Less than 30 minutes by train from Perth (Zone 2, single ticket $4), the port of Fremantle sits at the mouth of the Swan River and was one of the earliest settlements in Western Australia.
It's a very different vibe to Perth and, with its street after street of nineteenth century buildings, has retained its sense of history. Main attractions are the Markets, Maritime Museum, Prison heritage site as well as the sense of history gained from simply walking the streets. Plenty of coffee stops and well-regarded restaurants throughout the town and the old fishing wharves remind you of how it all started.
During our visit to Perth we hopped on a train to explore Fremantle. We had a fun day wandering around exploring the Harbour, Markets, local pubs, Parks and historic buildings of the area. We had a nice waterside lunch at Joe's that I highly recommend.
Fremantle was the first area settled by the Swan River colonists in 1829 and is named after the English Captain Charles Howe Fremantle who claimed the area.
The Ferris Wheel on the Esplanade is one of the attractions in Fremantle. The Ferris Wheel provides excellent views of the Fishing boat Harbour and surrounding area. For $12 an adult you can take a spin in Freo.
The Explorer's Monument is dedicated to three explorer's: Frederick Panter, James Harding and William Goldwyer;who were exploring Western Australia.
According to the plaque; the explorer's wer murdered by "treacherous" natives (aboriginals in
1864. Thei murder was discovered by Maitland Brown who was sent to look for this missing party. Brown and his men claimed they were attacked by the Aboriginals and killed them. Their is much controversy still regarding this matter in which both sides say they were attacked by the other.
Either way; people died needlessly on both sides and the battle between Aboriginal and White Australian is still present. It's the same sort of tragedy that befell the Native Americans in the United States and I feel bad for the Aboriginal people.
We came upon this memorial as we were wandering the Fishing Boat Harbour in Fremantle. The fishing industry is a big part of Fremantle and this sculpture honors those individuals who make the sea their livelihood.
The Bon Scott Statue is located in Fremantle by the Fishing Boat Harbour. Bon Scott is not a native son of Fremantle but his memory lives on here. The AC/DC front man’s statue is a life-size memorial to the singer standing at 5ft 6”. The Statue is in a life like signing pose as if he’s singing to the passers by and restaurant patrons nearby.
The Fremantle prison is right up the street from the markets. And what shopping trip would be complete without a jaunt to the prison.... that'll teach you to shoplift sonny!
They give a 90 minute tour to show you the squalid conditions the prisoners lived in. I found it to be pretty informative. It's probably best to take the tour as it's not the place you want to get lost.
Interesting fact: Although it's no longer in use, they were accepting prisoners up until the 1990's.
Fun fact: On the tour, they'll show you where a member of AC/DC once lived.
I think Fremantle was my favourite place in the area. I didnt get to spend long enough there but the market was good and it looked promising for nightlife but I was only there in the daytime.
Fremantle prison was well worth the visit and made for a fascinating tour.
A ferry trip to Fremantle is well worth it. Pick Captain Cook because they know how to treat you with a nice cuppa included (or you can use the bar). Ferry leaves at 9.45am and 11am in the morning, returning at 3.30pm. If you choose a return journey there's free wine tasting on the way back. We've had some lovely vt meetings at Freo, so feel free to ask me if you would like me to arrange one and I'll see what I can do.
Latest update.....the Captain Cook ferry fares have gone up alot recently....so my suggestion is to travel to Fremantle on the train and catch the Captain Cook ferry back.
Fremantle is just half an hour away from Perth by train. This port town is very relaxing except weekends when people flock from Perth for shopping and dining. We had a short walk in this lovely town with my wife and visited the markets which is covered in another tip. If you plan a day in the beach of Cottesloe like we did, you can first visit Fremantle for a couple of hours, then head back to Cottesloe for sea and sun and finally return to Perth.
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