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The premier guide to Western Australia scoop.com.au
PERTH & SURROUNDS
• Visit the WA
• Have a coffee on
the main strip
watch a local band
• Go for a walk along the river
• Take a night tour at
• Shop for antiques along
Queen Victoria Street
• Watch the sunset at
• Take an art class at the
Fremantle Arts Centre
• Buy something unique at
• Soak up the culture with
a tour of the old buildings
All these events and more at
TOP PICKS FOR KIDS
WA MARITIME MUSEUM | A visit to the museum has been a popular holiday activity
for years. Kids will love the preserved megamouth shark, and there are submarine
tours for youngsters five and over.
FREMANTLE PRISON | With famous bushranger escapees, solitary confinement and
underground tunnels, the prison is endlessly fascinating – especially for kids. Bigger
kids (over 10) will enjoy the spooky night tour (there’s a few surprises!).
FAIRY SHOPS | In a small sunken area just off the cafe strip is the Fremantle Piazza,
where fairy shops and fantasy children’s stores cater for small-group birthday parties.
The stores also sell children’s costume clothing, from pirates to mermaids, and trinkets
and bric-a -brac for older kids and adults.
ESPLANADE PARK | Opposite Fishing Boat Harbour is the well-shaded kid’s
playground on Esplanade Park. School holiday activities are always on offer, too.
ICE-CREAM SHOPS | It’s too difficult to pick a favourite, because Freo has an array of
kid’s parlours, lolly depots and chocolate emporiums to cater for the fussiest eater. The
city’s European heritage has led to a few of the best gelato and handmade ice-cream
joints in the state.
RIVERSIDE CYCLING | From East Fremantle, kids and their parents can cycle along
the riverside path to Point Walter. The journey is only a few kilometres on a flat,
well-marked dual pathway. Arrive to find vast open grounds, kid-friendly beaches,
playground areas and cafes under shady trees.
ART AND CULTURE
Fremantle is, pound for pound, the art
centre of WA, with many independent
galleries selling the works of local and
international artists, plus a number of
important Indigenous galleries. Blinco
Street, opposite Monument Hill, has
become a mini precinct, with design
warehouses and antique dealers, art studios
and cafes opening along the narrow,
tree-lined street. A few hundred metres
away is George Street in East Fremantle,
a much-loved local avenue that has attracted
fine restaurants, coffee houses and a few
out-of-the-way boutiques. Back in the heart
of Freo, fans of arthouse, contemporary
and classic cinema can get their fill at the
Luna on SX cinema, Essex Street. Once an
insane asylum and now a thriving hub of arts
and culture, the Fremantle Arts Centre is as
popular for its free courtyard music concerts
in summer as its quirky-cute gift shop, visual
art exhibitions, arts classes for young and
old, and terrific on-site cafe tucked in a leafy
Fish at Fremantle’s South and North moles:
head to the tip of Fremantle’s port to find
these popular fishing spots. While not as
bountiful as the North, South Mole is
a gentler spot to cast a line if you have
kids or prefer to fish in peace. Herring and
gardies frequent the South, while North is
home to a greater variety including sharks,
rays, snapper, mulloway and other, smaller
bread fish. Tailor can be caught in the late
afternoon/evening. Use a berley cage on
your rig, and for tailor, attach a glow stick to
your boat as the sun goes down.
Avoid parking nightmares by taking a train from Perth, or connect with shuttle
buses from the Kwinana Freeway train stations. Fremantle has the state’s only
carbon-neutral local government authority, and encourages alternative transport
(there are also great facilities for cyclists).
NORFOLK LANES YOUTH FESTIVAL
Every year in mid-November, Norfolk Lane and Essex Street come alive with
bands, local music legends, DJs and plenty of live performances. Best of all, it’s
open to all-ages, and it’s free!
FREMANTLE STREET ARTS FESTIVAL
This fantastic festival is held annually on the Easter long weekend at Town Hall Centre
in Fremantle. See performers from around the globe turn the streets of Freo into
a stage, and showcase their talent in busking, street theatre, circus, comedy and
cabaret. Featuring acts from Belgium, USA, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Canada, this
jam-packed three-day festival is not to be missed.
WEST COAST BLUES ’N’ ROOTS
At West Coast Blues ’n’ Roots, held at Fremantle Park every April, you’re just as likely
to see families having picnics as people dancing freely in the crowd, because it draws
people from all ages and walks of life. The common denominator is people who share
a passion for music with heart, soul and meaning.
Fremantle’s Hidden Treasures Music Festival runs through July at various locations,
with concerts, lectures and master classes on the program. For details, contact
www.fremantle.wa.gov.au, or consult gig guides for upcoming tour schedules.
Details & online booking at WA’s largest
online events guide SCOOP.COM.AU
Every Saturday night in summer, Fremantle’s
public beach is transformed into an
open-air market where folks congregate
for cheap and cheerful food truck meals,
picnics on the lawn and a front-row seat
for the breathtaking Indian Ocean sunset.
It’s a happy mess of panting dogs, food-
smudged toddlers, bottles of wine, live
music and laughter. The best nights are
when Kelp Bar is open. The pop-up bar is
run by indie gallery Kidogo Arthouse and
has a cult-like following among those who
reckon there’s nothing better than a drink
with friends to the sound of lapping water
and the sight of the setting sun.
Fremantle has a few legendary music venues
such as Mojo’s in North Freo, plus The Fly
by Night Musicians Club, and Norfolk and
Newport hotels in town. That said, you’ll
find live music at most pubs on a Friday,
Saturday and Sunday night. The Fremantle
Arts Centre hosts weekend events and
major outdoor concerts – most music events
are super chilled out (picnic rug and cheese
platter are a must).
Photography Phil Hevron.
(photography Roel Loopers).
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