Fremantle, or ‘Freo’ as it’s affectionately referred to by locals, is located on the coast just 30 minutes from Perth. This port city, regarded as one of Western Australia’s most historic and beautiful cities, sits at the mouth of the Swan River and is known for its lively and charming vibe. Its streets come alive with buskers, trendy cafés, bars and sidewalks filled with diverse displays of art and music.
Named after Captain Charles Howe Fremantle, an English naval officer who established a camp at the site and pronounced possession of Western Australia, Fremantle was established in 1829 and was the major city in Western Australia for much of its early history. The local Aboriginal people of the area, the Whadjuk Noongar, refer to Fremantle as ‘Walyalup’, translated to ‘the place of crying’ and regard the area as a place for significant ceremonies, cultural practices and trading.
Fremantle is recognised as one of the best preserved 19th century seaports in the world with several of its colonial-era buildings classified by the National Trust including the Fremantle Prison, built by convicts in the 1850s. Admire the well-preserved architectural heritage contrasted with the 21st century lifestyle of bustling local markets, lively bars and the ‘Cappuccino Strip’, known for its dining culture and variety of cafés.
Fremantle's Events & Festivals
Fremantle has a vast array of events every single year, from music festivals to gallery exhibitions, plus a number of events with cultural and historical significance. Every year the streets of Fremantle come alive for the summer festival circuit with the Falls festival in January and St. Jerome’s Laneway in February.
Come Autumn you can find the Fremantle International Streets Arts Festival and the Australian Heritage Festival. In winter, you can enjoy the Winterworld festival that transforms the area into a snow-filled wonderland.
Make sure to check out what’s on in the area when you plan to go, and you’ll likely find something fun for the day.
The Fremantle Markets are well worth a visit and contain many shops that sell unique artwork, incredible food, clothes and hand-made jewelry. There are also a lot of local indigenous artists and retailers that offer the perfect souvenir to take back home.
Interesting Facts About Fremantle
Where Is Fremantle?
Fremantle is situated in the southwestern section of Australia, and the city can be found within a 30-minute drive from Perth.
How High Is Fremantle?
The Monument Hill is the highest point in the city, and this well-known landmark features a beautiful statue that honors veterans. It is around 58 metres above sea-level, however, other parts of the city are only 7 metres above sea-level.
How Old Is Fremantle?
The initial settlement was established in 1829, and originally, the town had approximately 400 settlers. The town quickly expanded during the 1850s as ships transported additional settlers. During 1855, several organisations created the Fremantle Jail, and subsequently, many convicts also arrived from other regions. In the 1880s, the citizens established local organisations, created extensive roads and modified the local docks. These improvements encouraged many individuals to visit the city, and eventually, the city became a local transportation hub.
Why Is Fremantle Important?
The city is a major port that has stimulated economic growth in the region, and the city's roads allow guests to visit many regions. The area's beaches also attract tourists who can observe distinctive wildlife, examine the coral reefs, visit various islands and explore the nearby reserves.