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Want more of Perth’s best places to visit? What about experiencing one of the liveliest port cities in this country, Fremantle Western Australia? Named one of the world’s greatest places of 2022 by TIME Magazine, this enchanting city welcomes you to explore and experience any time of year.
Fremantle – A Brief History
Walyalup is what the indigenous inhabitants, the Whadjuk Noongar people, call this land, which means “the place of the woylie”. Before any European settlements, those local people used this place for ceremonies, cultural practices, and trade. They inhabited this area for millennia, mostly meeting and gathering in spring and autumn to have fish and game feasts.
In the 1800s, this city got its name from a British naval officer, Captain Charles Fremantle. He made it one of the penal colonies and Australia’s main destination for British and Irish prisoners. The prison is now becoming one of the World Heritage Sites.
In the present day, the Whadjuk and Noongar people continue to meet and gather in Walyalup and Manjaree.
A Port City and Other Interesting Facts
Fremantle is a vibrant port city about 30 minutes southwest of Perth in Western Australia. Nestled on a series of limestone hills, Fremantle is where the Swan River meets the Indian Ocean.
As one of the busiest and major ports, the Fremantle Harbour is the entry point for container ships, cruise ships, ferries, and leisure craft to dock. Those smaller ferries and leisure craft usually sail for about 20 km up the Swan River to Perth and vice versa.
A Magical Destination
A pedestrian-friendly city, its distinctive winding streets allow you a glimpse of a Colonial and a Gold Rush past, existing harmoniously with the recent lively and modern day.
Go along the cycle paths and witness the rocky limestone formations in the southern part of the Swan River. Do not miss the Fishing Boat Harbour precinct that will welcome you with walkways, cafes, restaurants, and a brewery.
An Architectural Heritage
The city is also full of its famous well-preserved 19th-century architectural heritage, the remarkable heritage buildings in pale-colored local limestone.
The Historic West End area holds most Victorian and Edwardian heritage structures, including the still-intact Round House, the Fremantle Prison, Notre Dame University, Esplanade Park, and more.
“Freo” and Its Main Attractions
“Freo” is the Western Australian little English for Fremantle, offering more attractions to explore.
When you come to Fishing Boat Harbour, go to the Little Creatures Village. Overlooking the harbor, Little Creatures Village is a haven for fresh seafood with its famous fish and chips, live music, and more.
Your itinerary also can go longer to the Fremantle Arts Center, WA Maritime Museum, Fremantle Markets, and Rainbow. The last place is popular among tourists as it has the iconic sculpture designed by Marcus Canning, one of the prominent artists in Perth. It is a creative arch made of nine colorful recycled sea containers to create a giant rainbow.
Fremantle Western Australia has five popular beaches: the historic Bathers Beach, River Beach, South Beach, Leighton Beach, and Port Beach. Experience the so-called Freo Doctor, the city’s strong afternoon breeze, perfect for wind and kite surfing.
The Fremantle people love to celebrate. That’s why there are always festivals, art shows, buskers, theatrical or musical performances, and other overflowing creativities.
On Easter, you can expect the Fremantle International Street Art Festivals. The Fremantle Heritage Festival invites you to witness the Fremantle Map of Memories. Meanwhile, in winter, you can join and have fun at the Fremantle Festival: 10 Nights in Port. There is also Hidden Treasures, a celebration of new music talents with 61 performances over two-night gigs.
Visiting Fremantle – Some of the Best Travel Tips
You can get to Fremantle by traveling on leisure craft and ferries from Perth and cruise ships. The recommendation is to book all your tickets for your trip’s convenience.
Where to stay? Freo is full of friendly and cheerful hostels and B&Bs up to more luxurious accommodations. You can plan your visit for a city tour or festival in mind by checking the schedule and the pre-sale tickets available.
What a mystical and charming port city, isn’t it? Fremantle Western Australia is truly a worth-visiting waterfront city. It is rich in history and well-preserved culture balanced with vibrant modern life. Read about nearby destinations, such as Elizabeth Quay, as your next list of Perth’s best places.