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Explore Fremantle Discovery Trail

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Fremantle has plenty to see and do and you have probably discovered many of the sights already. This trail takes you off the beaten track a little to discover some less well known parts of the port city. The trail traces 190 years of Fremantle's heritage. You can download a map from or pick up a hard copy from the Fremantle Visitors Centre in Kings Square. You can also follow this trail using your mobile at The trail is around 6km long and will take at least 90 minutes to complete, longer if you read all the information or stop along the way! Fortunately there are plenty of interesting places to stop and rest so why not make a day of it or break it up into smaller sections so that you can also explore inside the museums or the prison.

Fremantle is easy to access on public transport but if you drive there are plenty of places to park, most charge hourly fees but you can also find free timed parking on the outskirts. As the trail loops around the city area you can join at any point.

We started our walk at Kings Square admiring the Town Hall and the statue of John Curtin. We walked down High Street and then up Market Street past Pioneer Reserve with it's giant bronze Chimera Statue (can the kids see the 3 different animals represented in the statue?) to Number 1 on the Discovery Trail, the historic Fremantle Railway Station.

Click on arrows to see full images.

The mapped trail doubles back on itself a little so we decided to explore the Victoria Quay Waterfront before heading through the town centre to the prison and then on to Monument Hill. From Fremantle Railway Station (what birds can you see on this building?) walk west along Phillimore Street taking in all the heritage buildings which serviced the port city.

Click on arrows to see full images.

Cross the railway tracks at Cliff Street and explore the Victoria Quay inner harbour area with the E Shed markets (Open Fri-Sun) and the STS Leeuwin II, if she is not out to sea. Check out the Child Migrant Statue honouring all the kids sent out to Australia on their own to start a new life. Outside the Fremantle Port Authority you can see the National Engineering Landmark recognising the Fremantle Inner Harbour and a statue of C.Y. O'Connor, the harbour's designer and a very famous West Australian. At the WA Maritime Museum you can read the Welcome Walls and find the Australian Sailor Monument.

Click on arrows to see full images.

Cross Fleet Street and enjoy the outdoor sculptures at J Shed Art Studio in the Bathers Beach Art Precinct at Arthur Head Reserve. Walk through the Whalers Tunnel (built in 1837) and explore the Round House, the oldest public building in WA. If you time your arrival at the Round House for 1pm you will be there for the daily firing of the cannon.

Click on arrows to see full images.

Walk past the WA Shipwrecks Museum and find Bon Scott and the Fisherman at Fishing Boat Harbour before crossing Esplanade Reserve (public toilets here). If you stop at the Maitland Brown Memorial (Explorers Monument) in the Esplanade Reserve check out the plaques as there seems to have been a bit of controversy! Look for the shoreline markers outside the Esplanade Hotel too before continuing up Essex Street to the Fremantle Markets (Open Fri-Sun).

Click on arrows to see full images.

From here we climbed up to the World Heritage listed Fremantle Prison. Peek inside the gates before walking past the historic buildings that were the official residences of the chief warder, superintendant, gatekeepers and chaplain. There is a staircase at the end of The Terrace heading down the slope onto Holdsworth Street. Choose to walk along Holdsworth or Knutsford Street to see heritage houses but eventually you will need to continue along Knutsford Street to Monument Hill.

Click on arrows to see full images.

Monument Hill is a lovely 11 acre park with 360 degree views across Fremantle. Take some time to explore the Fremantle War Memorial and the smaller memorials as well as the Legacy "Mother and Child' statue set among the roses. Head to Ord Street, admiring historic Samson House, built in 1888, on the way to the Fremantle Arts Centre to finish the trail.

Click on arrows to see full images.

You can start or leave this trail at any point depending on your interests. I really enjoyed walking around the inner harbour as it was an area we hadn't explored on foot before. The Maritime Museum and the WA Shipwrecks Museum are both well worth a visit as is Fremantle Prison which offers guided tours.

If you are hungry or thirsty you can enjoy a cuppa on the famous Capucchino Strip on South Terrace, fish and chips at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and/or a brew at Little Creatures Brewery or the historic Sail and Anchor or Norfolk Hotel.

The kids can have a play or a run around at the Esplanade Reserve and you can all indulge yourselves with a bit of shopping at the famous Fremantle Markets (open Fri -Sun).

If you are exhausted just reading this choose a section of Fremantle you don't know very well and on your next visit explore it on foot. We didn't see everything there is to see so will have to come back another time too!

The visit fremantle website also offers PDF maps to walk the Fremantle Markets Heritage Trail and the Fremantle Cemetery Heritage Trail. You can also explore the Manjaree Walking Trail at Bather's Bay by following the interpretive signs starting at the northern edge of the Old Kerosene Store (now Kidogo Arthouse) and located throughout the Bathers Beach Precinct. This trail explains the Nyoongar seasons, bush tucker, trade and other customs relevant to Manjaree.

Manjaree is the name that the Whadjuk (local indigenous people) gave to the area around Fremantle near the limestone hill area at Arthur Head. In the local Whadjuk dialect it translates to 'fair exchange'. Sites along this trail are of historical significance to the Whadjuk people.

If you want to explore the street art of Fremantle head to :

#fremantlestory #explorefremantle #fremantlediscoverytrail #thisisfremantle #visitfremantle

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