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The vibrant city of Fremantle blends the old with the new, creating an enriching cultural experience.
Maritime, convict and colonial history can be explored in one of the best preserved examples of a 19th century port streetscape, while buzzing markets, restaurants and casual street cafés give you a taste of 21st century life with the locals. As Perth’s neighbouring port town, Fremantle (or Freo as it’s affectionately known) is just a 30-minute drive or train ride from the city. Or, you can hop on the ferry for a leisurely cruise down the Swan River. If you’re hitting the heritage trail, be sure to include a visit to the Western Australian Maritime Museum, the World Heritage listed Fremantle Prison and Western Australia’s oldest public building, the Roundhouse.You can take in some classic colonial architecture as you sip your coffee on the Cappuccino Strip. And if you venture into the Fremantle Markets, you’ll experience the exotic aromas, sights and sounds of an icon that’s been bustling for more than 100 years. Along the shoreline, the redeveloped Fishing Boat Harbour that has been in operation since the early 1900s is still the best place to sample fresh local seafood.For those who are interested in fashion there are a range of choices from high street fashion to local designers, home wares and a range of unique galleries, including Aboriginal art. If you’re making Fremantle your base, you’ll find plenty of budget backpacker accommodation, as well as boutique bed and breakfasts, self-catering cottages, apartments and hotels to choose from. Fremantle is a town that is proud of its authenticity, anything-goes attitude and creativity.
The Old Fremantle Prison is one of Western Australia’s premier heritages located in the heart of Fremantle.
The prison was built by convicts in the 1850’s and was closed in 1991 after 136 years of continuous use. It was opened to the public in 1992 as a tourist site. Guided tours are conducted every day from 10am, Candlelight tours on Wednesday and Friday nights are especially good. Walk down South Terrace (The Strip), past the Markets, and left into Norfolk and Parry Street. The prison is off to your right as you walk along Parry Street. You can also tour the tunnels under the prison. Get into your hardhat, slip into your overalls, put on your boots and charge your headlamps before locking into the ladder system and descending 20 metres into the depths below. Trek through sections of the labyrinth of tunnels by foot, then board the replica convict punts to explore the submerged passageways accessible only by boat. Bookings are essential, you must be 12 years and pass a breath test. A bit like a subterranean Harbour Bridge Climb! The Tunnel Tour costs $59 for an adult, $49 for a concession and $39 for a child (4-15 years). All tour passes are also available including all four Fremantle Prison tours. The all tour pass costs $99 for an adult, $79 for a concession and $59 for a child (4-15 years). For further information regarding these tours please visit the Fremantle Prison website at www.fremantleprision.com.au. Please note prices subject to change.