The Heart of Rockingham.
It would probably be reasonable to say that the beachfront is the heart of Rockingham.
It’s often packed out on Public holidays, a popular place for large family picnics.
It received the award for “Most upgraded beachfront in Peth Area” a couple of years ago. Since then it received devastating damage from an storm which took away parts of the sea wall, but it has all been completely renovated and now looks even better.
Churchill Park and Bell Park are long and narrow and line the bay between the beach and the street. They provide a large shady picnic/sitting/play area with free electric BBQ’s, shaded picnic tables and children’s playgrounds, toilets and open air showers.
At various times in the year events are held in the parks-craft fairs, art exhibitions, jazz and blues concerts, and fireworks for New Years Eve, Australia Day and the Spring Festival.
On the street there are cafes, restaurants, ice cream parlours and fast food outlets; diving, camping, fishing and souvenir shops; bottle shop, pub and newsagent. with supermarket and pharmacy just around the corner.
"Special" cars can often be seen as well as the HOGS (Harley Owners Group) riding slowly by.
There are hotels, with new hotels and apartments in the process of being built.
Update 2009. Many new apartmants, cafes, restaurants have ben built.
The beach is regularly cleaned. Water is shallow and waves are just little ripples which make it suitable for small children.
There’s a diving pontoon anchored just off the beach which is popular with older children.
On summer weekends and special events, you can have a ride on the miniature train or hire a funny little pedal car. There's usually a bouncy castle for the liitle ones.
The jetties are used for fishing and the yacht club.
It’s a popular dive site with reefs and submerged items close off shore.
It costs nothing, parking is free and usually only runs out of spaces on Public Holidays or when special events are on.
There's often pelicans and sometimes dolphins just off shore. My husband and I have been there often to eat out, have picnics, sketch, walk, watch the boats, watch the people, attend the events.
Rockingham Visitor Centre
Rockingham Visitor Centre is one street back from the beachfront on Kent Street and is a mine of useful information on accomodation, things to do, coach trips etc both locally and throughout W.A.
The very helpful ladies working there can arrange bookings for some things, and it is a Bocs agent (bookings for shows, theatre etc)
It also provides internet facilities for $3 per 1/2 hour or $5 per hour. You can send a fax for $5
Many coach trips leave from just outside this building.
Christmas in July
December here is HOT. Snow and reindeers etc seem totally out of place, even wearing a santa hat makes you too hot . The thought of putting the oven on for 8 hours to cook a turkey is unbearable. Many people have a cold meal and go to the beach for a picnic.
Therefore some restaurants do a special "Christmas in July" when the weather is cooler. It's still only cool, not cold, there definately won't be any snow. But it's nice to have a log fire and 'rug up" and for the British ex-pats (there's a lot of them in Rockingham) it seems more like the Chrismas they're used to.
The Spring Festival
Rockingham has it's annual Spring Festival every year in November.
It has traditionally been held on the oval near the beach, and the tradition has been carried on now that the oval has been redeveloped as part of the new Rockingham Beach Village.
With free entry, free entertainment, a range of rides and showbags, the street parade and fireworks display (now moved to 9pm as it's not dark enough at 8 since the introduction of daylight saving in summer), this is an the event of the year in Rockingham. Many local businesses will have their products on display, as well as clubs and societies. There's local crafts and food for sale (and a beer tent).
The Rockingham Spring Festival is the third largest non government sponsored event in WA. In 2003, over 40,000 people visited the festival over the two days.
All cities and lots of towns have an annual 'show', they're all quite similar, the biggest being the Royal Show in Perth in September.
They're all held at different times during spring/summer/autumn, ask around and see if there's one on in your locality.
There's vey little you won't be able to get here.
Shorts, skinny tops and swimwear for summer, maybe something with sleeves for late at night. Almost no rain in summer, if there is it won't last long. Minimum dress requirement for pubs etc is shorts singlet and thongs (flip flops). For nightclubs/restaurants, shorts, shirt and shoes.
Moderately warm clothing for winter, it may rain sometimes. You'll easily be able to buy any toiletries and medical supplies you need.
Make sure to bring sunblock (30+ if you're fair skinned, or at least 15+). or get some as soon as you arrive.
If you intend to camp, you will need insect repellant or mozzie coils. If you're lucky, you can get photos of dolphins, bring your best. Bring ALL your water sports gear, though you can hire. Sunhat. Umbrella (to use as a sunshade.) Insulated water bottle. Mobile phone-you can get a local simcard for $30au