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Fremantle is a city at the mouth of the Swan River in Western Australia. The Fremantle Harbour serves as the port for Perth. The city has a population of around 25,000 people (2012 estimate).

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Fremantle, Western Australia
Author: Marky (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

More on Fremantle

The area of present-day Fremantle was inhabited by the Noongar tribe of Australian Aborigines before the arrival of Europeans. They called it Walyalup. It was explored by Captain James Stirling in 1827. He reported back to his superiors that the site was suitable for a settlement. As a result, Captain Charles Howe Frementle was sent to establish the settlement.

Captain Fremantle hoisted the Union Flag at a site known today as Arthur Head on 2 May, 1829, claiming the area in the name of George IV of the United Kingdom. Captain James Stirling returned with the Surveyor-General on 2 June 1829. After Captain Fremantle left the newly established colony on 25 August, Stirling decided to name the new settlement Fremantle in his honor.

Fremantle Arts Centre
Author: Moondyne (public domain)

As with the early colonies in Australia, Fremantle also received convicts, beginning on 1 June 1850. When the last convict ship arrived in Fremantle in 1868, it was also the end of penal transportation to Australia.

Being one of the oldest towns in Australia, Fremantle today has numerous historic buildings, many of which are well preserved. They include many built by convicts during the colonial era. The West End of Fremantle in particular has a handsome collection of Georgian and Victorian-style architecture.

Round House, Fremantle
Round House, Fremantle
Author: Tolo (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Visiting Fremantle

You can reach Fremantle from Perth by taking the Stirling Highway (State Highway 5), the Canning Highway (State Highway 6) or the Leach Highway (State Highway 7). There are frequent commuter trains from Perth's City Station to Fremantle. City buses 98 and 99 also make trips from Perth to the city.

Places of Interest in Fremantle

  1. Fremantle Arts Centre
    Arts center housed in the former psychiatric hospital built using convict labor between 1861 and 1868.

  2. Fremantle Prison
    Former Australian prison, since 2010 a World Heritage Site inscribed by UNESCO.

  3. Round House
    The oldest building still standing in Western Australia.

  4. WA Maritime Museum
    Museum in Fremantle in two locations. The Maritime gallery is at Victoria Quay, with themes on the Indian Ocean, Swan River, fishing and maritime trade. The HMAS Ovens submarine is parked adjacent to it. Nearby at Cliff Street are the Shipwreck Galleries, considered one of the most important gallery on maritime archaeology in the southern hemisphere.