City of RockinghamEconomic profile
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City of Rockingham

About the area

Name origin

Rockingham is named after a ship which brought settlers to the colony and ran aground on the beach.

Location and boundaries

The City of Rockingham is located in Perth’s outer southern suburbs, about 40 kilometres south-west of the Perth CBD. The City of Rockingham is bounded by the City of Kwinana in the north, the Serpentine-Jarrahdale Shire in the east, the Shire of Murray and the City of Mandurah in the south, and the Indian Ocean in the west.

Included areas

The City of Rockingham includes the suburbs and localities of Baldivis, Cooloongup, East Rockingham, Garden Island, Golden Bay, Hillman, Karnup, Keralup (part), Peron, Port Kennedy, Rockingham, Safety Bay, Secret Harbour, Shoalwater, Singleton, Waikiki and Warnbro.

Land use

The City of Rockingham is a rapidly developing residential area, with substantial industrial and commercial areas, and a naval area on Garden Island. The City encompasses a total land area of about 260 square kilometres, including significant areas of coastline and parkland.


The City of Rockingham is served by the Kwinana Freeway and the Mandurah railway line, with stations at Rockingham and Warnbro.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from 1829, when Captain James Stirling brought the first settlers to Garden Island. Land was used mainly for farming and timber-getting. Growth took place from the 1870s into the 1890s, with the coastal areas becoming popular in the early 1900s. Significant development did not occur until the 1960s, with rapid growth during the 1970s and 1980s. The population increased from nearly 33,000 in 1986, to nearly 42,000 in 1991. Rapid growth continued from the 1990s, with the population increasing to 101,000 in 2011. Recent growth has been aided by the construction of the Mandurah railway line and the extension of the Kwinana Freeway.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Rockingham area were the Nyoongar Aboriginal people.