Fremantle (or Freo) is known by Whadjuk people as Walyalup, meaning it was place of the Walyo or Woylie, a small Brush-tailed Bettong.
The first Europeans arrived in 1829, when Captain Charles Fremantle claimed the west coast of New Holland for the British Crown. In June 1829, Governor James Stirling came ashore to establish the Swan River settlement at the mouth of the Swan River and officially named the city Fremantle.
The boom days for Fremantle were the years of gold and wheat, at the end of the 1800s, when the port was the gateway to the rich goldfields and pastoral lands to the east. Fremantle's impressive suite of late Victorian and early Edwardian buildings date from these years.
Fremantle was first port of call for thousands of immigrants from war-torn Europe. Many stayed to build new lives in Western Australia. Welcome Walls at the Maritime Museum pay tribute to the many thousands of 'New Australians' who stepped ashore in Fremantle, and stayed to build new lives.
Maps and guides
Hello Perth and Fremantle is the premier free visitor guide to our beautiful city.
The Fremantle Book
The free book of information for residents and visitors with accommodation and dining guides plus city map.
Your Guide to Perth and Fremantle
A vast land covering two million square kilometres and boasting an impressive 12,00 kilometre coastline, visitors are just awakening to Western Australia’s beauty and diversity; its glorious climate and spectacular scenery.
Eat and drink
Fremantle has long been the centre of alfresco dining, great food and a mind boggling number of ways to drink coffee. You will find small bars, pop up bars, restaurants, breweries, cafes, tapas bars and bakeries all over the city.
Over recent years the South Fremantle and Wray Avenue precincts have grown to form an extended and eclectic café and dining strip that is a great place to enjoy a Sunday breakfast, burger or pub lunch.
Fremantle is the home of WA craft beer with award winning boutique breweries and a huge selection of WA craft beers on tap in many pubs including Little Creatures at Fishing Boat Harbour; The Monk and Sail & Anchor in the city centre.
See and do
There is so much to see and do in Freo. Here's the top 10:
The 'Cappuccino Strip' is named for the many café's and resident barista's that prepare an almost unending variety of coffee's.
Nearby are the lively and historic Fremantle Markets featuring more than 150 stalls offering fresh produce, tasty local treats, jewellery, souvenirs, fashion and home wares.
Stroll along the boardwalk through Fishing Boat Harbour past Little Creatures Brewery and some great seafood restaurants.
Just north of Fishing Boat Harbour is the Arthur Head Art Precinct and the Round House (which is actually octagonal and WA's oldest building).
Down on the waterfront of Fremantle Harbour, the Victoria Quay precinct is home to the distinctive Western Australian Maritime Museum, the E Shed Markets, Leeuwin Tall Ship and cafés.
The World Heritage Listed Fremantle Prison is open was once one of the most notorious prisons in the British Empire and now offers daily tours.
The Western Australian Museum's Shipwreck Galleries are recognised as the southern hemisphere's most significant maritime archaeology museum.
On the other side of town you'll find the Fremantle Arts Centre. It's a short walk from the CBD or jump on the free CAT bus and get off at stop # 8.
Arts and culture
There are several arts precincts and studios worth visiting in Fremantle including the Arthur Head Art precinct adjacent to the Round House, the Fibonacci Centre on Blinco Street, PS Art Studios on Pakenham Street, Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery on Henry Street and of course the jewel in Fremantle's crown, the Fremantle Arts Centre.
Fremantle is renowned for its vibrant contemporary live music scene in many of the hotels, clubs and bars throughout the city. Notable venues include Mojo's in North Fremantle, Clancy's Fish Pub on Cantonment Street and the Fly By Night Club on High Street.
Fremantle is an eclectic place to shop, the common expression 'I bought it in Freo of course' highlights the independent style of boutiques that can be discovered in Fremantle.
Discover vintage goodies in High Street, shoes and jewellery in Market Streets; fashion and homewares along Wray Avenue and South Terrace and don't miss the wonderful reincarnation of the old Spotlight building in Adelaide Street. MANY 2.0 (formerly MANY 6160) is loosely referred to as the largest pop-up shop in the southern hemisphere but it is a lot more than that with local artisans showcasing individual contemporary wares.
Festivals and events
Fremantle is known as the festival city and the local government authority leads the way in running the Fremantle Festival, the Fremantle International Street Arts Festival, the Heritage Festival (celebrating the built and cultural heritage of the city) and the Hidden Treasures Winter Music Festival.