Rockingham is one of WA's iconic coastal towns.
Located 45 minutes south of Perth, Rockingham showcases everything there is to love about this city: spectacular coastline with stretches of white sandy beaches and protected bays, endless aquatic and wildlife adventures, natural bushland and an inviting coastal lifestyle.
With mild, breezy weather, autumn is the perfect time to rediscover where the coast comes to life. Here's the ultimate family-friendly overnight itinerary to help you and your loved ones embrace Rockingham's great outdoors.
8:00am: Load the car and round up the family – it's time to embark on the short drive south of Perth to the seaside town of Rockingham. Head directly to the Penguin Island Visitor Centre (the official visitor centre in Rockingham) to begin your weekend adventures around the region.
9:30am: Catch the five minute ferry to Penguin Island with Perth Wildlife Encounters. Penguin Island is open daily to visitors until early June, before it closes for the winter. Spend as long or as little as you like to swim in the crystal clear waters, explore the nature trails and beaches or relax and enjoy this stunning nature reserve.
Approximately 250 penguins inhabit Penguin Island – 'flying' underwater and adorably awkwardly waddling on land. They are the world's smallest breed of penguins weighing just under a kilo and are aptly named - you guessed it - Little Penguins. When you’ve had your nature fix, catch the hourly return ferry across stunning Shoalwater Bay.
12:00pm: Back on the mainland, head to Pengos Café to fuel up with a delicious lunch. Pengos Cafe is open daily and serves tasty coffee and cakes, gourmet wraps, rolls and burgers, fish and chips and fresh salad. Sit under the shade sails of the alfresco area or have a picnic on the grass next to the children's playground. Pengos Cafe is located right next door to Perth Wildlife Encounters. It’s a quick 30 second stroll to Shoalwater Bay if you fancy a beach walk after lunch.
2:00pm: It's time to check in at your overnight accommodation at Quest Rockingham. This waterside retreat is equipped with 96 serviced apartments with a range of family room options perfect for a relaxing overnight stay. The hotel has everything you need for ultimate comfort – large, private rooms with televisions, private laundry facilities, complimentary WiFi, a gym and an onsite swimming pool.
5:00pm: Take a stroll along the Rockingham Beach Foreshore. This award-winning revitalised precinct is an iconic Rockingham destination. There are loads of restaurants and cafes nearby, as well as the shady lawn areas of Churchill Park and Bell Park for picnics and barbecues. Our recommendation? Feast on local fish and chips while soaking up the stunning sunset over the ocean.
8:00am: After a dreamy sleep, rise and grab a coffee and breakfast before setting out on a walk around Lake Richmond. Lake Richmond is a large freshwater lake nestled in 77 hectares of bushland. The reserve is an important habitat for two nationally listed threatened ecological communities: thrombolites and sedgelands, as well as numerous waterbirds and other fauna. The park's internationally significant thrombolites are a drawcard for sightseers. Visit Naragebup – Rockingham Regional Environmental Centre to discover more and learn about the local wildlife and attractions. Discover more Rockingham walking trails.
Travelling with kids above the age of six? Perth Wildlife Encounters award-winning Swim with Wild Dolphins tour is the perfect bucket list experience to add to your Rockingham getaway. Starting at 8:00am, cruise Rockingham's sheltered bays and islands in search of local dolphins, then zip up your wetsuit, put on your mask and snorkel and get ready to take the plunge. Enjoy the dolphins from the water or the luxury boat – the choice is yours. Be sure to take along your sense of adventure and be ready for an unforgettable wild encounter.
3:00pm: Start the relaxing drive back to Perth. Before hitting the road, stop at Pinjarra Bakery in Port Kennedy for a crowd-pleasing pie, sausage roll or pastry. Be sure to grab some homemade pies (and dessert!) for dinner.