Fremantle Urban Art Trail
Updated: May 5
There are so many ways to explore Fremantle and every which way you do it, you will discover something new. Previously we have explored Fremantle from a history and heritage perspective so this time we chose an Urban Art theme. This tied in nicely with our visit to Sculptures at Bathers.
This blog has been updated with new murals and murals we missed the first time. Added text from April 2022 is in burgundy colour.
I hate paying for parking so parked on Ord Street, alongside Fremantle Park, for free but there are plenty of paid parking stations around the centre of Fremantle if you prefer to be closer. We wandered up Ord Street, passing the "Life and Death" artwork by Stormie Mills on a bus stop, before checking out the grounds of the Fremantle Arts Centre.
While in this end of town head down James Street to see the Broody Hen on the side of the coffee shop, continue past the Gesha Coffee Shop to the corner of Beach Street where you will find some lovely artworks inside the indoor market dining area which has several choices for dining. We were looking for a new unicorn mural (to no avail) so also wandered a short distance along Quarry street with it's lovely heritage cottages and a few more murals.
We then retraced our steps, crossing Ord Street and walking past the Fremantle Leisure Centre before wandering down Quarry Street with it's mix of modern apartment blocks and old worker's cottages. Perhaps we should have walked down Queen Victoria Street as it has a number of artworks but then we would have missed the Rug Shop with it's wonderful, colourful furniture and displays. I love discovering unusual things along the way!
At the end of Quarry Street we turned right onto Parry Street, crossing the large intersection at Queen Victoria Street. We crossed Princess May Park to Cantonment Street, searching for the art works hidden amongst a mass of graffiti on the wall opposite Clancy's Fish Pub. Somehow I messed up my camera settings at this point so the photos are monotone.... all the more reason for you to head off and discover them in colour for yourself. We found a saucy mermaid, a cheeky sailor , the Woolie's crew, Straker's dingo and flamingo alight with neon colours and so many more.....
Continuing along we found Paul Deej's Alice in Wonderland on the side of Vintage in Wonderland in Westgate Mall on Cantonment Street. There is another Alice themed painting there which we missed. The "Fish and Chips" mural in the car park at the corner of Cantonment Street and Queen street was easier to find.
At the end of Cantonment Street just before Market Street head past the Atwell Arcade entrance and enter the gated area behind the restaurants to discover more murals. You can then walk through Atwell Arcade, home to Culley's Tea Rooms, through to High Street Mall or continue across to Leake Street to find the mural in a carpark.
We continued along Mews Road turning up Howard Street to the Wray Street Precinct. This little enclave has numerous cafes and eateries as well as the iconic Galati and Sons fresh produce market. We stopped for a coffee at Lawleys Bakery Cafe before continuing along leafy Wray Avenue to Brennan Street. When we later did our South Fremantle Urban Art Walk we started in South Fremantle and walked north to Wray Avenue.
We passed the South Terrace Adventure Playground at the back of Fremantle Primary School, reading up about the Old Alma Street Cemetery.
We followed Alma Street back to South Terrace where we glimpsed another mural on the wall of free db stereo. Heading up South Terrace we passed the Fremantle Hospital bus stop's bright orange and yellow dinosaurs and monsters before turning down Norfolk Street to admire the portrait of Dame Dorothy Tangney, first woman elected to the Australian Senate, chiselled onto the wall of the Norfolk Hotel.
In April 2022 we were able to go into Mr Chapple at the Old Synagogue on South Terrace to see the wonderful dog mural inside. We also wandered further down Norfolk Street looking for and finding the massive mural of Sam Kerr - unfortunately the light wasn't in our favour.
From here we wandered along Norfolk Lane and then took Essex Lane where you will find incredible murals stretching the length of the rear of The Monk Brewery & Kitchen.
You could spend hours just looking at all the fine detail in "Horatio's Wall" by Horatio T Birdbath, located on the rear (Market Street side) of Gino's Cafe & Trattoria. He has also done planter boxes on Market and William Streets and posts in Kings Square.
Before you head back along the Capuccino Strip wander down Bannister Street to see the massive Fintan McGee mural at the Hougoumont Hotel. If you know the history of the Irish Fenians who escaped on the Catalpa you will see the meaning behind this mural.
Head back along the Cappuccino Strip taking South Terrace Piazza through to Paddy Troy Mall. Wander up and down and enjoy the art work at the rear of Benny's Bar, the Newport Hotel and the Federal Hotel.
This area has now opened up and extends to several more murals and you can also walk through the arcade back to High Street Mall emerging at the numbat at Gesha.
Take the laneway next to the Federal Hotel and head down William and Adelaide Streets to Kings Square which has been redeveloped with a quirky chess theme. We had a quick look inside St John's Anglican Church (it was Sunday) and read about the sculptor, Pietro Porcelli and aviator Sir Hughie Edwards.
In April 2022 we revisited this area to explore the now complete redevelopment known as Walyalup Koort. The new name reflects the contribution to this land by the Whadjuk Nyoongar people and is a key milestone in the ongoing journey of reconciliation and recognition. Walyalup is the Nyoongar name for an area that includes Fremantle and Koort means heart. The square now features the Walyulup Civic Centre and Library and has a wonderful colourful playspace modelled on Fremantle Harbour's iconic "giraffe" cranes. Behind the Civic Centre the space opens up into FOMO, featuring entertainment venues and restaurants.
We crossed Queen Street taking High Street and then Josephson Street to see Brenton See's beach themed artwork at St Patrick's Primary School on Point Street...there is a Nemo here too which we missed. We took the small access way off Point Street to view Brenton See's "Before it's Gone" artwork on the side of Wilson Parking at 39 Adelaide Street. From there we headed back along Adelaide Street stopping in to see inside the beautiful St Patrick's Basilica before making our way back to the car.
We spent 3 hours wandering the streets of Fremantle looking for artworks and covered a considerable distance. There are smaller sections you can explore and still find plenty of artworks. Some of that time was spent looking at Sculptures @ Bathers Beach as we planned our urban art walk around this event. We also spent some time searching for artworks which we didn't find as they have been removed or we just couldn't find them. Urban art is ever changing as murals are painted over, removed and new ones added.
Fremantle has so much to offer - next time you visit take some time to have a wander around looking for street art. You can easily combine this activity with shopping at Fremantle Markets, fish and chips at Fishing Boat Harbour, a play at the Esplanade, a football match or heading to Fremantle Prison or one of the Maritime Museums. Hopefully my description and map will help you locate the street art easily.
This map indicates the original route as the purple loop and we have added a small orange section for the James Street murals we discovered in April 2022 along with a blue line indicating the additional places we explored in April 2022. A bit confusing but that is the nature of hunting out urban art!
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In the spirit of reconciliation Out and About- Family Nature Connection acknowledges the traditional owners of the Wadjak boodjar (Perth land) and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.