Freo, as the locals call it, has a history as colourful as its buzzing markets. In days gone by, convicts, bushrangers, prison escapees and sailors frequented the postcode and since 1897, hundreds of tiny stalls run by artists, makers and growers have clustered within the Fremantle Markets’ limestone walls. Sign up for a walking tour to hear about the port town’s characterful past and present. Many roam the heritage-listed West End, where repurposed former pubs, shipping headquarters and warehouses loom with grand architecture, or you can put on overalls and a hard hat to explore the subterranean tunnels of World Heritage Listed Fremantle Prison – by torchlight - as you learn about its inmates.
Allow the smells of fresh seafood and hot chips to lure you to Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour. Follow the rusted anchors to the WA Shipwrecks Museum, regarded as the foremost maritime archaeology museum in the Southern Hemisphere. The nearby WA Maritime Museum holds treasures such as the Australia II, winner of the 1983 America's Cup and an 89 metre-long submarine you can clamber through. Tucked between the two is Bathers Beach, a secluded sandy stretch loved by locals.
View it all from above, on a Ferris Wheel ride at Esplanade Park, then browse the boutiques and galleries along Market Street, a bustling alfresco dining strip. At the top of High Street Mall, find the town square, Walyalup Koort (meaning ‘heart of Fremantle’ in the Aboriginal Nyoongar language) incorporating FOMO (Fremantle on my own), Walyalup Civic Centre, visitor centre and the historic Fremantle Town Hall and St John’s Church. The koort opened in December 2021, completing the largest public-private infrastructure project in Fremantle’s history.