Rockingham - Perth's marine playground...
Located just 45 minutes south of Perth, Rockingham forms the southernmost border of the Perth metropolitan area. With beautiful expanses of safe beaches, water sports, and environmental parks, Rockingham is a popular tourist destination.
The city fronts onto the sheltered waters of Cockburn Sound with Garden Island, Penguin Island and Seal Island very close by. The Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is located a mere 500 metres offshore and plays host to one of the finest displays of wild sealife and birdlife to be found anywhere in the world.
Shoalwater Islands Marine Park
Weathered strings of craggy limestone islands make up the marine park which boasts secluded white sandy bays. Vibrantly coloured corals, over 600 pairs of little penguins, 150 bottle-nosed dolphins and countless sea lions call this area home. There are a number of ways to experience and interact with the local wildlife.
Starting out in the early morning, a dolphin interaction tour takes you to the heart of wild dolphin territory and introduces you to aquatic characters like Ringo, Boomerang and Logo. Led by your experienced guide, you will then plunge below the surface of the ocean where you will be swiftly surrounded by a host of curious bottle-nosed dolphins all vying for your attention.
A wildlife safari expedition will see you paddling your own well-equipped kayak amongst the chain of islands. Cruising is also a great way to take in the sights. A 45 minute excursion takes you to the beaches of Seal Island, past the rugged cliffs and pristine coves of the marine park and back to Penguin Island to witness the hand feeding of the sick and injured little penguins.
Surfing and swimming
Adventure lovers are also in for a treat in Rockingham. You can head to Safety Bay to take to the waves on windsurfing sail or catamaran. Fresh afternoon breezes here make for excellent sailing conditions. Even non-sailers will love chilling out on the beach and watching the colourful sails dash across the waves.
For calmer conditions, head to Rockingham Beach. This protected swimming area is ideal for families and also offers a safe snorkelling environment. More experienced snorkellers and divers can head to the West Coast Dive Park. This park is rich in dive wrecks and boasts a wonder world of fish and coral.
Food, wine and heritage
Food and wine lovers are well catered for in Rockingham with a host of excellent cafés and restaurants along the foreshore and a number of nearby wineries with cellar door sales. History buffs can also set out on a number of heritage trails, walks and drives that exist within the region.
Other activities include, first-class championship golf courses, historical sights and some excellent recreational fishing.