Whether you’re a local or looking for unique things to do as a visitor, there’s much of Rockingham’s history to uncover.
Travel back in time and learn about Rockingham’s origins and milestones that have shaped it into the renowned coastal destination it is today. Whether you’re visiting with the kids or going solo, here are five historical sites we recommend visiting:
Located on the corner of Flinders Lane and Kent Street, Rockingham Museum is housed in an Art Deco building – which was the former Rockingham Road Board Building built in 1946/47. Though small, the museum is the best place to go to for interesting stories and information about Rockingham’s past. With historical artefacts and cool displays on Rockingham’s rich history, it’s worth setting aside a few hours to take in the museum’s offerings in all their glory.
Next, learn about the historic escape of six members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (Fenians) from Fremantle Prison in 1876. Visit the Catalpa Memorial and discover how the rescue of the Fenians from Fremantle Prison and subsequent escape by boat from Rockingham Beach has enhanced Rockingham’s exciting history. The Catalpa Memorial can be found on the Foreshore at Palm Beach, 200 metres to the west of the café strip and Val Street Jetty.
Make your next stop the Z Force Memorial – another important historical site that you and your family can learn from. A short distance past the Catalpa Memorial by the jetty is the memorial commemorating the Z Force. The Z Force were formed during World War II and was a combination of the British and Australian Army, Navy and Air Forces.
Situated on the corner of Rockingham Beach Road and Governor Road is a memorial dedicated to the memory of HMAS Perth and those who perished with her. Different naval ships, including allied ships from WWII onwards and those who lose their lives during the conflicts are remembered there. Located at the rear of the park is a gun turret. This gun turret was originally mounted on the destroyer escort HMAS Derwent which served in the royal Australian Navy between 1964 and 1994.
Next up is Cape Peron (also known as Point Peron) – which not only abounds in its natural beauty, but also its history. Once a main observation post for World War II coastal battery, the lookout offers a commanding view of Cockburn Sound, the attractive coastline and the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. A relatively unknown fact is that the cape also contains a number of different hidden gun sites from 1942. To top off the day, be sure to take in Cape Peron’s stunning coastline with a relaxing walk. It’s one of the best things to do after a long day!
For more information on historical and cultural places of interest, be sure to visit the Rockingham Visitor Centre or call (08) 9592 3464.