This chilled-out, arty coastal town – known to locals as “Freo” - is just 30 minutes by train from Perth, West Australia’s state capital, and bustles with life and culture. Fremantle is where the West Australians escape the rat-race. The arty crowd flocks here at weekends, crowding the streets to marvel at the range of informal busking acts, frequenting the numerous pavement cafes and most of all exploring the warren-like Saturday market.

Established in 1829, Freo takes its name from founder Charles Fremantle. The artificial harbour gives access to the Swan River, and, along with the West coast gold rush, enabled this charming seaside town to prosper right from the beginning. Nowadays it is a thriving retreat from the big city, a place where tourists and city workers can rub shoulders with artists, musicians and entrepreneurs. Arriving, as most visitors do, on the train from Perth, you will be struck by the breathtaking views over the turquoise blue Indian Ocean and the picturesque vintage architecture.


Begin your visit with a [ “tram” tour] round the pretty Victorian city centre. The tour operates using replica trams: full day ticket $20 adults, $5 children. Then continue your adventures on foot for a more intimate exploration of the intriguing little side streets. With the state’s largest collection of heritage buildings, Fremantle is widely recognised as one of the most well-preserved 19th century ports in the world.

Entertaining the kids and learning more about the fascinating history of Western Australia is no problem in this thriving port town. Start at the exciting, interactive [ Maritime Museum] (adults $10, children $3) centrally located at Victoria Quay, where you can discover the details of the many shipwrecks discovered off this section of coast and explore some replicas. Children and adults alike will love exploring the real HMAS Oven submarines, which are now decommissioned and open for viewing at Victoria Quay – tours leave throughout the day. Other musts include the Fremantle History museum and the Motor museum.

If you’re after a more relaxing afternoon pastime, it’s easy to take advantage of Fremantle’s long hot summers. In the town centre, visit Bathers Beach for a swim or Fisherman’s Harbour to see what you can catch; it doesn’t matter if luck’s not on your side, as you’ll still get to watch the timeless ritual of the fishing boats coming in – a breath of fresh air in comparison to joyless modern fish farming. Alternatively, explore further afield both up and down the coast for beautiful beaches and unspoilt scenery. For a traditional Aussie Sunday treat, visit the famous [ Fremantle Oval] and watch the AFL team play at home.


Fremantle market is famous throughout the region for its fresh food and huge range of arts, crafts and clothes. Souvenir shopping has never been so enjoyable: the market is particularly fabulous for artwork and jewellery, and you can get creative at the bead stall. Head down for brunch on a Saturday or Sunday and treat yourselves to pastries and delicious coffee to fuel a day of bargain-hunting. Sample the huge variety of tropical fruit – the supermarkets could never compete with the freshness, quality and friendly service you’ll find here – and don’t miss a sweet bubble tea from the Japanese food stall.

Eating and Nightlife

The Little Creatures brewery is famed throughout Australia for its delicious self-titled pale ale, available here on tap along with several other varieties. The modern building is light and airy and packed on Sundays, when a relaxed, arty crowd flocks in for casual afternoon drinks and gourmet pizzas.

Known as “cappuccino strip”, Fremantle’s main drag, South Terrace, provides a plethora of cafes. Australians are serious about good coffee, and Fremantle’s selection can compete with the best of them, as well as providing exceptional cakes and pizzas – Italian cuisine is well represented. Bustling with passers-by, South Terrace is perfect for chilling out with a few friends and a drink, or just people-watching, day and night. Those looking for a more lively nightlife won’t be disappointed either, as Fremantle’s classy bars and pubs start filling up as the market empties on weekend evenings.

Tourist Information

Fremantle Tourist Bureau Town Hall Kings Square Fremantle

  • Phone: +61 (0)8 9431 7878
  • Fax: +61 (0)8 9431 7755

Airport and Transport

Fremantle is just 30 minutes by train from Perth city centre. Trains run regularly 7 days a week until midnight.

There is a shuttle direct to the town from the nearest airport at [Perth. Perth airport is served by both international and domestic flights.

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