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Things to do in Rockingham this winter - rock on the wild side with these ideas!

By the Experience Perth Blogger

Monday, 3 July 2017

Rockingham in winter

Wondering what's on in Rockingham this weekend?

There's been a wave of excitement reaching our shores with the news that Rockingham Wild Encounters is offering their Penguin Island Wildlife Cruise for the first time, from June 6 to September 14, 2017 (subject to weather conditions). So, if the seas permit, rug up and get up close with the wildlife life, like sea lions, from the warmth and security of your boat.

During winter, Penguin Island is traditionally closed for the penguin nesting season. However, this year, the Penguin Island cruise is operating throughout winter - great if you're looking for new winter school holiday ideas for the family. Chill out with the scenic highlights offered by the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park and play spotto for glimpses of the various wildlife.

A 60-minute glass bottom boat cruise will take in the rugged coastlines of Seal, Bird and Penguin Island - in this triple island safari. Soak in the best wildlife spotting opportunities daily which can include wild dolphins, rare Australian sea lions, pelican rookeries, and birds of prey, whilst being assisted by the friendly crew. You'll disembark on Rockingham's Penguin Island for a guided 30-minute walk that takes in the spectacular beaches, coastal lookouts and nesting sea birds of this stunning island nature reserve.

Pelicans in Rockingham

Highlights include

  • Seeing rare Australian sea lions on the beach at Seal Island
  • Spotting wild Rockingham dolphins at play (although sightings are regular, they're not guaranteed as the cruise is restricted to inside Shoalwater Bay)
  • Exploring the rugged islands and observing nesting pelicans, cormorants and encountering other sea birds that live in the park
  • Drifting over sea grass meadows and limestone reefs identifying fish and other marine life through the glass bottom
  • Viewing the fossilised remnants of ancient Tuart forests
  • Taking in spectacular coastal views, nesting sea birds, and hearing about the latest little penguin research on a 30-minute guided walk of Penguin Island
  • Enjoying a yummy lunch or coffee at Pengo's Cafe before or after your cruise (additional cost)

Winter is nesting season for penguins, so there are plenty that stay on the island during the day at this time of year. However, it is a critical time for penguins and most are tucked up in their burrows. They may be seen within nesting boxes sitting on eggs, or attending to chicks which means sightings are likely to be brief and can't always be guaranteed.

Walking around the island, your guide will point out nesting boxes and burrows. If you're lucky, you may spot little penguins at the entrances. If so, remain quiet, move slowly and give the penguin plenty of space (at least a few metres), ensuring your flash is turned off for any photographs.

Departure times, bookings and cost

The 90-minute Penguin Island Wildlife Cruises depart Shoalwater daily at 10:15am and 12:15pm (June 6 to September 14, 2017) with an additional cruise on busy days at 2:15pm. Online booking conditions will announce where weather conditions may cause cancellation of services for particular days, and close 1 hours before departure.

Costs for this particular cruise are: Adults $39; Concession (seniors/students) $35; Children (3 to 12 years) $30; and Infants (under 3 years) $0. Or, if you have a group of 10 or more and would prefer a different cruise time, the friendly reservations team will respond with a proposed itinerary and quote within 48 hours.

For more details and contact information for booking via phone or online, please see this link. You can learn more about Penguin Island here. Otherwise, visit Rockingham Wild Encounters for more information and their details available on this link.

Kayaking in Rockingham

Other options

Besides the marine life sometimes discovered, there are plenty of alternate activities available in Rockingham, if you're looking to make a day trip or weekend of it.

Aside from options along the Rockingham foreshore, you might like to consider these things to do: Ten Pin Bowling Rockingham - a great choice for rainy day indoor Rockingham attractions. Rockingham marine activities like Rivergods Kayaking Adventures, Perth Wake Park, West Oz Kiteboarding & Stand Up Paddle, Jet Ski Tours Perth and Jetpack Perth. Maybe give skydiving onto the beach a go, jump on a Rockingham tour or relax at Peel Estate Winery.

For other Rockingham attractions review the selection here. There are also some excellent scenic drive recommendations here for your trip.


Once you've ticked off those things to do Rockingham, there's no need to drive back to Perth! Why not stay and enjoy what's on in Rockingham? If you're looking for Rockingham accommodation, there are plenty of options, including Rockingham Apartments and Quest Rockingham as well as restaurants in Rockingham and surrounds to satisfy the entire family. For further Rockingham accommodation information visit here or contact the Rockingham Visitor Centre. It's a close getaway for the entire family.

If you're curious about other Rockingham events, don't be stumped for what to do in Rockingham! Search here for some top ideas for Rockingham things to do, including a list of what's on in Rockingham and beyond. For more tours around Perth, search here, and for further watersport alternatives see here, whether it's swimming with the dolphins (in season) or other Perth wildlife encounters available. Check out Nature's Calendar for more tips on different seasons.

Finally, be sure to sign up for the Experience Perth newsletter for more suggestions on how to chill out this winter, or what might keep you and your loved ones toasty, with hot deals and impressive offers. Share these good ideas, or follow Experience Perth on social media for more.


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