Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh led the first European visit to the area in 1696.
It was not until more than a century later that a French scientific expedition further explored the region, naming parts of the coast, including well-known Cape Peron.
In 1827, Captain James Stirling explored the Swan River before returning two years later, landing at Garden Island. It was the first official colony of settlers in WA, the third in Australia and first in the country with no convicts.
The City got its name from the ship Rockingham that broke its mooring during a severe gale in 1830 and was driven aground at now Rockingham Beach.
It was not until the 1850s that settlement families moved to the region, now East Rockingham. During the 1870s, timber was brought by rail to Rockingham’s jetties from Jarrahdale for export across the world.
During the 1920s, Rockingham became a bustling tourist destination for its fantastic beaches, bathing, sailing, fishing, and its population grew rapidly in the 1960s with the opening of the nearby BP and Alcoa refineries in Kwinana.