Guest blogger Sally-Ann from Toddlers on Tour
Re-introducing you today to Sally-Ann who first appeared on Explore My City last year talking about Perth, this time we are taking a short trip down the road to the historic City of Fremantle with its only truly amazing vibe – a real family-friend adventure and somewhere we always take the kids when we travel home every year.
This post is part of our Explore My City series – come and visit cities around the world through the eyes of local parents
Fremantle is the port city of Perth and is where the first settlers set foot when they arrived into Western Australia in 1829. This town is just a 20-minute train ride out of Perth, rich in both history and culture providing many activities and things to do in Fremantle with kids.
Living in Perth with kids we often enjoy escaping the city on a day trip and finding new things to do in Fremantle, or come and spend a whole weekend in Fremantle. These are activities in Fremantle that we have enjoyed most as a family:
5 of my favourite things to do in Fremantle with kids
1. Explore the History
Start by taking a stroll around the town centre. The entire town is made up of historic building, many of which have plaques advising when and why they were built. Plus many of the main streets have signs explaining how the street looked and was utilised.
During your walk you will be bound to stumble across the Round House, it sits high on the hill imposing over the town and was the first building of Fremantle built in 1830. I think it’s kinda sad that the first building of a new settlement had to be a gaol, but I suppose what do you expect when you start a new colony with the majority of the population being convicts?
At just a small gold coin donation it is one of the best cost-effective places to explore in Fremantle. My son found it interesting seeing inside the tiny windowless cells and learning what the prisoners wore.
But if you really want to experience life as a prisoner a visit to Fremantle Gaol is a must. At $57/family to enter it so totally worth seeing how prisoners lived over the 140-year life span of the goal.
On our Fremantle Gaol tour, we learned: what they ate, where they exercised, how they were punished, when they tried to escape and why they were in prison in the first place.
Another place to learn much about Fremantle’s history is the informative Shipwreck Museum which shows the abundance of shipwrecks off the West Australian coastline over 400 odd years. There are also lots of relics in display cases that have been retrieved from the ocean floor.
However, it is a lot of reading and just looking for little ones who may become bored very quickly, with only a voluntary donation (suggested amount $5) to enter it is worth taking a chance.
For a more interactive museum about the West Australia’s maritime try the Maritime Museum. Whilst it does cost a little more to enter ($30/family) it is totally worth it. There is a lot about shipping and our West Australian lifestyle involving the water.
If you are looking for something a little less costly but still with lots of vibrant and interesting things to look at you can’t go passed the original Fremantle Markets. The markets were first established in 1887 and still sell a wide selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, homewares, gifts and clothing.
2. Eat, Drink and be Merry
Between the Fremantle Markets and the historic Fremantle train station you will pass along the vibrant alfresco café strip known as Cappuccino Strip. It is filled with an assortment of Italian and seafood restaurants open from early in the morning into the wee hours of the evening.
Pubs and Breweries
Other places open from lunch to the late evening are the pubs. Some of Fremantle’s pubs are rich in history like the Norfolk Hotel built in 1887 out limestone or the colonial Sail and Anchor. Others are newer and modern like Little Creatures which offer more child-friendly options with menus and play areas.
Fish and Chips at the wharf
Of course, you can’t go past the traditional fish chips at the wharf where the fishing boats come in with their daily catches.
3. Soak up the Culture
After you’ve eaten enjoy some of the local artists.
- Sit back and listen to a local band at the pub or during summer in the grounds of the Fremantle Arts Centre where you can even check out some artworks.
- You will also find more artists situated on the hill near the Round House.
- And there is nothing like watching the street performers, sometimes good and sometimes well… not so good.
4. Sail Away
If this all gets too much why not sail away, because after all, Fremantle is a port city that not only offers access for container shipping but also various passenger boats and ships. You can choose to sail to:
- Rottnest Island [book Rottnest bike & ferry combo tickets here]
- Take a Swan River Cruise back to Perth [you can book that here too!],
- Embark on a sea cruise at Fremantle Passenger Terminal Wharf with one of the many cruise lines like P&O, Princess Cruises, or Royal Caribbean
5. Getting To, From and Around
Do you like the sound of all the things to do in Fremantle with kids? Well you can get to Fremantle by:
- Public train or bus
- Day cruise from Perth
- Or self-drive, there is plenty of parking for a small fee.
Once you arrive into Fremantle there is a free Fremantle Cat bus that takes you past all the historic buildings and attractions that we have enjoyed exploring on our day trips to Fremantle.
About the Blogger
I am Sally-Ann a wife, mother and travel blogger/writer with 20+ years’ experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my family travel lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday with my travel tips for travel with kids.
With thanks to Sally-Ann for again contributing to our guest series. You can catch her previous guide to Perth with Kids here, or why not check out more of our guides to Western Australia travel here.
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