Fusing its rich maritime history with a creative atmosphere, the port city of Fremantle has reinvented itself into one of Western Australia’s most attractive urban destinations. Its charismatic streets are lined with Victorian-era buildings which have been transformed into eclectic cafes, arty boutiques and marketplaces.
Things to do in Fremantle
Fremantle once served as a British penal colony, and a visit to the recreated cells of the Fremantle Prison is a highlight of the city. The 1830s Round House building also functioned as a jail and stands as Western Australia’s oldest building, with its tunnel built by the Fremantle Whaling Company to access Bathers Beach.
Originally built as a psychiatric hospital, soak up Fremantle’s creative vibe at the Fremantle Arts Centre and participate in free exhibitions and live music programs. You can also grab a coffee from the popular “Cappuccino Strip” while being entertained by street performers and musicians.
At one end lies the historic Fremantle Markets, dating back to 1897. It’s a great place to pick up fresh produce, local handicrafts and indigenous artwork, as well as unique home wares and natural cosmetics.
Want to learn more about Fremantle’s maritime history? Then head to the Shipwreck Galleries to see exhibits displaying unique artefacts from wrecked ships within a restored 1850s Commissariat building. Or visit the Western Australian Maritime Museum which showcases iconic vessels, including the Cold War-era HMAS Ovens submarine.
Getting around Fremantle
Fremantle is around 40 minutes’drive west of Perth Airport and connected to the city centre by both buses and trains. It’s an easy city to explore on foot, with self-guided walking trail maps available from the visitor’s centre. Alternatively, hire a bicycle to visit the city’s sights on two wheels or jump on board the Fremantle Tram Tour.