We used the local trains to travel to the port area of Fremantle. We had a look at the former whalers' tunnel, then headed to the maritime shipwreck museum.
Now I am not in general a fan of museums, but this one was superb. We spent hours there learning the story of the Batavia, a vessel of the Dutch East India Company, which in 1628 was transporting silver to India via Batavia (Jakarta) then a Dutch colony. Some members of the crew including the ship's physician deliberately separated the ship from the rest of the fleet in preparation for carrying out a mutiny. They intended to seize the ship's cargo of silver. Instead they managed to run the ship aground off the coast of Australia. Some members of the crew went for help. The other passengers, including many woman and children, were left on an island with the insane physician who began torturing and murdering them.
Some of the ship has been recovered and so has much of its cargo including an arched gateway into the City of Batavia and much of the sought after silverware.
We also visited Freemantle's superb market.
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.
Fremantle is Perth's port and lies about 20km to the Southwest from the city centre. The area at the mouth of the Swan River was already settled many thousand years ago by the Noongar people and it was an important intertribal trading point. In 1829 Charles Howe Fremantle, captain of the vessel HMS Challenger landed there an took possession of the whole west coast for the English crown.
Nowadays Fremantle is a very charming place with lots of those beautiful colonial houses, great cafés and restaurants and the famous Fremantle markets. The Maritime Museum and its Ship Wreck Galleries are also worth a visit.
To get there, take a cruise from Perth to Fremantle. It takes you along the shores of the Swan River where the rich & famous have built their mansions. The cruise takes about 45 min and the ticket is about 15 AU$ incl. coffee/tea. Thanks a lot for that tip, Ann!!!!
Alternatively take the train which gets you from Perth CBD to Fremantle in 25 minutes.
Every Sunday from about 4:30 pm, the Zydecats play at Clancy's Fish Pub in Fremantle. This is world-class cajun/zydeco music played by world-class musiciansincluding Grammy Award winer Lucky Oceans on pedal steel, slide guitar and accordian). The hoppin' rhythms get everybody up and dancing and it's the best (and only) place to be for Freo locals on a summer Sunday afternoon. Feel free to bring the kids!
After a relaxing and informative cruise on the Swan River, arrived in Fremantle to discover an enchanting College town with some of the most lovely architect to be seen. Up and down every street, every building had something unique to see, study, and photograph. Of course, a college town - great coffee shops, gelato, and book stores (a personal favorite). A lovely seafood lunch at the water's edge and walk over to see the vast Indian Ocean.
Fremantle Prison is a place that is considered of cultural and historical relevance to Western Australia. It overlooks the port city and was built on approximately 6 hectares of land. Built by convict labor in the 1850s, it ceased being an operating prison in 1991.
The historic Fremantle prison is worth visiting to see where the original prisoners were held. It reminds me a bit of Alcatraz in San Francisco in that both were historic and are now closed but tourist spots. The Freemantle prison didn't creep me out as much as Alcatraz did.
We went on a Sunday, so no tours were available -- we just walked around the outside and in the courtyard.
Candlelight tours are available on Wednesday and Friday evenings. There's an interactive Visitor Centre, and you and go inside the main cell block and do time.