Local's guide to Fremantle

Perth's port town, Fremantle – or Freo, as the locals call it – has charm in spades. In its curving, colonial-era streets you'll find artsy, quirky locals who love busking, street art and alfresco dining. Local's guide to Fremantle
Site Requires Javascript - turn on javascript!

Local's guide to Fremantle

Perth's port town, Fremantle – or Freo, as the locals call it – has charm in spades. In its curving, colonial-era streets you'll find artsy, quirky locals who love busking, street art and alfresco dining.


By Fleur Bainger

Once a separate town, Fremantle has long been engulfed by the city of Perth's spreading tentacles, but plenty of its historical roots remain. Get to know it via a tour through its prison, a beer at its famous brewery and a photo with a rock 'n' roll legend who grew up in its engaging streets.

HOW TO GET THERE

Fremantle is just south of Perth and can be reached via a 25 minute train ride from Perth city centre, or a drive along Stirling Highway for just over half an hour.

DON’T MISS

  • Pay homage to AC/DC’s legendary frontman, Bon Scott
  • Be spooked by a Fremantle prison night tour
  • Eat out at a historic warehouse restaurant


TOP THINGS TO DO IN FREMANTLE

Wander the Fremantle Markets
The weekend markets are the heartbeat of Fremantle, combining art and photography with tie-dye T-shirts, tasselled hammocks and a buskers corner. Out the back there's a buzzing food court where you can eat gozlemes, barbecued corn and fresh made paella. Open all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the markets also have stalls of cheap, fresh produce. Street performers draw crowds at the entrance off South Terrace.

Get spooked at Fremantle Prison
Get acquainted with Fremantle's colonial past and venture in to the World Heritage Fremantle Prison, where you'll hear rollicking tales of Irish escapees and cheeky bushrangers; add drama by going at night. Reservations are essential for the 90 minute Torchlight Tour (AUD$26). There's also a 2 1/2 hour Tunnels Tour (AUD $60), in which visitors are provided with hard hats, overalls, boots, and headlamps before descending 20 metres (65 feet) into the tunnels beneath the prison.

Walk into history
Join a two hour walking tour with the knowledgeable guides from Two Feet and a Heartbeat. The Sailors Guide to Fremantle (AUD$55, three hours) takes you through the places once popular with the Dutch and English seamen who lived here. The Convicts and Colonials tour (AUD$45, two hours) includes stories of Irish prison escapees, bushrangers and plenty of quirky historical anecdotes as you wander past heritage buildings, some built by convicts.

Eat at Fremantle's foodie hot spots
Fremantle is home to a number of unique eateries, such as Moore & Moore, where planter boxes, bike racks and, often, musicians welcome you at the door. Pass clusters of reclaimed furniture and a chaotic kitchen before emerging into the sunlight where you'll find a table-laden back garden. They do all-day breakfast here – try the smoked salmon and asparagus plate with herby yoghurt. For great ocean views, hit Bathers Beach House for lunch – you'll feel like you’re eating on the sand. Nearby is Bread in Common, a fantastic lunch or dinner spot filled with naked globes, communal wooden tables and pared-back brickwork. The industrial warehouse look is authentic: the venue dates back to the 1800s. Order the vinegar-licked lamb ribs, spuds roasted in duck fat and, of course, the baked in-house bread. Manuka Woodfire Kitchen is another gem, with everything on the menu cooked in the wood oven. Find it tucked away near the markets.

Sip a local craft beer
Microbrewery Little Creatures, started small but it's grown into a global brand, enjoyed around the world. Go to its birthplace and see where the magic began. Part of the fun is the quirky staff - expect to see handlebar moustaches, multi-coloured hair, piercings and tattoos. They're all super friendly and will happily take you on a tasting tour of the craft beers; you can also book into a brewery tour of the airy warehouse and its stainless steel vats. Tours cost $12 per person and run daily, departing on the hour between 12pm and 3pm.

Remember Bon Scott
Pay your respects to the late Bon Scott, the hard-living lead singer of AC/DC, a Freo lad who burnt out early (1946–80). He's enshrined in a bronze sculpture, microphone in hand, standing on top of a Marshall amplifier in the pedestrian-friendly Fishing Boat Harbour. The Scottish-born frontman moved to Fremantle with his family when he was 10 years old and his ashes are interred in its cemetery - another spot dedicated fans like to visit.

Shop at Many 6160
Admire the handiwork of local artisans, designers and artists at the boutique collective, Many 6160. In a disused former department store, mini shops run by creative types sell everything from street art prints to handmade hats, one-off furniture, steampunk artefacts and home grown fashion.

Spot the America's Cup winning yacht, Australia II
Perching on the edge of Fremantle Harbour, the Western Australian Maritime Museum houses the Australia II, winner of the 1983 America's Cup. It's more than just a boat. The yacht's win transformed both Perth and Fremantle, putting them on the world map and signifying a time of excess and riches. You can also see pearl luggers, leisure yachts and take a one hour guided tour inside the HMAS Ovens, an 89 metre (292 foot) Cold War-era submarine. Tours depart every 30 minutes from 10am to 3.30pm; reservations are recommended. Entry to the museum and submarine cost AUD$15 each, or AUD$25 for a combined ticket.

LATEST ARTICLES ABOUT WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Wildflowers, outback and coast: 5 day itinera...

Wildflowers, outback and coast: 5 day itinerary

Take a colour-filled road trip along Indian Ocean Drive, the Pinnacles Desert, to the ultimate outback coast adventure playground in the ancient gorges of Kalbarri National Park.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
Margaret River indulgent escape

Margaret River indulgent escape

Discover white sand beaches, karri forests and limestone caves all within easy reach of luxury accommodation and a multitude of fine dining choices.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
Five days surfing in Margaret River

Five days surfing in Margaret River

Only in Margaret River can you find people whose passion for surfing matches their passion for wine. You’ll find yourself just a short drive from over 40 surf breaks and more than a hundred wineries.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
Swimming with humpback whales

Swimming with humpback whales

Swim with the humpback whales in Queensland and Western Australia from July to October.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island, just a short ferry ride from Perth, feels a world away from city life. Rottnest Island was separated from the Western Australian mainland around 7,000 years ago when the sea level rose. The first records of human occupation of Rottnest Island date back more than 6,500 years, when the Nyungah Aboriginal people inhabited the area. Known to local Aboriginal people as Wadjemup, the island is of great spiritual significance to Aboriginal communities.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
Perth & Western Australian Beaches

Perth & Western Australian Beaches

Whether you want to surf world-class Margaret River breaks or grab a beachside blue swimmer crab linguine at a city beach in Perth, Western Australia has the coastal getaway for you.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
South-West, Beaches and Goldfields

South-West, Beaches and Goldfields

Discover the diverse and theatrical landscapes of Australia’s south-west corner. Drive from Perth through the buzzing historic port of Fremantle and swim with dolphins in Mandurah and Bunbury. Explore wineries, surf beaches, ancient limestone caves and towering karri forests in the Margaret River region. Walk through a canopy of sky-scraping trees in the Valley of the Giants, near Walpole. Swim and surf from Esperance’s clean, empty white beaches and cruise to the pristine islands of the Recherche Archipelago. Soak up gold fever in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and trace the path of pioneers on historic gold trails. Watch golden sand morph to green valley as you drive back into Perth.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
Top 10 Things to do in Perth

Top 10 Things to do in Perth

Australia’s only capital city on the Indian Ocean oozes confidence. Explore Perth’s hip wine bars and sunny beaches, spectacular green parks and glittering skyscrapers, funky neighbourhoods and beautiful colonial architecture. Be enthralled by a city on the move that has passion for the past and energy for the future.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite

MAKE YOUR TRIP HAPPEN

Property Type
Hotel Class
Price Range
Type
Main Course

Prices are indicative

Liquor Licence
OOPS! The search results for your query are currently unavailable. We apologise for any inconvenience. Please try again later.
loading