Your guide to a family fun-filled vacation in Rockingham.
When I look back on simpler times – you know, life as a carefree, innocent youngster – I remember having a Big Day Out in Rockingham with the family. (Attending the iconic music festival would come some years later.) I recall dad setting the barbeque ablaze with beef snaggas, mum being the picnic commander in chief and us kids running amuck, happily fooling around on Rockingham’s golden foreshore and having splashes in calm waters. All innocent fun under the sun and what seemed a world away from living north of the river, but really, Perth’s southernmost edge. In every sense, it was a big day out until us kids retired in the family bus AKA the eight-seater Mitsubishi Starwagon riding the freeway home.
Fast forward to adulthood, and nostalgia kicked in when I last visited the seaside town. I saw it in a new light – it ain’t what it used to be! There’s the makeover of the foreshore, new developments, and water sports galore! But there are also some things that never change: Rockingham is still a place for families to have those special holiday moments, ones to store in the memory bank.
To help you Rediscover Rockingham through young and old eyes, we list the things to do in Rockingham that are fun for the whole family.
Prepare yourselves for cuteness overload with a visit to Penguin Island. Just a quick five-minute boat ride away, Shoalwater Islands Marine Park’s most popular island is home to the world’s smallest penguins. See the penguins up close with feedings at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm daily, conducted by island rangers in the Discovery Centre. There are hourly departures to the island from 9am to 3pm so you can spend as little or long as you like.
Up your wildlife spotting game with a scenic Penguin Island Wildlife Cruise to catch a glimpse of Rockingham’s other friendly-ocean residents, wild dolphins and rare Australian sea lions and some of the most remarkable birdlife found in WA. You can also make a splash with a snorkel session, navigating your way around the islands’ vibrant reefs. Or by the stroke of beauty, mix workouts with wildlife onboard a kayak tour with River Gods or Capricorn Sea Kayaking.
Perth Wildlife Encounters, 153 Arcadia Drive (Corner of Penguin Road), Shoalwater, WA 6169
Baldivis Children’s Forest
Let the kids unleash their endless energy levels by exploring Baldivis Children’s Forest, a place that adults will even enjoy. The 20-hectare bushland reserve has many walking trails for families to get active together in stunning surrounds. If feeling really adventurous, make sure to bring the gumboots or protective footwear and visit the Outridge Swamp Wetlands and look out for Kangaroo Highway for a chance to see a ‘roo hop nearby.
Have a picnic or barbeque within the reserve to make the most of its enchanting forest surrounds after all the bushwalk activity.
The Forest also conducts educational and conservational programs so be sure to check the website for the latest events.
Baldivis Children’s Forest, 1399 Mandurah Rd, Baldivis WA 6171
Adventure is calling with a visit to Cape Peron.
It’s incredible to imagine within Rockingham; you can feel so far away from it all, wholly immersed with nature at this coastal playground. Cape Peron is known for its picturesque limestone cliffs, pristine beaches and offshore reefs.
Point Peron and Mushroom Rocks are popular snorkelling spots that would appease eager underwater explorers with the area’s swim-throughs, small caves, vivid reefs accessible from shore.
Cape Peron, Point Peron Rd, Peron WA 6168
Perth Aqua Park
Put the backyard slip and slide time aside and make a big splash at Perth Aqua Park. This huge inflatable fun park boasts over 100 different inter-connected obstacles to let you have own Wipeout (friendly) competition with the family.
Be a big kid with the kids with having a jump on the giant pillow or making a grand entrance into the water down the park’s giant slides. Each session is 50 minutes with lifeguards and patrolling staff on standby to ensure all have an absolute wild time by staying safe doing so.
Perth Aqua Park, Lot 482 St Albans Rd, Baldivis WA 6171
Fishing at Golden Ponds
Want to catch tonight’s dinner?
Fishing farm Golden Ponds is the place for beginners to learn how to cast a line with a good chance of catching a fish.
Simply, bring your own or hire a fishing rod and cast your line into the ponds, and wait (hopefully not too long!) for a bite. It’s a safe, fun fishing affair without being windswept along the coast.
Golden Ponds operates on a catch and release system. If lucky to land a catch, you can purchase it for $15 per kilo (live weight).
Make the most of the park surrounds with a picnic or continue with the adventure-packed day by hiring a buggy kart (from $3 per hour), canoe ($5 per hour) or spindrift ($10).
Golden Ponds, 355 Mundijong Road Baldivis WA 6171
Wine and dine in Rockingham
A visit to Rockingham is not complete without replenishing bellies (or quenching thirsts), and there are many places to do just that. Head to local favourite Ostro Eatery or well-esteemed tapas bar Rustico if you seek an epicurean meal to savour with the family.
For your hearty pub grub, head to popular local favourites, there plenty of places to offer just that to select from: The Sporting Globe, Vernon Arms Tavern, Whistling Kite, The Chase Bar & Bistro to name a few. Let the kids enjoy a prized pretzel with a visit to Brotzeit German Beir Bar & Restaurant while the oldies can make it an Oktoberfest moment with traditional German fare.
If you can get away with having a sneaky drink with well-behaved youngsters, head to Stakehill Winery Estate for a taste of chilli wine (yes, it sure is a thing!) or head to Peel Estate for a specialty drop along its picnic-perfect grounds. Or froth on a quality brew at the state-of-the-art brewery, White Lakes Brewing.
Take it back to basics throwing a picnic rug along the foreshore or head to Navy Memorial Park or Rockingham Regional Environment Centre to experience a different side to Rockingham.
Enjoy free Hop on/Hop off services around Rockingham
Take the stress out of getting around Rockingham and enjoy the ride onboard the City of Rockingham’s free hop-on, hop-off Rediscover Rockingham Tourist Tram. The replica single carriage tram will operate from 10am – 5pm Sundays only, starting February 21 until April 25, 2021.
There are four drop-off/pick-up points connecting Rockingham’s star attractions: Rockingham Museum, the Rockingham Foreshore, Point Peron and the Penguin Island Ferry.
Jump on at any of the four stops and enjoy the scenic ride as the tram driver will provide entertaining live commentary to ace your Rockingham trivia.
Free untimed parking is available for people to board the tram at Rockingham Museum.
For more Rockingham travel inspiration visitrockingham.com.au.
Feature image: Supplied by City of Rockingham
This is a sponsored post for City of Rockingham – endorsed by So Perth. We value your feedback so please contact us with any thoughts in regards to our sponsored post.