Rockingham Wild Encounters celebrates 30 years in business

Terry Howson with his daughter Sam (left) and his mum Lesley (right).
Terry Howson with his daughter Sam (left) and his mum Lesley (right).

FRIENDS, family and clients celebrated one of Rockingham’s most iconic business’s 30th birthday on April 11.

Rockingham Wild Encounters began way back in 1989.

With tasty bites of seafood, including as many oysters as one could eat, guests were also treated to the talents of special guest artist Jacob Butler, or ‘Shakey Jakey’.

Shakey painted a celebration piece that embodied all three aspects of the business: dolphins, penguins and sea lions.

Wild Encounters staff, Trini Reynolds and Tazia Lemon.

Business owner Terry Howson gave a touching speech where he described with tears and laughter the journey the business had taken him on.

“My company had very humble beginnings and is now celebrating 30 years of incredible adventures with the local wildlife,” he said.

“I am proud to have created an iconic tourism destination, balancing that fine line, between respecting the local wildlife and creating incredible experiences for visitors.

“The vision for the future as Perth Wildlife Encounters is just as inspiring, as we have some exciting ideas and developments as we enter our new era.

Ange and Jacob ‘Shakey’ Butler. 

“My father always taught me that if you really love something it can happen, and if you try your hardest, it will happen.

“I was always positive I could make this business happen and 30 years later, it’s happened.”

The very first passenger of his business, Michael Ham, recalled that first trip which was in a small dinghy with a delicious vegemite sandwich for lunch.

Today the business boasts five custom-built tour boats and has won awards for its tours.

General Manager Chad D’Souza said the business is unique.

“We are the ‘wildlife gateway of WA’, there is nothing like it so close to a major city,” he said.