Fremantle – or "Freo" as it’s known to locals – is for the free spirits. A blend of old and new, this waterfront precinct is effortlessly cool and a must-do day trip from Perth – get there in around 30 minutes by train or car, or take it slower with a cruise along the Swan River to arrive in port.

Coffee connoisseurs can start their day at the “Cappuccino Strip”, a cosmopolitan hub of cafes, pubs and restaurants on the South Terrace. Then saunter the streets and alleyways, admire the colonial heritage buildings, and peruse the boutique and designer shops.

The Fremantle Arts Centre is the place for culture vultures: creators of all kinds show off their work in the gothic heritage building, from Aboriginal and contemporary artists to local bands and international musicians.

The Fremantle Markets, weekly from Friday to Sunday, are a bubbling haven of local produce, artisanal food, fashion, music and Aboriginal art.

Fremantle is a city that spear-headed the Australian craft beer revolution, so settle in for a classic fish and chip lunch and a pint or two of pale ale or small-batch beer at one of the many microbreweries, pubs or restaurants.

Step back in time with a visit to the Western Australian Maritime Museum, the Round House (the Swan River Colony’s first-ever building) and the UNESCO (United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison. If only those walls could talk - a guided tour is the next best thing.

Don't forget that in Fremantle, life’s a beach. Swim and scrunch the sand between your toes, snorkel or windsurf. When things get too hot to handle, the "Freo doctor" (cooling afternoon sea breezes) has your back.