Discover the character and charm of the lively port city of Fremantle, where history and culture combine to create a rich display of unique architecture and a spirited personality.
Embark on a journey through the city streets to explore Fremantle Prison, Fremantle's markets and the Western Australian Maritime Museum.
See some of the world's oldest and most famous motor vehicles, visit a working brewery for a taste of some local favourites and sample some of Western Australia's freshest seafood as you relax in the sunshine at the ocean's edge.
Day 1: Fremantle
Drive for less than 30 minutes south west of Perth, and you'll arrive at the historic port city of Fremantle, where the streets are filled with Victorian-era buildings, funky boutiques and lively pubs.
Public car parks charging an hourly fee are available in the heart of the city, or if you prefer, park on the outskirts and use the free Fremantle CAT (Central Area Transport) Service. These buses depart major tourist locations and business areas throughout the city every 10 minutes. Another excellent way to see the sights of Fremantle and discover the secrets of this fascinating port city is to jump on the Fremantle Tram.
Fremantle can also be accessed by public transport, so catch the train or bus from Perth city. Or experience a relaxing cruise on the Swan River - a number of private operators depart Barrack Street Jetty for the port city a few times a day.
A hearty breakfast at any café along Fremantle's bustling South Terrace is a perfect start to the day. Choose a sidewalk table for an al fresco dining experience or soak up the atmosphere inside as you watch the barista at play.
Make the most of the warm climate by strolling through Fremantle's maze of streets - you'll soon appreciate why the city's considered the best-preserved example of a 19th century port streetscape in the world. Talented buskers and street performers entertain on weekends while street side vendors sell jewellery, conduct tarot readings and sketch portraits.
Head to the wharf to visit the new Western Australian Maritime Museum - The architectural imagery of the museum draws on the simple association of a boat stranded on a sandy promontory. Famous vessels are suspended from the ceiling, including Australia II, the winged-keel yacht that shot to fame after winning the America's Cup in 1983, and the Parry Endeavour, which carried lone yachtsman Jon Sanders three times around the globe.
Just a short walk from the museum is a world-class display of cars and motorbikes all under one roof. Automotive enthusiasts will delight in the pieces ranging from an 1898 De Dion to the Williams driven by 1980 Formula 1 World Champion Alan Jones. And if you get peckish during your tour, there's a 1950's themed diner inside to satisfy your hunger.
Head back into the heart of town for a haunting tour through Fremantle Prison, built by convicts in the 1850s and closed as a place of incarceration in 1991 after 136 years of continuous use. It opened to the public the following year, and has since been popular with locals and visitors eager to learn about life as an inmate.
The Prison tour is great entertainment for the whole family - see the tiny cells, stunning art painted on the walls and inspiring architecture. Tour guides tell gripping stories of daring escapes, and there's even candlelight tours for a more spine-tingling experience. Be ready for a few "scary" surprises!
From here, make your way to Fremantle's original market place on Henderson Street, which is open Friday to Sunday and Monday public holidays. It's a hive of activity and bursts with an eclectic blend of stalls and buskers intent on entertaining shoppers.
Indigenous arts and crafts are on show, fresh fruit and vegetables tempt and the aroma of scrumptious crepes wafts throughout. You'll also find some great bargains and local fashions. Refuel and grab some lunch or afternoon tea.
Give the credit card a workout and head to Fremantle's bookshops, boutiques and homeware stores, scattered along South Terrace and Market Street - the perfect spot for an afternoon of retail therapy.
Feast on fish and chips at Fremantle's Fishing Boat Harbour, then get a taste of Fremantle's exuberant nightlife as you continue on to a bar, pub or nightclub. While clubs generally carry a cover charge, this often includes a complementary drink. Or check out a brewery for a different atmosphere - most have extensive menus so you have the option of dining too.
For more information on Fremantle visit Fremantle First.
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