is a city and primary centre in Western Australia south-west of the Perth city centre and south of Fremantle. It has a beachside location at Mangles Bay, the southern extremity of Cockburn Sound. To its north stretches the maritime and resource-industry installations ofKwinana and Henderson. Offshore to the north-west is Australia's largest naval fleet and submarine base, Garden Island, connected to the mainland by an all-weather causeway. To the west and south lies theShoalwater Islands Marine Park.
Perth, Western Australia
Mangles Bay at Rockingham. In the background, a shiploading facility for wheat, at Kwinana.
Rockingham received its name from the sailing ship Rockingham, one of the three vessels bought by Thomas Peel to carry settlers to Western Australia (the others being the Gilmore and the Hooghly), arriving in May 1830. The Rockingham was blown ashore and eventually abandoned after failed attempts to refloat her. She eventually broke up, having sunk in shallow waters. Settlers supposedly camped near the wreck used the name "Rockingham Town" as their address.
The region had been inhabited for several thousand years by tribes of the Noongar people whose leader at that time was Galyute..
Rockingham was first surveyed and lots offered for sale in 1847. However, few lots were sold until the development of a railway and jetty in 1872 to transport jarrah timber and sandalwood from Jarrahdale overseas. Rockingham prospered until the construction of the Inner Harbour of Fremantle in 1897, which caused Rockingham as a timber port to steadily decline.
Now, as a satellite city in Perth's southwest, together with Mandurah, it is among Australia's fastest-growing residential districts. The maritime tradition has been strengthened by steady growth of the Royal Australian Navy's main fleet base HMAS Stirling and by the development of major shipbuilding and marine support services at nearby Henderson.
Since the nineteenth century, abundant sightseeing and recreational attributes have been the basis of a tourism industry. Visitors can launch small boats or board ferries to view dolphins, seals, pelicans and penguins in the adjacent Marine Park. The coast at nearby Safety Bay is ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Generous free barbecues and picnic facilities are provided on the seafront, supplementing a choice of hotels and restaurants. Rockingham Shopping Centre is the regional centre which attracts significant non-local business, having a licence to trade on Sundays during public and school holidays.
Rockingham is serviced by the Rockingham Train Station on the Mandurah Line. The "Rockingham Shuttle Bus 555" is a frequent service which connects the train station with the Rockingham Beach foreshore. Frequent services connect Rockingham with Fremantle via the bus service 920 (via Kwinana, Spearwood) running at 15-minute intervals Monday-Friday and the 825 (via. Coogee). All three of these routes service the Primary Centre (including the Rockingham Shopping Centre via dedicated bus lanes.
National Highway 1 (Patterson Road and Ennis Avenue) connects Rockingham with Perth, Fremantle and Mandurah by road.
Perth Bicycle Network route SW38 links Rockingham Beach with Waikiki Beach in Safety Bay..
On 9 September 2005, a memorial was unveiled at Rockingham beach to commemorate the Catalpa rescue, the famous escape of six Irish Fenian convicts from Fremantle Prison on 17–18 April 1876. After journeying south from Fremantle by horse-drawn cart, the escapees were rowed from Rockingham beach to the Catalpa, an American whaler. The perilous flight succeeded in the face of an overnight storm and naval interception at dawn. The memorial is a statue depicting six wild geese in flight, the design of which was initiated by an Irish-Australian Perth citizen, the late Francis Conlan, whose name is also recorded on the memorial.
Naval Memorial Park
To the north of Rockingham lies the Rockingham Naval Memorial Park, opposite HMAS Stirling. It contains a number of commemorative plaques, a 4.5 inch gun turret of HMAS Derwent (DE 49)and a submarine fin from HMAS Orion, added in 2009..