Rockingham Day Trip: A Day Of Adventure And Relaxation

Situated less than 50 kilometres south of the Perth CBD, or 48 minutes by car to be exact, Rockingham — or the Swinging Pig, as it’s affectionately termed — is known for its relaxed coastal vibe, pristine beaches, and flourishing wildlife. The name of the seaside town came from the sailing ship, Rockingham, one of the three vessels Thomas Peel chartered to carry settlers to Western Australia. In 1830, the ship was beached due to heavy weather and later abandoned after failed attempts to re-float her.  

After its humble beginnings as a timber port in the 1870s, Rockingham has grown to become a popular tourist destination for day-trippers from Perth, best suited to families, nature lovers, and adventure junkies alike. So, whether you’re keen to spend the day exploring one of the many offshore islands, try your hand at adrenalin-pumping adventure, or for a little R&R, there’s a bounty of ways to while away the hours in this charming coastal town.

Rockingham Day Trip Itinerary

This day trip itinerary connects you with the best things to do in Rockingham by land and sea. You’ll get off the beaten track, explore surrounding islands both above and below the surface and revel in a destination adored for its natural and adventurous appeal. 

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7:00 am: Beachside brekkie

Café Barco
Credit: Café Barco

You’ll want to hit the road early to get the most out of your day. Once you’re in town, there’s no better way to fuel up for adventure than by grabbing a caffeinated brew and breakfast at Café Barco. Sporting stunning ocean views across Safety Bay, the beachside joint was one of Rockingham’s first cafes and has a reputation for fresh roasted coffee and exceptional customer service.

8:00 am: Snorkel with wild sea lions or dolphins

Rockingham Day Trip - Snorkel with Wild Sea Lions
Credit: Perth Wildlife Encounters

Whether it’s the glittering turquoise water, technicolour reefs, or ship-wrecked dotted coastline, when it comes to Rockingham, a day trip to Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is a must. And there’s no better way to explore the enchanting island paradise than a wildlife snorkel tour.

Book in for a Snorkel with Wild Sea Lions & Wildlife Adventure tour with Perth Wildlife Encounters for a five-hour journey to the island’s top snorkel spots where you’ll experience the best of the local marine life, both above and below the water. You’ll meet local bird life, swim alongside wild Bottlenose dolphins, and frolic with the world’s rarest species of Sea Lion while exploring limestone reefs and rocky outcrops. You’ll also get to nibble on a gourmet grazing platter, adorned with a delectable assortment of seafood to keep those hunger pangs at bay.

The boat is fitted with wetsuits, floatation devices, and plenty of snorkel equipment to ensure loads of fun is had both on and under the water. Plus, the experienced crew will also introduce you to snorkelling with an emphasis on safety and environmental awareness, so you can get the most out of your encounter.

1:00 pm: Lunch at Rustico

Rustico Tapas & Wine Bar
Credit: Rustico Tapas & Wine Bar

Whether you’re a connoisseur or just keen to try something new, Rustico Tapas & Wine Bar should be at the top of your foodie hit list. The restaurant combines laid-back dining, beachside vistas, and award-winning Mediterranean-style tapas in a cosy setting. From pork tacos and fresh-shucked natural oysters to farmhouse smoked chorizo and fried goat cheese, expect a seasonal menu infused with local produce.

3:00 pm: Beginner lesson at Perth Wake Park

Rockingham Day Trip - Beginner Lesson at Perth Wake Park
Credit: Perth Wake Park

If you’re partial to adventure and fancy a little fun on the water, a beginner lesson at Perth Wake Park is a great way to get a taste for wakeboarding. Instead of starting out on the main lake — which can be intimidating for first-timers — Cable Wakeboard Intro tickets include a one-hour group lesson on the beginner lake, followed by one hour on the main lake with further guidance from experienced instructors.

5:30 pm: Sunset fish and chips on Rockingham Beach

Rockingham Day Trip - Sunset Fish and Chips on Rockingham Beach
Credit: City of Rockingham

When it comes to quintessential Rockingham dining, a day trip just isn’t complete without parking up at sunset for a round of fish and chips on the beach. If you need somewhere to go, the award-winning 1988 establishment, Rockingham Beach Fish and Chips doesn’t disappoint.

6:30 pm: Cocktails at Mini Bar

Perched on the Rockingham foreshore, Mini Bar is a favourite food and drink joint for locals and visitors alike. With views over Rockingham Beach, a brand-new alfresco area, and live music on the weekends, it’s the perfect place to settle in for a cocktail or vino after a day well spent. 

Make it an overnighter

Quest Rockingham
Credit: Quest Rockingham

If you don’t want the fun to stop, why not spend the night? Quest Rockingham offers a range of serviced apartments appointed with all the creature comforts of home to ensure you enjoy some well-deserved respite.

For more Perth Day Trip itineraries to help you discover the best of Perth, visit our Destination Perth Day Trips hub.

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