Fremantle, Australia | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Fremantle, Australia

Fremantle is an Indian Ocean port, clinging to the western edge of Australia, facing west towards Rottnest Island, Mauritius, and Africa.
You could claim that Fremantle is a suburb of Perth, but you'd be wrong. It is a city in its own right, deliciously different from Perth in its location, people and style. It is commonly shortened to Freo.

The locale of Fremantle was the first point of call for the Dutch in the 1600's, the English who settled in the early 1800's and is historically endowed with buildings and streets that still tell stories of the earlier years of the nineteenth and twentieth-century activity as the port for developing Western Australia. It was the first port of call of shipping from the United Kingdom and Europe before they proceeded on to other ports in Australia. It was in early years in competition as a port with Albany for shipping... Read more

Fremantle, Australia


Fremantle is an Indian Ocean port, clinging to the western edge of Australia, facing west towards Rottnest Island, Mauritius, and Africa.
You could claim that Fremantle is a suburb of Perth, but you'd be wrong. It is a city in its own right, deliciously different from Perth in its location, people and style. It is commonly shortened to Freo.

The locale of Fremantle was the first point of call for the Dutch in the 1600's, the English who settled in the early 1800's and is historically endowed with buildings and streets that still tell stories of the earlier years of the nineteenth and twentieth-century activity as the port for developing Western Australia. It was the first port of call of shipping from the United Kingdom and Europe before they proceeded on to other ports in Australia. It was in early years in competition as a port with Albany for shipping to and from Europe, but overtook Albany and has never looked back.
Parts of the built heritage of Fremantle have escaped the developmental trends that occurred in Perth, where older buildings were removed regularly to be replaced by large office buildings with little character. The heritage status of buildings and streetscapes of parts of Fremantle make it a great place to wander and learn about Fremantle's early days. The international attention for the Americas Cup challenges held just off Fremantle also saw considerable effort in improving facilities for visitors and tourists.
Being a port, it was the first land for immigrants in the past, and currently is also a point of call in a number of Cruise Ship operators, and also the closest point for trips to Rottnest.

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Fremantle, Australia: Port Information

All cruise ships berth at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal on Victoria Quay. The terminal has a café and licensed bar area and public conveniences.

Get around Fremantle, Australia

You can get around most of central Fremantle for free on the (Central Area Transit) CAT Buses which run every ten minutes during daylight hours. There are two routes, a Red CAT and a Blue CAT. Most buses used for the service are painted orange with a large black cat on the side. Look for the CAT symbol at bus stops, and maybe even paw-prints on the footpath. The CAT Bus is wheelchair and pram accessible, including kneeling (automatic lowering suspension) and ramp access.


Fremantle is mostly flat, relatively compact in size and good for walking. It is well worth seeking out information and interpretation - as not all of Fremantle history is that obvious in its current state. Fremantle for its size has a range of subjects that can be understood with some

  • The Fremantle City Council has a set of self-conducted walk pamphlets about the features that can be found in a short walk in Fremantle.
  • Also at local bookshops, David Hutchison's Fremantle Walks has 9 walks well described and explained.
  • The annual Fremantle Heritage festival usually has walks as part of its programme.
  • Guided walking tours from operators like Two Feet & and a Heartbeat.

If the passion is high enough and spare time available, and there is a need for information beyond the easily available - The Local History Collection at the Fremantle Library is an excellent way to gain more detailed information.
Walking areas - either from the Fremantle Walk Book, or other sources - these areas are well worth getting out of the car and having a closer look:

  • Arthur Head - a small area on top of a limestone ridge, great views and history
  • Cappuccino Strip and Market Street - plenty of places to stop for a drink or eat
  • Esplanade and Boat harbour - a large space for children to play and a great place to look at boats from fish and chip outlets
  • Memorial Park and Monument Hill - a great view of Fremantle and the ocean
  • Victoria Quay - a great place to check out markets, maritime museum, and watch the ships - also a place to catch a Rottnest Ferry
  • West End - really old building now part of Notre Dame University - and interesting shops and places tucked away


What to see in Fremantle, Australia

There is a lot to see in Fremantle.
  • Fremantle Arts Centre, 1 Finnerty Street (free cat bus service across the road). a museum for Contemporary Arts with a shop and a cafe. In summer free Sunday music sessions in the courtyard. Free entry.
  • The Moores Building, 46 Henry St (5 mins. walk from the city center.). Part of Fremantle Arts Centre, a Contemporary Art Gallery. The Moores has six individual exhibition spaces and a cafe. Free entry.
  • Fremantle Prison, 1 The Terrace St, ☎ +61 8 9336 9200. Open every day of the year except Good Friday and Christmas day. Originally constructed in 1851 by the convicts that were transported to Australia from the UK to house themselves, following the end of convict transportation to Australia in 1868, Fremantle Prison served as Western Australia's main maximum security prison until its closure in 1991. Today it remains as a world heritage listed building and is used for several purposes including as an art gallery, museum, and a conference center. Basic tours run throughout the day, and a 'Torchlight tour' runs on Wednesday and Friday nights, which explores the history of prison hauntings. For the really adventurous there is the tunnels tour which will take you through the tunnel network underneath the prison.

What to do in Fremantle, Australia

  • Shipwreck Galleries is recognized as the foremost maritime archaeology museum in the southern hemisphere. The Museum is housed in 1850s-era Commissariat building and has since been restored to its historic glory. Steeped in history, the galleries house hundreds of relics from ships wrecked along WA’s treacherous coastline, including the original timbers from the Batavia (wrecked in 1629), the de Vlamingh plate, and also countless artifacts from the Dutch shipwrecks Zuytdorp, Zeewijk and Vergulde Draeck. Located near the Fishing Boat Harbour. Entry is free, gold coin donations appreciated.
  • WA Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay, (go to the end of Cliff Street, head for the waterfront and turn left'. You can't miss it - a large white building with curved lines suggesting a hull), +61 8 9335-8921. 9:30 AM-5 PM daily. A wonderful collection of vessels, including the winged-keel Australia II, which won the America's Cup. You'll also find a full history of marine activity on the West Australian coast. A tour of HMAS Ovens, a retired Oberon-class submarine, is well worth the time.
  • Round House, Arthur Head. Western Australia's first permanent building. Built as a prison in the 1830's, the Round House now serves as a small, but informative museum, that focuses on the convict lifestyle of the 1800's. Now restored and updated with more detailed information, maps and volunteer guides (although the tour of the building is mostly self-guided). Entry is free, gold coin donations encouraged.
  • Whalers' Tunnel, located under the Round House, the Whaling Tunnel was built to provide easy access between the original Bather's Beach port and the town of Fremantle. The tunnel has been restored in recent years, and now has detailed explanations of its construction and local artifacts, making it a worthwhile self-guided tour.
  • South Beach, including Wilson Park with lots of shade. Besides the Kiosk for food and drinks, it also has changing facilities and showers and a large grassy picnic area with BBQ's. Take the free blue CAT bus to get there.
  • Watch Fremantle Dockers playing an AFL game. Aussie Rules is a unique sport that's only really played Down Under. Though Freo tends to play their games mainly in central Perth, where the stadium is bigger there are a few smaller sides playing in the state league too dotted around.

What to eat and drink in Fremantle, Australia


Despite the wide availability of Italian food outlets, Fremantle offers other cuisines within different price ranges.

  • Sala Thai, 22 Norfolk St.
  • Cicerello's, right across the way from The Esplanade park, Cicerello's has been more or less an institution since the early 1900's and is widely regarded as serving Western Australia's best fish and chips. Eat indoors in the pavilion, or outdoors on Fisherman's Wharf. Short walks to the Maritime Museum, Round House and the Crocodile Farm.
  • Sandrinos is a pizzeria located close to the Millennium Hoyts cinema serving delicious Italian food including the famous chilli mussels. A small section of al fresco dining is available, but its indoor dining provides the best of the smells of the kitchen and pizza. Good for dinners with friends or family or just a Sunday lunch.
  • Gino's Cafe has been on the strip for 11 years as an Italian Cafe. Opened by Gino Saccone (1937-2001), it offers a mean breakfast and a lunch and dinner menu. Hard-pressed to find a seat, if you do get one, you would be in for a treat with the selection of cakes and strong coffee on a brew. Mostly al-fresco dining, it is the place to have a Sunday get together with friends and family.
  • Ali Baba Kebabs is on the cappuccino strip. All sorts of wraps are available from chicken to vegetarian.
  • Sweet Lips, 47/8 Mews Road (Across the train tracks from Esplanade Park, Close to Shipwreck Museum), ☎ +61 8 9430 6902. Rated as the best fish and chips in Western Australia, Sweet Lips is a great choice for seafood. Their fish and chips are top notch, and if doing grocery shopping at Cole's in Fremantle, check the back of your receipts, as a Sweet Lips coupon found there will get you two fish and chips.
  • Nick's Place (Shishkebab Cafe), 2/36 South Terrace Fremantle (On the Cappuccino Strip), ☎ +61 8 9336 2391. Serving Souvlaki,(Greek style kebabs) for well over 20 years, real fresh marinated Lamb, Chicken, Pork and Beef cooked on the BBQ. Also a selection of vegetarian such as Greek Vegetarian capsicum feta omelet Greek Pita wrap, Green Vegetarian spinach feta omelet, Greek pita wrap, and the popular Falafel. Also a wide range of sauces and dressings and the usual accompaniments.
  • Rockin Pizza Serves unique hand-stretched in polenta traditional pizzas. Delivery all around the Fremantle area. open 7 days.
  • Cully's Tea Rooms Located on High Street, this famous cafe has been around since the 1920's and is notable for its selection of pies and pasties, as well as an old-style milk bar. Try the caramel slice while you're there. Be aware that it does get crowded around lunch time. If you cannot find a seat inside, take one of the outdoor tables (place your order at the counter inside and pick it up at the window).


  • The Sail and Anchor Pub Brewery serves unique and award-winning beers, brewed on-site. If beer isn't your thing, you can quite easily get a local or international wine, a cup of coffee or feed yourself at the al fresco Brewers Courtyard or on the balcony overlooking the famous Cappuccino Strip.
  • Benny's Bar & Cafe offers a large menu of cocktails and drinks accompanied by great band music on the weekends. Whilst there is something on 7 days a week, it is the weekend where you see this restaurant cum bar packed with an eager party going people. Closing at 1 AM, the band plays a range of genres with the top 40 hits in between sets.
  • Little Creatures, found inside a converted boat shed and crocodile farm, is a "cellar door" bar/restaurant. The beer is fresh (straight out of the conditioning vat, as fresh as you can get!), the food is great (dinner served until 11 PM, wood-fired pizzas until midnight) and nothing beats watching the sunset through the masts of Fishing Boat Harbour.
  • Rosie O'Grady's is a little Irish pub that serves both food and drinks. It is known for its brand of ales (James Squire) and its delicious food. On certain days if you are lucky, you will catch glimpse of some local bands playing and you can partake in a quiz/trivia night in hopes to win money! Lots of fun times at Rosie's if you're with a group of friends.
  • The Cappuccino strip is a long section of streets in Fremantle itself where there are loads of cafes, some being very "upper class". It is located at the northern end of South Terrace.
  • X-Wray, 3/13 Essex St (Next to Luna Cinemas), ☎ +61 9430 9399. 7 AM-10 PM. The best casual cafe/tapas/bar in Fremantle. Eclectic style and food. Live music. Very cool.

Shopping in Fremantle, Australia

Whether it is shopping for food or clothes, you are bound to find it. Fremantle offers you an array of retail therapy. Shops generally open from 10 AM-5 PM.
  • The Fremantle Market - Connected, there are two sheds that house fruit sellers and a variety of other items that you may wish to purchase, be it souvenirs or music CDs. You will find that it is rather quaint and a much much smaller version of Covent Garden in London. You definitely have to take your time to look through the markets because you never really know what you will find there. F 9 AM-9 PM, Sa Su 9 AM-5 PM.
  • Boutiques - catering for both males and females, and a big price range, there are several boutique shops dotted along South Terrace. Whether you are looking for that long dazzling gown or a tailored suit, you will be sure to find it.

Safety in Fremantle, Australia

The number 000 (called 'triple zero' or 'triple oh') can be dialed from any telephone in Australia free of charge. This number will connect you with emergency operators for the police, fire brigade, and ambulance service. The first question that the operator will ask is which service you need.

If you require assistance during a flood, storm, cyclone, tsunami, earthquake or other natural disasters you can contact the State Emergency Service on 132 500. You will be connected with your local unit and help can be organized from there. Note that if the emergency is life-threatening, call triple zero.

If you want to contact these services but the situation is not an emergency, don't call 000: you can call the police assistance line on 131 444. Poisons information advice, which can also advise on snake, spider, and insect bites, is available on 131 126. Information on locating the nearest medical services can be obtained by calling 1800 022 222.

Keep a sense of perspective. Tourists are far more likely to be killed or injured as pedestrians, drivers or passengers on Australian roads than all the other causes of death and injury combined.
Drivers drive on the left side of the road opposite of the United States. As a pedestrian When crossing the road look right left then right.

Beachgoers should swim between the red and yellow flags which designate patrolled areas. Beaches are not patrolled 24-hours a day or even during all daylight hours. In most cases, the local volunteer surf lifesavers or professional lifeguards are only available during certain hours, and at some beaches only on weekends, and often only during summer. Exact times are generally shown at entrances to most beaches. If the flags aren't up, then there's no one patrolling - and you shouldn't swim. If you do choose to swim, be aware of the risks, check conditions, stay within your depth, and don't swim alone.
Hard surfboards and other water craft such as surf skis, kayaks etc., are not permitted between the red and yellow flags. These crafts must only be used outside of the blue 'surf craft permitted' flags.
If you are caught in a rip at a patrolled beach, conserve your energy, float or tread water and raise one hand. The surf lifesavers will come out to you. Don't wait until you are so tired you can't swim anymore. You will probably find that local swimmers or surfers will also quickly come to your aid. Usually, the flags are positioned where there are no rips, but this isn't always the case as rips can move.
If you are caught in a rip at an unpatrolled beach stay calm to conserve energy and swim parallel to the beach (not against the pull of the current). Most rips are only a few meters wide, and once clear of the undertow, you will be able to swim or catch a wave to return to shore. Never swim alone. Don't think that the right technique will get you out of every situation. In the surf out the back of the beach, treading water can be hard with waves pounding you every few seconds. Unless you have seen it happen, its hard to appreciate how quickly a rip can take you 50 m out to sea and into much larger wave breaks. If you are at an unpatrolled surf beach, proceed with great caution and never go out of your depth.
Beach signs often have a number or an alphanumeric code on them. This code can be given to emergency services if required so they can locate you quickly.

Crocodiles and Box Jellyfish are found on tropical beaches, depending on the time of year and area. Sharks occur on many of Australia's beaches. See the section below on dangerous creatures. Patrolled beaches will be monitoring the ocean for any shark activity. If you hear a continuous siren, go off at the beach and a red and a red and white quartered flag is waved or held out of the tower as it indicates a shark sighting, so make your way to shore. Once it is clear, a short blast of the siren will be sounded, which usually means that it is safe to return to the water.

Crime rates in Australia are low compared to other first world countries: few travelers will be victims of crime. You should take normal precautions against bag snatching, pick pocketing and the like. 
Australian police are approachable and trustworthy, and you should report assaults, theft or other crime to the police as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should you offer an Australian police officer (or for that matter, any other government official such as a customs officer) a bribe or gratuity, as this is a crime and they will enforce the laws against it.
When leaving your car alone, make sure it is locked, that the windows are rolled up, and that there are no obvious targets for theft in the vehicle, as thieves will often smash windows to get at a phone, GPS or bag that is visible in the car.

Language spoken in Fremantle, Australia

Expect everyone you interact with in Australia to be able to speak English, whether it is their first language or not. Locals and more recent arrivals of all ages and backgrounds are expected to and usually do speak at least basic English, as well as the majority of tourists. As Australia is a multicultural society, you will notice the presence of many other languages and accents. Australians who were born in Australia or immigrated as children will speak English with the Australian accent. Australians who immigrated to Australia as adults generally will not have the Australian accent.  Australia is traditionally a land of immigrants, plus there are many people from all over the world working or studying in Australia, plus many tourists from overaeas. Because of this, Australians are very used to speaking with others whos first language is not English or who are not used to hearing the Australian accent. They will speak slower and clearer with you and avoid any local vocabulary.
Visitors who do not speak basic English will find communicating with Australians difficult, and should do some advance planning. There are some tour companies who specialise in offering package deals for Australian tours complete with guides who speak particular languages.


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