The WeekenderTravel

The Weekender: Fremantle, Western Australia

Bathers Beach, Fremantle. Image via Tourism Western Australia

Fremantle is the ultimate destination for any West Australian searching for gourmet dining and renowned beaches.

Fremantle is a port city near Perth known for its maritime history, Victorian architecture and abundance of remnants left from days of when Australia was a British penal colony housing convicts in many of the old Fremantle buildings which served as gaols.

Commonly nicknamed as Freo, Fremantle is a now a trendy and beautiful spot with a plethora of culinary experiences and bars, most of which are located in the breath-taking heritage buildings of the area. On Fremantle’s doorstep are stunning beaches, accompanied by waterside dining venues. You can also enjoy boutique shops, wine and cocktail bars, and historical sites.

How far is Fremantle from Perth?

Fremantle is only about 18-kilometres south-west of Perth’s CBD, making it a very accessible day-trip. A 30-minute train ride from Perth Station will drop you to the centre of Fremantle. Along the train journey is Cottesloe Station where you can hop off to experience one of Perth’s most popular beaches, Cottesloe Beach.

Where to Eat in Fremantle, Western Australia

Bread in Common

Half restaurant, half deli/bakery, Bread in Common has something for everyone and generates food and interior inspiration to a glorious extent. The open kitchen sits alongside diners and can be viewed from the mezzanine level lounge. The emphasis of the food is on their seasonal farm to table menu which also includes dips, marinated olives, dukkah and meats – perfect if you wish to design your own tapas-style meal. The menu, whilst being designed to enjoy with their signature bread, offers vegan and gluten-free options. Connected to the restaurant is the small deli which sells sandwiches, handfuls of bread loaves and handmade treats fresh from the oven daily.


Bread in Common – 43 Pakenham St, Fremantle, WA 6160


Moore & Moore Cafe

Moore & Moore Cafe is an embodiment of Fremantle, with its hip decor and gourmet food. It is located in Fremantle’s West End, where heritage-style buildings are plentiful and the beach is just around the corner. The Moores Building was previously a horse stable, factory and warehouse in the 1800s, but today it is renowned for their popular cafe and art gallery. Moore & Moore is known for its flavoursome, sustainably sourced, vegetarian, paleo and gluten-free meals. Most notably their vegan nachos, cold-pressed juices and avo toast.


Moore & Moore Cafe – 46 Henry St, Fremantle, WA 6160


La Sosta

In Italian, La Sosta means ‘stopover,’ and just like the folks at La Sosta will tell you, there is always a good reason to stop at this restaurant. Since 2012, La Sosta has grown into a two level eatery and cocktail bar in Fremantle – perfect for every occasion. All food is prepared in-house including their pasta, butter, sauces and wood-fired bread. The fresh ingredients are exclusively from West Australian and Italian suppliers, ensuring the best quality and authenticity to the meals.


La Sosta – 1/85 Market St, Fremantle, WA 6160


Where to Drink in Fremantle, Western Australia

Cappuccino Strip

The Cappuccino Strip is unique to Fremantle and is a coffee lovers dream. Situated from the corner of Bannister Street to Parry Street, the strip is not exclusively coffee, as it is also home to the best restaurants, wine and cocktail bars, pubs and other culinary experiences in Fremantle. The Cappuccino Strip is a five-minute walk from Fremantle Station and on weekends is the centre of Fremantle’s entertainment precinct. Whether it’s for a good quality cup of coffee, a cold pint of beer, an exotic cocktail or a milkshake, the Cappuccino Strip is your go-to-spot for a drink.


Cappuccino Strip – South Terrace, Fremantle, WA 6160


The Old Synagogue

Built in 1902 and established as Western Australia’s first synagogue, the site is now a large eatery and bar space, with four distinct venues. The Arbor is the three-levelled beer and wine garden, providing a casual setting for an evening drink or a Sunday session. L’Chaim is a hidden and intimate cocktail bar, accessible through a bookshelf facade and serves up the best concoctions in Fremantle.. It is fitted out with plush velvet booths and vintage decor, and provides the best cocktails around. Mr Chapple is a bar and restaurant with a rooftop terrace, with a new breakfast menu. And lastly, Tonic & Ginger is their decadent and beautifully decorated restaurant, serving south-east Asian inspired meals. Regardless of your reason to visit, The Old Synagogue will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.


The Old Synagogue – 92 South Tce, Fremantle, WA 6160


Little Creatures Brewing

Beer lovers coming to Fremantle have to pay a visit to Little Creatures, the well-loved waterside brewery serving their craft beers on tap. As with most Fremantle buildings, this establishment also has an interesting history, being a former crocodile farm. Today, the site has replaced snapping mouths with a warehouse-style brewery featuring both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a delicious lunch and dinner menu, with their wood-fired pizzas reigning supreme. Although they started with pale ales (which they have now perfected), the Little Creatures range now also includes a stout, IPA, cider and more.


Little Creatures Brewing – 40 Mews Rd, Fremantle, WA 6160


What to Do in Fremantle, Western Australia

Sightseeing in Fremantle

Sightseeing in Fremantle is awe-inspiring, as it was settled in 1829, meaning a lot of the buildings date back to a significant extent. Pictured above is former Fremantle Prison now World Heritage Site that has all the original cell blocks, gatehouse, perimeter walls and tunnels. Meanwhile, the historic Round House is another former prison and was the first permanent building built in the Swan River Colony in late 1830. Today the Round House is one of the oldest standing buildings in Western Australia and provides great views over Bathers Beach. There are many other sightseeing opportunities in Fremantle, such as the Rainbow Sea Container, museums, and Esplanade Park, home to a ferris wheel with great views over Fremantle and its harbour.


Fremantle Prison – 1 The Tce, Fremantle WA 6160 | Round House – 15 Captains Ln, Fremantle WA 6160


Fremantle Markets

The Fremantle Markets have been around since 1897, and after stepping inside, it becomes clear that there is a distinctive atmosphere, combining over a hundred years of vibrant culture and heritage. The Fremantle Markets consist of fresh local produce, Indigenous and independant products, music and unique food offerings. Boasting over 150 stalls, the Fremantle Markets are a must-see for both locals and visitors alike!


Fremantle Markets – Corner South Tce & Henderson St, Fremantle, WA 6160


The Best Beaches in Fremantle

The most important aspect of Fremantle is the coast, being a port city, which lucky for us, means beaches. Fremantle’s beaches are beyond spectacular thanks to their soft white sand and turquoise waters showcasing a different aspect of Fremantle’s famed seaside heritage. Indian Ocean views stretch out for as far as the eye can see, while the sunsets are something you will never forget.

For your visit to Fremantle, we recommend South Beach, which includes a large dog friendly section; Leighton Beach, home of must-see Bib & Tucker restaurant; and Port Beach, the location of seaside venue Coast. Bathers Beach is the closest beach to the heart of Fremantle, and is also the location of a few fish and chips shops, and eatery Bathers Beach House.


Where to Stay in Fremantle, Western Australia

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges

The Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges offers a touch of the past with amenities for the future all located in the centre of this beautiful coastal town. The rooms and suites are spacious and elegant, most with private balconies and some overlooking the resort-style pool. There is a fully equipped gymnasium, two heated pools, business centre and many conference rooms to utilise throughout your stay. With two restaurants and three bars, you’re not likely to go hungry, while the proximity to the beaches and parks will have you spoilt for choice on where to spend your time.


Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges – 46-54 Marine Tce, Fremantle, WA 6160


Seashells Fremantle

A feature of the new Richmond Quarter development, Seashells Fremantle is a mix of apartment-style living which have all been luxuriously furnished with spacious private terraces making it suitable for couples, singles or business or leisure travel. Located on Levels Four and Five of the Richmond Quarter in East Fremantle, the apartments are set around an European-style piazza with cafes and shops. For after hours we recommend paying a visit to Sweetwater Rooftop Bar situated on the building’s top floor, and is definitely worth a visit, with its rooftop bar and restaurant serving cocktails, Asian-fusion share plates and yum cha.


Seashells Fremantle – 1 Silas St, East Fremantle, WA 6158


Hougoumont Hotel Fremantle

Ensuring that the little things matter the most, this boutique hotel in Fremantle was purpose-built using furnished sea containers. Located in the middle of Fremantle, making it the perfect place to explore from, The Hougoumont Hotel are also opening a new bar and brewery in their hotel, called Calamity’s Rod. Also built from shipping containers, to pay homage to Fremantle’s integral port; Calamity’s Rod is set to be an exciting edition to Fremantle’s bustling food and drink scene.


Hougoumont Hotel Fremantle – 15 Bannister St, Fremantle, WA 6160


We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land mentioned in our article, the people of the Wajuk Nation and we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Ready to explore more of what Perth has to offer? Start by ticking off these nine unique things to do in Perth off your 2021 bucket list. And, when you’re done with that, kick back one of Perth’s 10 best waterfront bars and eateries.

Feature image: Bathers Beach, Fremantle. Image via Tourism Western Australia.
This article was first published on November 02 2018. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on November 26 2020.
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