Last Updated on 22 February 2024 by Ariana Svenson
If you’re considering visiting Fremantle, you may wonder, ‘Is Fremantle worth visiting‘? Fremantle has a way of drawing you in and making you want to stay longer and longer.
This stunning port city has a long maritime history, a beautiful harbour and fabulous beaches. There are also fantastic breweries, unique places to eat, interesting shops and brilliant street art.
If I were to give you one reason, it would simply be “the vibe”. When you are in Freo it feels like you are on holidays; there is the smell of the ocean on the breeze, and the calls of seagulls in the air. Down town there is an arty and historic vibe, and the smells of coffee, gelato waft in the air. It just feels hip and happening!
Let’s explore the reasons that make Fremantle a must-visit destination! And if you are searching for fun things to do in Fremantle with kids, take a look at our guide here.
Fremantle is known as Walyalup in the Whadjuk Language.
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Top Reasons Why Fremantle WA is Worth Visiting
1. Nature on Your Doorstep
One of Fremantle’s hidden gems is its parks and nature reserves.
Beeliar Regional Park is a huge park just a 12-minute drive from central Fremantle. Wander through bushland, spot wetlands and pristine lakes and discover the native plants and animals, including kangaroos, birds, and reptiles. It’s the perfect escape from city life.
For a coastal experience, go to one of Fremantle’s stunning beaches. A beach with lots of natural beauty is South Beach. The coastal vegetation and dunes here are vital to the local ecosystem. Stroll along the shoreline, swim in the clear waters, or have a beachside picnic.
2. Proximity to Perth, Western Australia
One of the compelling reasons why Fremantle is worth visiting is its convenient proximity to Perth, the capital city of Western Australia. Located just a 30-minute drive or train ride from Perth, Fremantle offers the best of both worlds—easy access to Perth for day trips or vice versa.
You could base yourself in a smaller city and go on several weekend trips to Perth. After enjoying Perth, unwind in a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere.
If you’re planning a trip to Perth, make sure you read our most popular Perth guides:
- Things to do in Perth with Kids
- Family Accommodation in Perth
- 6 Day Perth Family Holiday Itinerary
- Playgrounds and Parks in Perth
3. The Museums and History
One of the standout reasons to visit Fremantle is the rich history of the city and the part Fremantle played in Western Australia’s history. This is showcased across many museums and historical attractions, such as the WA Maritime Museum and WA Shipwrecks Museum. You can read our full review of the WA shipwrecks museum here.
The Western Australian Maritime Museum is a highlight, housing vessels and maritime artifacts. Fremantle Prison is also a must-visit and offers an insight into Australia’s convict past. Explore the prison on a tour and learn more about Fremantle’s history.
The Fremantle Round House, Western Australia’s oldest public building, is also a must-visit. It offers a view of early colonial history.
Our son is a military history fanatic and this past holidays we’ve just spent several fascinating hours at the Army Museum in Burt Street, followed by a stroll around the leafy central park.
4. Fremantle Markets
The famous Fremantle markets, established in 1897, are a must-visit attraction. Housed in a historic building, the markets are the perfect place to spend a weekend morning, supporting local businesses and taking home unique treasures.
The range of stalls offers everything from handmade crafts to vintage items and indigenous art, making it the perfect place to pick up a souvenir.
Savour gourmet delights, from fresh produce to artisanal cheeses. The markets come alive with live entertainment, including music and magic shows.
5. Events and Festivals
Fremantle is a hub of cultural events and festivals. Make sure you look into the events happening throughout the year so you don’t miss one on your visit or if you’re visiting somewhere like Perth nearby.
One of the highlights is the Fremantle Festival, a multi-arts celebration featuring music, performances and visual arts.
The Street Arts Festival is another crowd-pleaser, where the city streets are filled with buskers, circus acts, and street performers.
If you love history, the Fremantle Heritage Festival offers a fascinating journey into Fremantle’s past with guided tours, exhibitions, and heritage-themed activities. The Falls Festival brings brilliant music acts to the city, drawing music lovers from all over.
6. The Incredible Beaches
Fremantle has some of Western Australia’s most spectacular beaches, whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely swim, kite surfing, or a relaxing day soaking up the sun.
Bathers Beach, located in the heart of Fremantle, is known for its historical significance as the site of the first European settlement in Western Australia.
South Beach, a short distance from the city centre, is a family-friendly haven with calm, clear waters, grassy foreshore, and barbecue facilities. It’s ideal for picnics and swimming.
There are lots of other beaches in Fremantle to choose from, such as the extensive Port Beach and the famous Coogee Beach, with pristine white sand.
7. Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour
As well as being a working boat dock, Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour is a foodie destination. Strolling along the boardwalk, you’ll be greeted by a range of flavours wafting from the seafood restaurants that line the waterfront. Indulge in fresh catches of the day while soaking up the maritime atmosphere.
Enjoy fish and chips by the waterfront or savour gourmet seafood dishes while watching the fishing boats come and go. The harbour is also home to many other seafood restaurants and fish markets. Here, you can savour some of the freshest seafood dishes in Western Australia.
After a fantastic meal, you can take boat tours from the harbour, explore the stunning coastline, and spot dolphins or sea lions. It’s an opportunity to experience Fremantle from a unique perspective.
8. Local Fremantle Breweries and Distilleries
Fremantle is famous for its thriving craft beer and spirits scene, and exploring the local breweries and distilleries is an essential part of the Fremantle experience. The city is home to many breweries that craft unique and flavorful brews.
Fremantle’s breweries are known for their creativity, producing a wide array of beer styles, from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts. Many breweries offer tasting sessions and tours, allowing you to witness the brewing process up close.
Fremantle’s distilleries produce exceptional gins, vodkas, and whiskies for those inclined towards spirits. You can take guided tours to learn about distillation and sample some of their finest creations.
You can read more about the Fremantle breweries in our article – The Best Things to do in Fremantle.
9. Exploring the Suburbs
While Fremantle’s city centre has lots of things to do, don’t overlook the charm of its surrounding suburbs. Exploring the suburbs of Fremantle will help you discover hidden gems that offer a different perspective on the city.
With its tree-lined streets and heritage homes, East Fremantle is a perfect place for a walk where you can admire the historic architecture and lush gardens.
South Fremantle, often called “South Freo,” is known for its artistic vibe. The streets are adorned with colourful murals, and you’ll find boutique shops, cafes, and local art galleries here. Our fave spot in all of Freo is Ruoccos in South Fremantle. The area is also known for its relaxed beachy vibe, where you can relax on South Beach or indulge in delicious brunch spots along South Terrace.
On the other hand, North Fremantle boasts a lively music scene and trendy bars, perfect for a night out. North Fremantle is a hub for foodies and music lovers. The area boasts a huge choice of restaurants, bars, and live music venues, making it an excellent spot for a night out.
East Fremantle offers tranquil riverside walks and stunning views of the Swan River, while Beaconsfield has some fantastic street art and boutiques. Don’t miss the historic charm of White Gum Valley, with its heritage-listed buildings and beautiful parks.
10. The Fremantle Street Art
One of the most captivating aspects of Fremantle is its street art scene. Wander through the city’s streets, and you’ll be greeted by murals and thought-provoking graffiti. Artists like Amok Island and Anya Brock have left their mark, infusing the streets with their distinctive styles.
The streets of Fremantle tell stories through art. You’ll encounter murals depicting historical events, celebrating local culture, or conveying powerful social messages. The artwork is not confined to a specific style; instead, it’s a diverse collection of expressions that reflect the city’s spirit.
Fremantle’s Cappuccino Strip is filled with artistic surprises at every turn, while the historic West End district features stunning heritage-themed murals. The street art scene is not static; it evolves as new artists contribute their vision to the city’s visual tapestry.
If you’re interested in Fremantle street art, make sure you visit the Fremantle Arts Centre.
Final Words – Is Fremantle Worth Visiting?
There are so many reasons why Fremantle is worth visiting; we could talk about it all day. The natural beauty, delicious cuisine and rich history all make Fremantle a must-visit destination, not to mention the street art, beaches and proximity to Perth.
Whether you’re interested in convict history, drawn to the lively Cappuccino Strip, or seeking relaxation on some of Western Australia’s best beaches, Fremantle offers a memorable experience and charm is found in narrow streets lined with historic buildings, a port bobbing with fishing boats, one-off shops, unconventional breweries, and quirky buskers. So what are you waiting for?
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