The ultimate travel guide to Fremantle The ultimate travel guide to Fremantle

The ultimate travel guide toFremantle

Discover the modern and historical charms of Fremantle (or Freo as the locals call it). Find quaint bookstores, galleries and installation art scattered around the city, linger in one of the many cafés or lively cocktail bars, and walk through the maze of streets in the historic West End. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the sprawling parklands of Esplanade Reserve; ride the Tourist Wheel Fremantle, and let the kids take advantage of the playground. Don’t forget to catch the ferry to meet the cute-as-a-button quokkas on nearby Rottnest Island. There is something to explore in every precinct of this portside city.

Getting to Fremantle

Drive from Perth to Fremantle in 30 minutes via the Stirling Highway or Kwinana Freeway and Canning Highway. Alternatively, take the 30-minute scenic option along the coastline and over the Swan River via rail from Perth to the State Heritage-listed Fremantle Railway Station, which was built in 1907 after the gold rush of the 1890s.

Top things to do in Fremantle

History & Culture

Take the history trail through Fremantle for a fascinating look back at its maritime and convict-era history. The World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison is the ideal place to start. The striking, sail-shaped Western Australia Maritime Museum houses some of the most awe-inspiring vessels in maritime history. Follow it up with a visit to the Western Australia Shipwrecks Museum. Tour the Round House for a fascinating look inside the oldest public building in Western Australia. The repurposed Fremantle Arts Centre was originally constructed by convicts as a lunatic asylum in the 1860s. Now it’s the creative heart of the city, playing host to an impressive line-up of exhibitions, concerts, and workshops.

Attractions

Fremantle is renowned for its eclectic mix of street art splashed over the side of buildings and tucked down unassuming laneways. Take in the views across Fremantle and its harbours atop the famous 40-metre-high Tourist Wheel in Esplanade Park.  Weave your way around the permanent stalls within the Fremantle Markets from Friday through Sunday for a dizzying array of art, fashion, homewares, fresh produce, artisan cheese, baked goods and condiments. Or head to the George Street Precinct in East Fremantle to peruse the antique and boutique stores.

Beaches & Nature

The four main beaches of Fremantle are not to be overlooked. Find South Beach, Bathers Beach, Port Beach and Leighton Beach all sitting pretty on the edge of the Indian Ocean. Swimming, surfing, snorkelling, kitesurfing and windsurfing are all popular pastimes here. Fremantle is also the gateway to the ever-popular Rottnest Island. Take the 25-minute ferry ride from Elizabeth Quay to Rottnest Island to meet the quokkas and explore its pristine beaches and quiet bays.

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Best places to stay in Fremantle

Hotels & Motels

Hougoumont Hotel is artfully constructed out of repurposed sea containers and is billed as one of the most unique hotel stays in Fremantle. The Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges dates back to 1850 and provides a 4.5 star resort accommodation experience with 300 spacious refurbished rooms. Quest Apartments Fremantle is a great option for those desiring a home-away-from-home experience with the one and two-bedroom apartments featuring a fully-equipped kitchen and dining table.

Caravan Parks & Camping

Fremantle Village is a short drive from the centre of Fremantle and a 10-minute walk to South Beach. The park offers grassed sites for tents, ensuite sites, drive through sites, and can cater for very large vehicles and vans up to 23 metres long. Discovery Parks – Coogee Beach is located directly on the beach and only a seven-minute drive to Fremantle. The park offers cabin, caravan and camping sites to book and is close to a park, fishing jetty, Coogee Beach Life Saving Club and cafe.

Restaurants, Pubs & Bars in Fremantle

Make a beeline for Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour to sample Western Australia’s freshest seafood. Not only will you find seafood shacks aplenty (starting with Joe’s Fish Shack) in this neck of the woods, but you’ll also have your pick of world-class restaurants, lively bars and breweries. Little Creatures Brewery is at the top of the list of must-eat places here. Grab a pint of pale ale straight from the serving tanks pumped through from the adjoining brewery and order a wood-fired pizza with a generous helping of the team’s famous frites.

 

For more high-quality pub fare head to South Fremantle for a feed at The Local Hotel. The iconic Victorian-era pub provides much in the way of laid back vibes set alongside an extensive menu of pub-favourites to eat – think burgers, salads, ribs and pasta – enjoyed with your choice of beer, wine or spirits. Don’t miss brunch in The Local Garage of the pub on weekends. Alternatively, hit up Madalenas Bar nearby for seafood and wine in the sun on the bar’s alfresco terrace.

 

Head to the East End of Fremantle to dine at the award-winning Manuka Woodfire Kitchen for an exceptional meal within the stone-walled restaurant or alfresco dining area.

 

North Fremantle has just as much to offer the foodies among us. Dine at Habitue for Mediterranean fare and live jazz in the restaurant’s courtyard. Propeller serves up modern Middle-Eastern cuisine at within a stylishly converted bus garage. Head to Flipside for your hand-crafted burger fix – including sweet potato and chickpea veggie patties for the vegetarian inclined. Or pair your love of burgers with a craft brew at Piggy Food Co. The former pop-up style restaurant now serves Southern California-inspired food alongside a rotating offering of local and international craft brews on tap.

Tours and Packages Fremantle

The foreboding five-metre walls of the convict-built World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison (circa 1850s) have imprisoned a number of terrifying criminals over its 136-year-history. Book the Torchlight Tour to venture through its subterranean tunnels on an underground boat ride or opt for one of the day tours to step inside the solitary-confinement cells of the maximum security prison (decommissioned 1991) and let the guides enthral you with tales of its infamous residents. Alternatively, hire a bike from the Fremantle Visitor Centre and take advantage of the many self-guided cycling trails around Fremantle. Or time your visit with whale-watching season in September to see the Western Australian humpback whales pass through Fremantle as they head south to Antarctica with Whale Watch Western Australia.

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