Fremantle is one of the star attractions on any visit to Perth and Western Australia. The nineteen-century port town is an eclectic mix of old and new with a strong nautical theme running through its veins. Among the highlights are the historical buildings and museums, colourful and vibrant markets, people watching on the cappuccino strip and a stroll around the busy Fremantle Harbour.
If you’re interested in discovering more about Fremantle and its history, then these are the tours I recommend.
Trams in Fremantle went out of service in 1952 but the quaint Fremantle tourist tram offers a slice of nostalgia of the bygone days. The tram travels around Freo town with stops at all the main Fremantle tuorist attractions, including the Fremantle Markets, Prison and Port. All you need to do is decide where you want to get on and off. The ticket is valid all day so you can hop on and off as much as you want.
For tour details and to pre-book your ticket click here.
The Fremantle Prison is one of West Australia’s most significant cultural landmarks and a World Heritage Site. The jail is a relic of Australia’s convict past and provides a fascinating insight into Australia’s colonial history.
Fremantle Prison Tours are available daily from 10 am to 5 pm and explore the history and stories of the prison from its convict era to its closure in 1991. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance.
Along with the Prison Tour, there are also some novelty tours including the Fremantle Prison Tunnel Tour which lets you go underground and explore the large network of underground tunnels. There’s also the rather ghostly Torchlight tour which takes place at night. These tours need to be pre-booked.
For Fremantle Prison, tour prices and more details visit the website here.
If you want to combine the Tram Tour with entrance to the prison, you can book online here with Get your Guide and skip the queues. See the tour here.
Discover the history and the best Fremantle attractions on a two-hour walk tour. The local guides are passionate about all things Freo and offer great insight into both historic and cultural aspects, including a visit to the Round House, the oldest public building in Western Australia and a leisurely stroll down the cappuccino strip
For a two-hour walk tour see details and prices on Viator here.
For a small group history walking tour that includes entrance to the Fremantle prison and lunch see details here.
If you’d rather go it alone, the Fremantle Visitor Centre has a series of self-guided heritage walk trails you can do at your own leisure. These include the Literary Trail, Street Art Trail and my favourite, the Fremantle Vintage Shopping Trail. For maps and trail details get more information here.
Take the slow way to Fremantle with a Swan River cruise. The ferry travels along the pretty banks of the river and offers stunning views along the way including some of Perth’s most expensive waterfront houses. The Perth to Fremantle ferry trip takes 1.5 hours with unlimited tea and coffee available on board. The cruise also offers commentary and free local wine tastings on selected cruises.
For prices and details of the Swan River Cruise click here.
If I had one day in Fremantle this is what I would do. Cycle around on a vintage bike and get acquainted with Freo in the best possible way. The tour takes in the best historical and cultural sights while introducing you to the coolest things to do in Fremantle including the best restaurants in Fremantle, the coolest bars, cafes and street art. Definitely my top pick for a great day out in Freo.
See the tour here
Fremantle lends itself to a visit any time of the year. If it’s your first time visiting I recommend visiting Fremantle on Friday or the weekend. This is when the port city is at it’s most vibrant, the Fremantle Markets are open (Friday to Sunday), street performers are out busking and the town comes alive.
The easiest way to get to Fremantle from Perth is by train. Trains to Fremantle leave from Perth station approximately every 15 minute and take 28 minutes (some are quicker during peak times). See the Fremantle Line Timetable here. From Perth to Fremantle you will need a 2-Zone ticket. This costs approximately $4.80 for adults and can be purchased from the ticket machine at all train stations.
There is a regular ferry service between Perth and Fremantle with Captain Cook Cruises. Note this is not part of Perth’s public transport system but a tourist experience. Ferry tickets from Perth to Fremantle cost $30 for a one-way ticket and offers beautiful views of Perth’s city and waterfront.
The Fremantle CAT bus is a free bus service. The Blue and Red Cat buses travel around Fremantle at regular intervals. Both CAT buses operate 7 days per week. For maps and timetables, times see here.
I’ve put this guide together with some suggestions of recommended places to stay in Fremantle. See my Fremantle accommodation guide here.
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