Chillout in Fremantle/Walyalup: Best Coffee in the Nation?

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I spent a bit of time in Fremantle some years back and a local cafe, Gino’s, still has my personal award for the best coffee in Australia! – Kevin Parker ed.

Located just a short drive south of Perth, the enchanting city of Fremantle/Walyalup is an essential destination on any Western Australian itinerary. With its vibrant mix of history, marine heritage, and eclectic culture, ‘Freo’ as it’s affectionately known, exudes a charm that’s uniquely its own.

As you wander through Fremantle, you’ll be captivated by its beautiful blend of architecture. The city’s streets have some well-preserved examples of Victorian and Georgian buildings, a testament to its history as a key port in the early colonization of Australia. Notable among these is the iconic Fremantle Town Hall, a stunning example of Victorian Gothic architecture, which stands as an emblem of the city’s colonial past.

A cornerstone of Fremantle’s historical narrative is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison. Operating as a maximum-security jail from 1855 until 1991, it’s now an intriguing museum that provides a poignant look into Australia’s convict history. Guided tours take you through cell blocks, solitary cells, and execution chambers, offering a stark insight into the lives of the inmates who once resided there. For the brave-hearted, torchlight tours add a thrilling dimension to the prison’s already palpable history.

Fremantle’s affinity with the sea is evident in its vibrant Fishing Boat Harbour, a working harbor surrounded by boardwalks, eateries, and a buzzing atmosphere. Here, visitors can sample fresh seafood straight from the ocean. Try the traditional fish and chips, or indulge in a seafood platter while overlooking the bobbing fishing boats.

The cultural tapestry of Fremantle is vibrant and diverse. The city is renowned for its thriving arts scene, filled with galleries, unique boutiques, and lively markets. Visit the Fremantle Arts Centre, housed in a neo-Gothic style building, and explore a range of contemporary visual arts. For souvenir hunters and lovers of all things unique, the Fremantle Markets are a must-visit. Here, over 150 stalls showcase local crafts, exotic foods, and an array of eclectic wares every weekend.

Freemantle Harbour
Freemantle Harbour

Fremantle is also home to a burgeoning microbrewery scene. The city’s love for craft beers can be savored in popular spots (December 2023) like Little Creatures Brewery and Otherside Brewing Co. Each offers its own unique take on craft beer, often complemented by delicious pub grub, live music, and a relaxed, friendly ambiance.

Adding to Fremantle’s appeal are festivals and events that happen throughout the year, like the Fremantle Street Arts Festival, which sees the city streets come alive with performers from around the world.

In essence, Fremantle is a city where the old marries the new, where history intertwines with a dynamic cultural scene. A visit to Fremantle is not merely a trip to a destination; it’s an immersive journey into Western Australia’s vibrant heart.

Check out the Visit Freemantle Website to see what’s on

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