The City of Fremantle was established in 1829 as a port for the Swan River Colony and was the major city in Western Australia for much of its early history. Fremantle’s unique character is captured by its landscape, its heritage architecture, music, arts and culture, festivals, retail stores and markets, cafés and restaurants, which all contribute to its village style atmosphere.
The Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour was established in 1919, when a breakwater was constructed to provide a safe anchorage for the local fishing vessels. It is still a very busy working port, and is now the home to many fine “Fish and Chip” purveyors. There is always something happening on the wharf. Indulge in one of the many seafood restaurants overlooking the water, or stroll around the fish markets looking at frozen crustaceans.
The Fishermen’s Memorial on the jetty is a sculpture that honours the many families that have contributed to the fishing industry in Fremantle – in the very heart of the Fishing Boat Harbour where it all began. Though the names listed are taken from pre 1947 fishing license records, all those who have participated – both men and women – are equally honoured for their pioneering spirit and the hardships endured.
Converted from a boatshed/croc farm, this huge tin shed in Freo’s Fishing Boat Harbour is now home to a different animal altogether – the Little Creatures Brewery. This ‘cellar door’ bar and restaurant serves their award-winning craft beers straight from the conditioning tanks and diners can watch the beer being made from their table. There’s even a view of the bottling line from the gents’ toilets.
Established in 1903, the iconic Cicerello’s is known as Western Australia’s best seafood eatery offering a range of family friendly dining options, offering the best of the port’s amazing selection of seafood in a relaxing atmosphere. A visit to Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour would not be complete without a visit to Cicerello’s.
A lifesize bronze statue of Bon Scott, the lead singer of AC/DC stands as fans would have wanted him to be remembered, screaming into his microphone, head flung back and jeans so tight it leaves nothing to the imagination! The statue was originally located inside Cicerello’s, in a dark corner which was nicely back lit. After much ho-huming by the Fremantle council, Bon was permanently erected just over the road from Cicerellos.
The Round House is the oldest public building in the State of Western Australia. Opened in January 1831, just 18 months after settlement, it was built to hold any person convicted of a crime in the settlement and was used until 1886. After it ceased being used as a gaol it became a Police Lock-up until the late 1890′s and then was used as accommodation for the Water Police, and afterwards as a storage facility for Fremantle Ports. When threatened with demolition in the 1920′s it was saved and later control went to the State Government before it was deeded to the City of Fremantle.
The Whalers Tunnel is a tunnel below the Round House, and was built by the Fremantle Whaling Company in 1837 to allow the company easy access between Fremantle town and Bathers Beach. It was Western Australia’s first tunnel and the only one for 64 years until the Jane Brook deviation railway tunnel was built.
E-Shed Markets are located in a magnificent historical warehouse building on Victoria Quay, right in the centre of the Fremantle Port, and have some 80 stalls. They offer gifts and souvenirs, local arts and crafts, international food court and free entertainment every weekend. With a massive licensed alfresco terrace looking over Fremantle’s picturesque working harbour, E-Shed Markets is the only waterfront market in Western Australia. From here you can watch the boats and ships passing by.
The Fremantle Markets are a must see when in the area. The Markets have been in Fremantle since 1897 and have become an icon. The Markets have a variety of vendors selling their wares out of stalls. There is something for everyone from food, jewelry, clothing, souvenirs, hone goods and plenty of prepared food. The Great Hall of the market showcases their dining venues and Market Bar. The food is international with Turkish, French, Japanese and Vietnamese blending in with the local fare.
Moore & Moore Cafe – A trip to this stylish cafe may leave you wanting more – especially considering they offer an all-day breakfast. Cloistered in a heritage building, this cafe offers modern Australian meals with an inventive use of ingredients. The Moore building is on the site of William Dalgety Moore’s general business, which he began operating in 1865.
A striking landmark on a small hill, Fremantle Prison is a physical reminder of the contribution made by Australia’s convicts to building this nation. The Prison contains remarkably well preserved remnants of the earliest phase of European settlement of Western Australia – a time when convict labour was used to develop the fledgling colonies.
Fremantle Prison is open to the public. Visitors can take tours of the prison buildings, including the cells, the exercise yards, the administrative building and the gallows, as well as the tunnels under the buildings. Fremantle Prison was included in the National Heritage List on 1 August 2005.
The walls of this cell were painted between 1988 and 1991. Prison rules did not allow inmates to deface their cell walls but this prisoner was given special permission for therapeutic reasons. In the last 12 months of the prison’s operations, some prisoners were granted permission to paint on the cell walls and on the walls of the excercise yards, as a farewell gesture.
Buckland Hill is one of the highest points in the Perth metropolitan area. Being a prominent coastal peak Dutch mariner Willem de Vlamingh, landed a party near here on January 5th 1697. During World War One, Buckland Hill served as a Battery Observation Post, and a Signal Station for ships at sea. Bigger defences were constructed during the Second World War, when the threat of a Japanese invasion seemed quite real. Guns were mounted, tunnels excavated, barracks built, and coastal search lights installed, to keep an eye out for the enemy. The invasion never happened and Buckland Hill ceased being a military outpost in 1963, and never fired a shot in anger.
This post is one of an 3 part entry of our trip to WA, Australia. See all the places we visited on this trip below: