Updated: Jan 23, 2020
Cape Peron is at the southern end of Cockburn Sound near Rockingham. Cape Peron has limestone cliffs, rocky headlands, fringing and patching reefs, island chains, protected beaches and panoramic coastal and ocean views. The cape was named after the French naturalist and zoologist François Péron, who accompanied the expedition of Nicolas Baudin along the western coast of Australia in 1801.
Follow Point Peron Road from Rockingham and it will take you past several marine and fishing clubs and camps out to the Point. There is a carpark at the point but no facilities. Access to the northern beach area is from the car park next to the Point Peron Camp School. Toilet facilities are only available further down Point Peron Road at Peron Foreshore Park opposite the Naval Club.
There are several overlapping and intersecting walk trails at Cape Peron so it is easy to do a loop taking in the observation post atop the hill before descending through the bush to the sheltered beaches on the northern side then walking along the western coast line with its limestone cliffs and bird habitats. We strolled most of the paths weaving around the headland in an hour with plenty of time to admire the views. The paths are mostly hard packed limestone (except for one small part which had sand drift) and are suitable for prams and possibly scooters with the exception of the rough path to John Point. There are some challenging steps and hills but generally the paths have a gentle incline.
South of the carpark there is a viewing platform which takes in the stunning views of the coastline and island chains. From the lookout you may be lucky enough to spot dolphins or whales.
During World War II an observation post for the nearby coastal battery was located on the hilltop and gun emplacements were located below. Remnants of the old buildings remain, however they are in a state of disrepair.
Cape Peron is exposed year round to southerly and westerly winds, and hot, dry summers so the natural flora is coastal scrubland. This scrubland is home to rainbow bee-eaters, grey fantails, inland thornbills and silvereyes. It is also home to dugites so do take care when walking and stay on the trails.
It is common to find osprey, albatross and cormorants around the cliff faces or searching for prey and wading birds can be found closer to the shoreline as they nest in the cliffs. If you are lucky you might even see a little penguin.
While there are several beaches at Cape Peron they can be quite dangerous as they are around limestone cliffs so I would probably head to the beach at Rockingham for a safer swim option.
If you enjoy marine life you can explore the waters around Cape Peron in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park which has numerous reefs, caves and swimthroughs.
If you visit Cape Peron make sure you stop off at nearby Lake Richmond which is home to ancient thrombolites. There is a 3km self guided walk around the lake.