History of Rockingham

 Rockingham was named after the Ship Rockingham the last of Thomas Peel’s ships to arrive in Cockburn Sound in 1830. The Rockingham flounded in Cockburn Sound and eventually sunk in Carreening Bay, Garden Island.

In 1847 Rockingham Town was surveyed at the beachfront but the township did not eventuate.

By the mid 1850’s our pioneers started settling along the track to Mandurah where fertile soil abound between two wetlands. This settlement was well established with farms, an Inn and a school when in 1871 the Wanliss Brothers received a land grant of 250,000 acres to cut timber for export. This was on the condition that a railway to the coast and a port be established. By 31st January 1873 the Northern Light the first ship to arrive at the Port of Rockingham was loaded with timber bound for Melbourne. This began the gradual move of the townsite from East Rockingham to the beachfront. The timber export industry closed in 1908 due to the larger ship unable to cross the Parmelia Bank and other ports were established at Fremantle and Bunbury.

In 1920 Premier Mitchell coordinated an agreement with British Government to bring discharged soldiers and then civilians to W.A. to establish a dairy industry in our southwest. The Soldier settlement scheme and then the Group Settlement Scheme brought settlers to the area from Jandakot to Northcliffe , in Rockingham Mandogalup, Baldivis, and Karnup were settled under this scheme.