10 Great Things to do in Fremantle

Fremantle Markets

Drink a Craft Beer

Gone are the days when VB and XXXX set the standard for Australian beer. These days it’s all about craft beer and Fremantle is home to a growing number of local breweries.

Not to be missed, Little Creatures is a must stop destination for anyone visiting the Port City. Die-hard beer fans can even enrol in Beer School, which take place once a month.

Little Creatures
Little Creatures Brewery – image courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Beer connoisseurs should make a beeline for the Sail and Anchor where you can choose from over 30 craft beers on tap.

If you don’t just want to drink beer, but eat it too, head across the road to The Monk. Here beer is an ingredient in half of the food choices on the menu.

If sunset and beer sounds like the perfect combination then there’s no better place than Blacksalt Brewery located at Salt in North Fremantle. Watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean while drinking a great local brew.

Try a New Café

In the old days, Gino’s on the Cappuccino Strip was the place for a decent cup of coffee in Fremantle. These days, thanks to what seems like a café revolution in Fremantle you’ll find a great coffee no matter where you find yourself in the port city.

In the West End, towards the Round House you can’t go wrong at Chalkys, Blink or Hush. Or else, mix coffee and art at Moore and Moore Café and Gallery near Notre Dame University.

For a rustic and quaint ambience, try the middle-eastern themed The Attic on Bannister Street or watch the world go by at Il Cibo opposite the train station.

Rent a Bike for Free

There’s no better way to discover Fremantle than by bike. Thanks to Free Wheeling Fremantle, you can rent a bike for free and start exploring.

Collect your bike from Harbour Bike Hire at the E-Shed and against a deposit it’s all yours for the day. If pedalling sounds like too much work or you simply want to head further afield, you can even choose an electric bike.

Rummage through the Vintage Shops

Unearth a treasure at one of many vintage and secondhand shops that are scattered throughout Fremantle.

You’ll uncover a trove of hand-picked retro and vintage gems at Broken Doll, Pongee and She Seldom Blushes, which are all located in the centre of Fremantle. These quirky boutiques offer one-off garments, jewellery and accessories.

You could also easily spend a whole afternoon perusing the many second hand shops located on the east side of High Street. A definite favourite here is Vinnies Retro, which has an amazing array of old school bits and pieces and is the place to find the perfect fancy dress outfit.

Go to a Market

 As any tourist will know, the Fremantle Markets are the place to go on the weekend for specialty shops, gourmet food and entertainment. Fremantle however is home to many other markets, which are well worth a visit.

The Mad Hatters Market in Kings Square runs from Thursday to Saturday and has a range of specialty items and food stalls. While there, be sure to check out MANY in the old Myer Store, which has become home to an eclectic range of local designers, artists and retailers.

On the waterfront, the E-Shed markets offer good shopping, fruit and vegetables and one of the best places to sit and watch the harbour.

In the summer months, there’s no better place to spend a Saturday evening than at the Sunset Markets at Bathers Beach. Bring a picnic rug, watch the sunset and choose dinner from one of the many international food stalls.

On Sunday mornings, do what the locals do and head to the Farmer’s Market. Here you’ll find a great range of local organic produce, entertainment and excellent food.

Have a Swim at the Beach

Fremantle has some of the best and cleanest city beaches in the world. Spend a lazy day at South Beach where you can swim to the yellow pontoon, laze under the Pine trees and mingle with the myriad backpackers who seemingly make this their home during the warmer months.

Port Beach and Leighton Beach in North Fremantle are other great spots for a dip in the Indian Ocean. Come here for a long walk along the beach or on windy days watch the kitesurfers.

 Closer to town, the historic Bathers Beach is also an inviting spot for a swim. Stay the afternoon and head to the Fremantle Harbour for fish and chips for dinner.

Bather's Beach
Bather’s Beach – image courtesy of  Tourism Western Australia

Discover Maritime History

Fremantle’s history is irrevocably linked to the sea and the Fremantle Maritime Museum is a great place to explore this affinity with the ocean. The museum is home to America’s Cup winning Australia II, the history-making Endeavour in which Jon Sanders circumvented the world three times, and many other iconic vessels. You can also take a tour of HMAS Ovens, a Cold War-era submarine.

 The Shipwreck Gallery is also worthy of a visit and recounts stories of West Australia’s early maritime history including the fabled stories of the Batavia and other shipwrecks that occurred along the west coast of Australia.

Check out a Gallery

Spend an afternoon at the heritage listed Fremantle Arts Centre. Visit the free exhibitions from local, national and international artists. The centre also offers a great café, beautiful garden and gift shop. From October to March there are also free Sunday afternoon concerts held in the courtyard.

The Kidogo Arthouse is worth a visit just to for the location itself. Situated at Bather’s Beach in a picturesque 1884 limestone building, this is a great gallery to visit as you stroll around the historic precinct. In the summer months, Kidogo also transforms into a cute little beachside café and bar.

Enjoy contemporary art at Moore’s Building Contemporary Art Gallery. The gallery is a subsidised space by the City of Fremantle and frequently exhibits work from emerging artists and students.

For a dose of indigenous art, head to Japingka Art Gallery which showcases amazing paintings and other art works from Aboriginal artists.

Walk the Fremantle Trails

Pick up a trail card from the visitor centre in Kings Square for self-guided walking tours. There are 11 tours to choose from and include trails for art and culture, convict history, retail and fashion, CY O’Connor and maritime history to name just a few.

Alternatively join the excellent Two Feet and a Heartbeat walking tours for engaging and interesting insight into Fremantle’s culture and history.

Discover the local Music Scene

Music buffs will know that Eskimo Joe, John Butler and San Cisco all have links to the Port City. Take in some live music at The Fly by Night Musicians Club or Mojos in North Fremantle, which regularly feature local musicians.

Music lovers will also love Mills Records, where you can find a locals board, with recording from Fremantle and West Australian acts.

 

 

14 thoughts on “10 Great Things to do in Fremantle

  1. Sad to see the closure of Atwell Arcade, home of the featured vintage shops. Broken Doll has popped up in Woolstores shopping Centre . She seldom blushes can be found online. Great new venue at Bathers Beach House. Nice article, going to take one of the trails each weekend . Thanks!

    1. Hi Barbara, thanks for stopping by. What a shame that Atwell Arcade is closing. My heart breaks each time another shop gets closed in Fremantle. On a positive note, the new cafe/restaurant at Bathers Beach is fantastic.

  2. This has been a great reference point for my travels in WA. Everything that you have recommended Nina has been well worth the visit! I especially liked all the dog info.

  3. Thanks for including me (I own and run Brokendoll Vintage)
    However She Seldom Blushes hasn’t been open in over 18 months……
    Sadly closed a long time ago. x
    I would consider including The prison tours.

    1. Hi Annette. many thanks for your comment. I’ll revise the article – I wrote the article last year and it’s amazing how much Fremantle has changed in such a short amount of time.
      Yes, I definitely should have included the Prison. Just read this morning that they’re opening a backpacker hostel inside the prison.

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