Perth/Fremantle

Fremantle Town Hall

Fremantle is an Indian Ocean port, clinging to the western edge of Australia, facing west towards Rottnest Island, Mauritius, and Africa.

You could claim that Fremantle is a suburb of Perth, but you'd be wrong. It is a city in its own right, deliciously different from Perth in its location, people and style. It is commonly shortened to Freo.

Understand

The locale of Fremantle was the first point of call for the Dutch in the 1600's, the English who settled in the early 1800's and is historically endowed with buildings and streets that still tell stories of the earlier years of the nineteenth and twentieth century activity as the port for the developing Western Australia. It was the first port of call of shipping from the United Kingdom and Europe before they proceeded on to other ports in Australia. It was in early years in competition as a port with Albany for shipping to and from Europe, but overtook Albany and has never looked back.

Parts of the built heritage of Fremantle have escaped the developmental trends that occurred in Perth, where older buildings were removed regularly to be replaced by large office buildings with little character. The heritage status of buildings and streetscapes of parts of Fremantle make it a great place to wander and learn about Fremantles early days. The international attention for the Americas Cup challenges held just off Fremantle also saw considerable effort in improving facilities for visitors and tourists.

Being a port, it was the first land for immigrants in the past, and currently is also a point of call in a number of Cruise Ship operators, and also the closest point for trips to Rottnest.

Get in

By road

By car Take Leach Highway west, Stirling Highway south-west or Canning Highway west. From the south, take Rockingham Road. From the north coast, West Coast Highway and the Curtin Avenue lead to the port. From Perth city, Fremantle is about a 30 minute drive.

There are many TransPerth buses that arrive and leave Fremantle. Routes 98 (clockwise) and 99 (anti-clockwise) are quick and frequent services that lead to Fremantle. They terminate at the Fremantle Railway Station.

By train

Frequent commuter trains from Perth leave from Perth's City Station, and makes the 25 minute trip to Fremantle via Perth's western suburbs, culminating in a breath-taking view of beach, ocean and port before arriving at Fremantle station.

See the TransPerth Journey Planner for more info on trains and buses.

By ship

All cruise ships berth at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal on Victoria Quay. The terminal has a café and licensed bar area and public conveniences.

Get around

You can get around most of central Fremantle for free on the (Central Area Transit) CAT Buses which run every ten minutes during daylight hours. There are two routes, a Red CAT and a Blue CAT. Most buses used for the service are painted orange with a large black cat on the side. Look for the CAT symbol at bus stops, and maybe even paw-prints on the footpath. The CAT Bus is wheelchair and pram accessible, including kneeling (automatic lowering suspension) and ramp access.

Walking

The Cappuccino Strip

Fremantle is mostly flat, relatively compact in size and good for walking. It is well worth seeking out information and interpretation - as not all of Fremantle history is that obvious in its current state. Fremantle for its size has a range of subjects that can be understood with some

If, the passion is high enough and spare time available, and there is a need for information beyond the easily available - The Local History Collection at the Fremantle Library is an excellent way to gain more detailed information.

Walking areas - either from the Fremantle Walk Book, or other sources - these areas are well worth getting out of the car and having a closer look:-

See

Inside Fremantle prison

There is a lot to see in Fremantle.

Do

Like all good port towns of the world, Fremantle has a bustling nightlife and is a favorite place to go out for many people who live within the Perth metropolitan area. Unlike Northbridge, Fremantle does not seem to attract the same level of bad behavior so is quite a safe place to spend an evening. Some places to go out include:

Newport - Famed for its 'backpacker and student' Wednesdays, it plays hosts to a range of bands, international DJs and other music genres in "The Bandroom". Continuing onto the weekend, Newport offers those interested the chance to catch their favorite sport in the "The Atrium". Or if pool is the better option then the "Front Bar" is also available. Located on the famed Cappuccino Strip. No entry charge.

Metropolis Fremantle - A club located on Marine Parade. It is one of the biggest and busiest in Fremantle. Metros is divided into different sections, offering RnB, bands belting out 80/90s hits, house and electronic music on different nights. On the plus side, it is loud, busy, and the place to be seen. On the downside it has a $10 cover charge before midnight and a $15 charge after. Get there early or expect a long line to get in.

Buy

Sunset over the harbour

Whether it is shopping for food or clothes, you are bound to find it. Fremantle offers you an array of retail therapy. Shops generally open from 10AM-5PM.

Others include Ace Cycles, Bike Force and Fleet Cycles.

Eat

Sandrinos Restaurant and Pizzeria

Despite the wide availability of Italian food outlets, Fremantle offers other cuisines within different price ranges.

Drink

Sleep

P & O Hotel

Budget

There are a couple of backpacker accommodations within walking distance of the train station.

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 16, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.