FREMANTLE Esplanade Harry Cunningham LR FREMANTLE Esplanade Harry Cunningham LR

About Fremantle

Fremantle is brimming with characters – from artists, students and culture vultures to the indie stores laden with authentic wares. Then there are the small bars, breweries and fine dining establishments serving up world-class fare.

Before European colonisers named the town Fremantle, it was Walyalup, which means 'place of the woylie'. The Whadjuk Noongar people lived in Walyalup for at least 50,000 years before it was colonised in 1829 – many still live there today.

Perhaps the most significant character is the place itself.

If you ask people what they love most about Fremantle, they'll tell you it's the way it feels – the cool Freo Doctor breeze that kicks in just when you need it most, and the freedom to be as weird as you indeed are.

Fremantle is a town that knows how to celebrate.

The Fremantle International Street Arts Festival brings incredible live performances to the streets every Easter, Beerfest on the Esplanade, Fringe in Fremantle and the Fremantle Biennale for contemporary art.

In winter, the town comes alive.

With the Hidden Treasures Winter Music Series, a music festival played in hidden enclaves across the city's West End – where people stroll beneath umbrellas illuminated by fairy lights and dance to warm their souls.

The heritage-listed buildings of Fremantle exude max-level charm.

Step inside to discover quirky bookstores, vintage shops, and local artisan makers selling their handcrafted wares. (Head here for our favourite fine shops in Fremantle.)

Wander to the West End...

And you're likely to stumble on Record Finder, the oldest record dealer in Australasia. On the way, you may hear the Roundhouse canon – a straight-shot west and one of the oldest public buildings in WA.

West End Cappuncino Strip High St Fremantle WA

When you need to recharge...

There are plenty of hole-in-the-wall eateries and fine places to dine – like the Old Synagogue with its beautiful stain-glassed windows, Mother, with its vegetarian fare and of course, the infamous Fremantle Markets.

Lovers of craft beer and wine get their needs met too.

Strange Company is the ultimate spot for a cocktail. Then there are the many breweries and much-loved local haunts, like The National and newly opened Gage Roads Fremantle.

Tucked away down a side street is Darling Darling, a moody little watering hole decked out like a vintage ship. Those who venture inside are welcomed with spiced rum concoctions. Rumour has it that the bath in the loo was once owned by Marilyn Monroe.

When you're done with town adventures, head to the water to find your centre.

Fremantle is graced with some of the best beaches in the world ready for a dip in the Indian Ocean any time of the year. South Beach also comes alive in the evenings, with impromptu performances by locals and travellers, partial to tight roping and fire twirling. Grab a spot on the green at sunset with a local brew in hand to end a day in a quintessentially Freo way.

These are just a handful of the sublime things to love and do in Freo. If you'd like more inside stories, sign up for our monthly newsletter below.

Photo credit: Main image - Harry Cunningham / Second image - This is Fremantle