This pleasant seaside resort of Rockingham, 47km south of Perth and about 20km south of Fremantle, has always been a popular spot with Perth suburbanites seeking salt air, sun, surf and sand. Beautiful beaches and plenty of open reserves down by the water attract families and fisherfolk.
The Royal Australian Navy facility of HMAS Stirling is located on Garden Island just off the coast. Garden Island is Australia's largest Fleet Base, capable of supporting half the fleet and visitors can travel to the facility by private craft.
During World War II, troops were stationed along the coast and Garden Island supported both Army and Navy personnel and the famous commando 'Z Force'.
Little Penguin Island, just south-west of Rockingham, supports colonies of fairy penguins, sea lions and some rare seabirds. A special ferry will take you out there to see them in their natural habitat.
Rockingham was one of the earliest settlements in WA and is closely associated with Captain James Stirling's first landing on Garden Island in 1827 and the early years of the Swan River Settlement. It was surveyed in 1847 and was a thriving place by 1897, when Rockingham split from the Fremantle Roads Board and became a town in its own right.
In its early days, Rockingham was a busy port for the timber industry, from where jarrah and sandalwood were shipped overseas and to Australia's east coast.