Fremantle, often called Freo by locals, is close to Perth in Western Australia (but not part of Perth as many people often think). Fremantle can be seen in a day, yet it has enough to offer to keep you busy for a few days if you are not in a rush and would also like to relax a little.
How to get there
Fremantle can be reached by train from Perth, by car, or with buses. If you would like a different type of arrival though, you could also take a cargo ship or cruise liner. This makes for a quite scenic entry to Fremantle.
Once you are in Perth, it is easy enough to explore the city on foot, by bus, or hire a car.
Best times of the year to visit
The Australian spring (and also part of autumn) is the best time to visit Fremantle because the weather is nice and warm but not too hot. Summer can be a nice time for visitor, too, yet it can often be quite hot and dry. Winter does not get very cold, but there is often a lot of rain which can turn sight-seeing into a rather unpleasant experience.
The famous prison of Fremantle
Today, the prison is not a prison any more. It is used as a museum, art gallery and conference centre. The building is listed as a world heritage building, and visitors to Fremantle mainly come to see the prison. Up to the year 1991, this prison was Australia's main maximum security prison. Built in the year 1850, this prison is old enough for visitors to learn about quite a few haunting stories during one of the daily tours.
The sights and activities you shouldn't miss
Apart from the prison, visitors can also enjoy:
WA Maritime Museum: A fantastic maritime museum with some interesting vessels on display
Whaler's tunnel: An interesting structure for whalers of the past. Take a self-guided tour to learn more about whaling in the area.
Walks along the beach
Exploring the many Victorian buildings in the city
Best places to eat and drink
While Fremantle does not have a wide variety like Perth, there are still some excellent choices:
For the best fish and chips, visit Cicerello's (across Esplanade Park).
For excellent pizza and other traditional Italian food, drop in to Sandrinos.
If you would like to have a beer in a rather interesting setting, try Little Creatures, which is used to be a boat shed and crocodile farm.
Coffee lovers will find themselves in heaven on the so-called “Cappuccino Strip”, an area with a few streets that have so many cafes that you won't be able to test them all.