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Perth, Western Australia. Trip 2013 Highlights, Part 2: Fremantle

Fremantle: High Street view from the Round House.
Every trip to Perth, my partner, Enigma, and I try to plan at least a day in Fremantle together as our 'just us' part of the holiday. The port city is the one place we'd both choose to live if there was no other factors to consider about where we call home.

I personally like it for it's historic architecture and history but more so, it's proximity to great beaches and the fact it's still a working port. Container and holiday ships are always coming and going and serves as a constant reminder that there's a bigger world out there.

Not that I particularly want to explore that bigger world, it's more a metaphor for always thinking about the bigger picture. Looking beyond just your point of view. That kind of thing.

Anyhow, the purpose of this post is not to get all philosophical. This is all about how we spent our day in Fremantle.

Fremantle Tram Tours

Fremantle Tram.
Enigma had read about Fremantle's Tram Tours. The Trams themselves are replica 'Trams' that are more like a bus. They don't run on tram lines but they do follow the exact same circuit of six stops around Fremantle. The trams do eight circuits (during peak season) spread out over the course of a day meaning you can buy a ticket and then hop on and off different trams if you want to spend a little more time at a specific location.

Fremantle Gaol.
Now a Museum with Cafe.
Enigma and I chose to do the full circuit in one go. Other options include tours that also meet up with the ferry tour from Fremantle to Perth (and back) which will then meet up with the Bus Tour of Perth city. There's also a tram tour that includes lunch on the Ferry to Perth and back, meeting up with the tram again on the return and a Friday night Ghostly Tour. Prices vary depending on the tour.

The tram tour stops at six locations but as you go the drivers point out all the various historic sites and other points of interest, giving you a little bit of information about each.

War Memorial.
It's quite a nice tour but, to be honest, it does feel a little rushed with few opportunities to stop and take photos. Though if you planned your whole day around the tram tour and did hop on and off different trams you'd have plenty of time for photos and a good look around.

The Round House and Bather's Bay

After our Tram Tour Enigma and I headed up to the Round House which overlooks Bather's Bay (an ideal little beach to take small children or to just sit and relax).

The Round House (building on the right)
overlooking Bather's Bay on the left.
Old Whaling tunnel
running directly under
the Round House.
The Round House is Fremantle's first Gaol built on, what is mostly, a limestone rock hill.

The Gaol is now a museum that is worth exploring for the gold coin donation required to get in. However I usually visit this location because it has the best view looking over most of Fremantle on one side, then the best view looking out to sea on the other.

Many people have leaned along the rock wall, looking out over Bather's Beach, as the sun sets in the west over the years - including myself.

Fishing Boat Harbour Board Walk

The fishing boat harbour board walk is just over the other side of Bather's Bay and features many different restaurants and kiosks which overlooks where all the locals moor their boats.

Restaurants looking out towards Fishing Boat Harbour.
Enigma and I had intended to have fish and chips for dinner at Cicerello's, supposedly the best in the state, but it was too early so we settled for drinks and took the time to take a few more photos.

Bon Scott tribute Statue
at the Boat Habour.
Most notable to international visitors who may also be fans of the Australian band AC/DC is the statue of Bon Scott. The singer, as far as I know, is buried in Fremantle Cemetery, possibly in an unmarked grave now, as there used to be problems with fans stealing his headstone.

I'm sure the statue was built not only to pay tribute to Bon but to also take some of the focus away from his grave site. Since a photo with a statue of the legend is probably more desirable for all but the most hardcore of fans.

The statue is very life-like but at half scale (I'd say, at a guess). Which made me think he looked a bit Hobbit-sized in comparison to some of the other statues dedicated to fishermen, which are all life size. You'll definitely think "I thought Bon was taller?"

Market Street - Cafe Strip

After we'd explored the harbour we headed back to Market Street, otherwise known as Fremantle's Cafe Strip. Before looking for somewhere to have dinner, Enigma made a couple of stops to buy souvenirs for the grand kids and chocolate for us from Fremantle Chocolate.

The Cafe Strip its self features Alfresco Dining up and down both sides of the street from almost any culture you can imagine. Having been too early for fish and chips at the Harbour we looked for somewhere along the strip that could do a nice fish and chips.

Ali Baba and the
40 Dishes.
We settled upon a small Turkish cafe called Ali Baba and the 40 Dishes. Which, wisely offers a fairly standard fish and chips (I don't know, everyone just expects to be able to get fish and chips in a port city I guess so most places include it on the menu).

We weren't looking for anywhere too flashy but the strip has all levels of dining from small cafes and fast food to full table service and indoor dining. There's bound to be something to suit anyone.

Port Beach - North Fremantle

After dinner it was starting to get dark but there was just enough time for a trip into North Fremantle to show Enigma that Fremantle actually does have a proper beach in Port Beach.

Unfortunately it was too dark to get a good photo by this time but the image below gives you a reasonable view looking back towards the lights of central Fremantle and the port - where we'd spent our day.

Port Beach, looking back towards the lights of Fremantle Harbour.
Photo: Enigma.

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