Rockingham Lakes Regional Park is a network of environmentally significant lands containing coastal, wetland and upland ecosystems that together form a significant recreation and sanctuary zone in what is otherwise a highly urbanised area. The park covers a total area of 4270 Ha.
The park stretches from Port Kennedy to Cape Peron along the coast and reaches inland to the wetlands of Lakes Cooloongup and Walyungup, Tamworth Hill, Tamworth Hill Swamp, Anstey and Paganoni Swamps.
Probably the best-known part of the park is Cape (or Point) Peron. Cape Peron is notable for its breadth of coastal recreation opportunities and its scenic views. It is a Bush Forever site and is bounded on the south by the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park.
The exposed southern shore of the Cape combines rugged limestone cliffs and reefs with sandy beaches, while the northern shore is more sheltered. This has traditionally been a popular holiday and day use destination for generations of people. There is a wealth of excellent walking in this Park, in particular, Cape Peron and Lakes Cooloongup and Walyungup offer a wide diversity of habitats.
The area contains rare and endangered species as well as a host of plants and animals that seek sanctuary here. More than 100 bird species use the park with several species being protected by international agreements. Frogs, long-necked tortoise, reptiles and native marsupials all live in the park.
The park rests on a globally unique land formation known as the Rockingham-Becher Plain. This is a consistently developed beach ridge plain and is one of the best examples of its type in the world.
Lake Richmond contains a community of thrombolites. These are similar to the more famous Stromatolites found in Hamelin Pool in the Shark Bay area. The lake is unusual in the area as most other lakes are shallow. Richmond can reach depths of 15 metres and this means it has not (yet) dried up during the summer months. The lake was originally salt-water but in 1968 drains were put in place that had the effect of reducing salinity. The lake supports three types of fish, native freshwater tolerant, exotic and surprisingly, sea mullet.
There are seven key areas of Rockingham Lakes Regional Park:
- Cape Peron
- Lake Richmond
- Lake Cooloongup
- Lake Walyungup
- Tamworth Hill and Tamworth Hill Swamp
- Anstey and Paganoni Swamps
- Port Kennedy Scientific Park