The Port of Fremantle - where the mighty Swan River empties into the Indian Ocean, 19km west of Perth - simply has to be one of the most interesting cities in Australia. Stunning, convict-built sandstone buildings house a bewildering array of eateries, simply great hotels and interesting galleries, craft and antique shops.
The big fishing fleet which operates from here helps fuel one of the most attractive seafood markets in Australia, and Fremantle’s general markets, just up the road, are among Australia’s best. While you’re there, make sure you visit the Arts Centre, and Fremantle Prison which was decommissioned in 1991 but still retains a palpable eeriness.
The Maritime Museum, which overlooks beautiful Esplanade Park, exhibits a section of the Batavia, the ill-fated Dutch merchantman wrecked off the Western Australian coast in 1629. The museum also displays a unique collection of historical maritime objects.
Fremantle is renowned for culinary diversity, too, and there are dozens of Italian and Greek restaurants in the town that is sometimes called Little Italy. However, you will also the full gamut of ethnic restaurants in eminently explorable 'Freo'.
Things to do
Visitor Information Centre - Fremantle Town Hall, Cnr William & Adelaide Sts, Fremantle.
Historic Centre - follow the walking trail through town to see historic buildings including Lionel Samson Building, Esplanade Hotel and convict Warder's quarters.
Western Australia Maritime Museum Shipwreck Galleries - including the Batavia.
Bannister Street Craft Workshops - a display of artists cooperative. Sales available
Challenger Harbour - built for the America's Cup
Fremantle Motor Museum -
Fremantle Arts Centre and History Museum - open Saturday and Sunday pm, Quarry St.