Fremantle or ‘Freo’ as it’s affectionately called, is a lively port city 30 minutes southwest of Perth where the Swan River meets the Indian Ocean. Voted by TIME Magazine as one of the ‘World’s Greatest Places of 2022’ it’s not hard to see why. Locals and visitors love Fremantle’s casual, relaxed and friendly vibe and with over one hundred eateries to choose from, you’ll never be hungry!
The city is known for its maritime history, Victorian architecture, and grim past as a British penal colony. Rich with history and culture, Fremantle is a place for exploring, swimming, shopping, dining, dancing, and discovering art both ancient and modern. A place to laze at the beach and wait for the afternoon sea breezes known as the ‘Freo Doctor’ to cool things down.
Fremantle settled in 1829 and named after English naval officer, Captain Charles Fremantle. In 1850, it became Australia's primary location for convicts and the Fremantle Prison housed convicts from the 1850s to 1991 and is now a World Heritage Site. The 12-sided Round House, built in 1831, also briefly functioned as a jail and is the oldest remaining building in Western Australia.
In the decade following 1883, Fremantle’s harbour was deepened to allow for commercial shipping making it an important part of the Western Australia gold rushes. Fremantle was declared a city in 1929 and played a key role in World War II as the largest submarine base in the Southern Hemisphere.
Just 30 minutes from Perth, the port city of Fremantle is a mix of history, heritage, and culture. This vibrant city has a colonial, gold rush, and maritime past, with a modern, charming, creative heart. There’s never a dull moment in Freo, yet the pace of the city is far from bustling. Things happen at a relaxed pace in this river city by the beach.
The streets and alleyways reveal an eclectic mix of colonial architecture, boutiques, and designer shops. ‘Cappuccino Strip’ in the cosmopolitan heart of the city is renowned for its al fresco dining with restaurants, pubs, cafes, and breweries. The strip transforms at night into an entertainment hub with live music, dance venues, late-night markets, and cinemas.
First Nation Noongar people know Fremantle as Walyalup, place of the woylie, or brush-tailed bettong, a small, critically endangered Australian mammal. Walyalup lies on a series of limestone hills known as Booyeembara. To the Aboriginal community, Fremantle is a place of cultural practices, ceremonies, and trading that remain strong today.
Fremantle is home to several museums that exhibit its rich history, maritime heritage, and cultural significance. Notable museums include the WA Shipwrecks Museum, which is the foremost maritime archaeology museum in the Southern Hemisphere, the WA Maritime Museum where visitors can see Australia II, winner of the 1983 America's Cup, and the Army Museum of WA which showcases the state’s military history.
Yes, Fremantle is located along the coastline and offers several beautiful beaches. One of the most popular beaches in Fremantle is Port Beach, which is known for its white sands and calm waters. Other nearby beaches include South Beach, Bathers Beach, and Leighton Beach, where you can swim, sunbathe, have a picnic, or enjoy a coastal walk.
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