"Keeweechic's Rockingham" Rockingham by keeweechic

Rockingham Travel Guide: 105 reviews and 246 photos

Rockingham lies only 46km south of Perth and just north of Mandurah, it was one of the earliest settlements in Western Australia. Settlers arrived in 1829 but were not allocated land immediately and therefore had to settle on Garden Island for the first six months. Previously The coast around Rockingham had been explored by the Dutch and the French before the English came to the area. It was Frenchman Nicholas Baudin who originally named the Garden and Carnac Islands as Ile Buache and Ile Berthellet. When Captain Stirling arrived in 1827 on an exploration voyage, these names were already established. He established that Garden Island should be the site of a temporary settlement and storehouses and shelters were build on the island. Wells were dug for water and a bakery was constructed.

The establishing of a settlement in Rockingham did not come about until Thomas Peel arrived with a group of settlers on board the “Gilmore” in December 1829. Thomas Peel was the cousin of the British Prime Minister at that time, Robert Peel. He had developed a scheme to settle 10,000 people in the district and Thomas Peel had been granted 1 million acres for this purpose. There was a time line and restriction on this generous donation and the condition was that the settlement had to be started by November 1829. Thomas Peel was late in arriving and the grant was cut back to 250,000 acres. Not long after the first Rockingham settlers arrived, two further ships followed, the ‘Hooghly’ and the ‘Industry’.

Rockingham didn’t really see any growth until the 1870’s when Jarrah (local timber) and sandalwood became an industry. Mills and railways were built along with a jetty in Rockingham to export the timber. At one time, Rockingham because the most important port on the coast. Unfortunately when the railway was built between Perth and Bunbury in 1893, a lot of the produce was transported to either of these two cities. By 1908 the port of Rockingham had been closed. Rockingham then fell into becoming a quiet little seaside town. When Kwinana was established in the 1950’s just up the road and the Naval Support Facility was established on Green Island in the 1970’s, things started to change for Rockingham.

(Map courtesy of MapQuest)

Rockingham today is a holiday resort city of some 64,000 residents, and forms the southernmost border of the Perth metropolitan area. There is a beautiful expanse of white sandy beaches offering bordering parks for all kinds of natural and sporting activities. The main town is right on the Cockburn South which is sheltered and picturesque with views of Garden Island. There is a real holiday atmosphere to the city with plenty of water sports on offer. Café’s and restaurants buzz on the weekend and the shopping mall is open on a Sunday as well – unlike most of Perth malls.

Photos which are taken by myself and all headings are copyright and digitally marked. Please do not use them without permission. Thanks.
(c) keeweechic 2001-2008 (copyright)

  • Intro Updated Jan 26, 2008
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Reviews (34)

Comments (3)

  • Toyin's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2005 at 12:13 AM

    Interesting history of Rockingham. However, I found the pedal powered jalopies very impressive attraction. Warm regards.

  • Purpleshade's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2005 at 8:30 PM

    Good to see some more tips for Rockingham. Could I point out that the shopping centre is only open on Sundays in the school hols? :) Lesley

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2005 at 8:10 PM

    absolutly fantastic here...and I am the first to comment, well sometimes a blind chuck does find a corn ^..^

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