Things to Do in Fremantle
- Paid car parking is available in Fremantle, but it can fill quickly. Opt to arrive by public transport in summer or make an early start to secure a spot.
- Wear comfortable shoes—much of the center of Fremantle is pedestrianized.
- Most shops, restaurants, and attractions in Fremantle are wheelchair accessible.
With a history dating back to 1897 and a far-reaching reputation, the Fremantle Markets are among the most famous of their kind in Western Australia, and the lively weekend markets are equally popular with locals and tourists. Housed in a striking Victorian market hall, restored in the 1970s, the legendary markets feature more than 150 stalls split between two sections – The Yard and The Hall.
Visiting the Fremantle Markets is an experience in itself, with huge crowds turning out each weekend, and an array of street entertainers, artists and musicians providing entertainment. This is the place to buy fresh farmer’s produce, organic delicacies and artisan foods, or feast on tasty street food. It’s not just food on sale either – the eclectic stalls include clothing and accessories by local and upcoming designers; unique art and handicrafts; great value cosmetics and toiletries; and a myriad of souvenirs.
The Round House, a historic 12-sided building, was built in 1831 and is the oldest public building in Western Australia. Travelers can tour this unique architectural destination and learn about the original settlement, as well as how this iconic building was once used to house local lawbreakers.
Visitors can learn about the Fremantle Round House's colorful past and also get an up close look at the famous Whaler’s Tunnel—the oldest underground tunnel in Western Australia. Completed in 1838, the original tunnel spanned some 64 meters, but today measures just 46. And while the 1 p.m. sound call that once rang out daily to alert ships on sea to the official time no longer occurs, travelers can sometimes catch a reenactment ceremony put on by some of the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides.
Travelers in search of Australian history, culture and traditions will find all this and much more at the Fremantle Arts Centre in Western Australia. This popular destination attracts as many locals as it does visitors, thanks to a long list of exhibits, events, class offerings and outdoor concerts. Lovely gardens and a quiet café offer up the perfect spot to enjoy a bit of sunshine and relaxation, and the Sunday music sessions are free to the public and attract a diverse crowd. Travelers say the modern art displays and picturesque landscapes make this an essential stop on any visit to Western Australia.
Celebrated as Australia’s leading maritime archaeology museum, the WA Shipwrecks Museum is among the highlights of Fremantle’s Western Australian Museum, housed in an impressive 19th-century Commissariat building. Inside, visitors can uncover fascinating tales of shipwrecks, mutiny and trade along Australia’s treacherous west coast; marvel at items retrieved from shipwrecks like the Zuytdorp, Zeewijk and Vergulde Draeck; and see part of the hull of the Dutch merchant ship, Batavia.
Among the hundreds of items on display, highlights include a 17th-century inscribed plate left on Cape Inscription by Willem de Vlamingh, a plate left by Dirk Hartog during the first confirmed European landing in Western Australia, and a huge collection of rare maps, charts and other artifacts.