkel Trail. The trail features interpretive signs to guide your expedition and provide insights into the unique reef system.
While you’re there, be sure to check out the landmark World War II gun lookout and keep your eyes peeled for the remaining historic bunkers along the way. Hint: in the late afternoon, Point Peron is a prime spot to enjoy the sunset over the ocean.
Be sure to snap up a delicious coffee, milkshake or freshly baked cupcake (or all three!) from the restored vintage van, Vanilla Sprinkles. The van is parked at Point Peron every day except Tuesdays, between 7:15am to 12pm.
Immerse yourself in nature while exploring Rockingham on foot
For your first on foot adventure, wander the scenic Lake Richmond walking trail. Generally considered an easy route, this trail is ideal for walking, running, and birdwatching. The trail includes a lookout and a bridge to safely walk over the lake and get a close-up view of some of Western Australia’s only remaining living fossils – the thrombolites. The critically endangered, limestone coloured rock-like thrombolites are Earth’s earliest known life forms and have helped scientists unravel the secrets of how life began on the planet. The thrombolites are a natural phenomenon and are a drawcard for sightseers from far and wide!
Lake Richmond is nestled in an area undergoing rapid urban expansion and is just across the road from the Rockingham Regional Environmental Centre – a great place to take the family to learn more about Rockingham’s unique nature and wildlife.
Waterfront Heritage Trail
Meander along the Rockingham foreshore on the four kilometre Waterfront Heritage Trail. Pause to observe meaningful cultural heritage icons including the community gardens, museum and public art installations. These icons represent Rockingham’s connections to the past and reflect the community’s relationship to the waterfront and its rich multicultural identity.
If you’re up for a more challenging walk, follow the 23.5 kilometres Rockingham to Secret Harbour Foreshore Flow. This longer walking trail connects Rockingham to Secret Harbour and offers picturesque views from the Rockingham foreshore. The shared trail is designed for cyclists and pedestrians, bypassing charming cafes, beaches and cultural heritage icons.
Autumn is the perfect time to rediscover the natural beauty of Rockingham. Visit the Rockingham Visitor Centre for more information.