Fremantle is overflowing with things to see and do. The best part? Many of them are free, family-friendly and super fun.
Walk among history on colourful streets lined with heritage buildings, explore eclectic shops and iconic markets, or kick back at one of Fremantle's stunning beaches.
It's time to run free in Freo! Here are some of our favourite free, cheap and oh-so-cheerful things to do.
1. Explore the Omeo Shipwreck at Coogee Beach
The sun is shining and it is the perfect time to dive into the calm, turquoise-blue waters of Coogee Beach. WA has an extraordinary maritime history and plenty of shipwrecks shallow enough to explore with nothing more than a mask and snorkel – including the famed Omeo Shipwreck.
The Omeo is the centrepiece of the Coogee Maritime Trail: an epic snorkelling trail along Coogee Beach. The trail has been developed by the City of Cockburn. It aims to educate divers on WA's rich naval archaeology and heritage via underwater plaques, artificial reefs, submerged art sculptures, and loads of marine life. This not-so-hidden gem is Perth's most popular shore-based shipwreck, lying just under the water 25m from the white sand shores of Coogee Beach.
2. Throw in a line at Fremantle Harbour
A Perth fishing hotspot list isn't complete without including Fremantle. There's no shortage of places to drop a line for tailor, bream, herring and more. The warmer waters in the harbour or river entrance are ideal. Hang around afterwards and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour. This working harbour is brimming with world-class bars and restaurants featuring some of WA's freshest seafood. It's the perfect place to feast if the fish weren't biting earlier.
3. Spend the day in South Fremantle
One of Fremantle's greatest attractions is its coastline of pristine beaches. South Beach is family-friendly, with the added plus of eye-candy views of Rottnest, Carnac, and Garden islands. South Beach has free barbeque facilities, so it's perfect for a long, lazy lunch and relaxing swim. There's plenty of shade and a large grassy expanse to kick a ball, play frisbee, or spend the afternoon dozing on a picnic rug.
Afterwards, check out the South Fremantle strip. This charming seaside suburb is home to so many incredible bars (and a world-class brewery) and eateries, making it the perfect destination for restaurant and bar hopping after the beach. Check out our complete list of places to enjoy a tipple in Fremantle here.
4. Dive into history at the WA Shipwrecks Museum
Dive into the fascinating history of Australia's oldest shipwrecks at the WA Shipwrecks Museum. For just a gold coin donation, you can journey through the galleries to learn about WA's dangerous coast, first European encounters, and famous shipwrecks. To delve deeper, take a guided tour of the building and discover the fascinating historical features of WA's first convict-built public building. Still eager to learn more about WA's maritime past? Head straight to the WA Maritime Museum for just $15 per adult.
5. Unwind at Esplanade Park
Spend a lazy afternoon picnicking at the beautifully grassed reserve of Esplanade Park. This large park is the ideal spot for the kids to roam free, with swings, a play area and lots of shade provided by about 100 Norfolk Island pine trees.
6. Get artsy at Fremantle Arts Centre
Housed in a heritage building in Fremantle's east end, Fremantle Arts Centre is a premier arts service and one of the leading arts organisations in Australia. So, stroll around and enjoy the free exhibitions or attend one of the many live music concerts held throughout the year. Alternatively, pack a picnic and wander the beautiful grounds of this convict-built heritage building, full of gothic flare.
7. Wander along the Discover Fremantle Trail
The City of Fremantle is home to a series of walking and cycling trails. Our fave? The Discover Fremantle Trail. This self-guided walking tour showcases the very best of Fremantle. The trail takes you off the beaten track to discover 190 years of Fremantle's heritage. Download a map here or pick up a hard copy from the Fremantle Visitor Centre. The trail is around 6km long and will take at least 90 minutes to complete, longer if you read all the information and stop along the way. Another option is the brand new Street Art Trail, well worth exploring on a day out! Download the map here or collect a hard copy from the Fremantle Visitor Centre.
8. Explore WA's most vibrant markets
The Fremantle Markets are WA's ultimate market experience. Step inside and immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of over 100 years of vibrant culture and heritage. Enjoy the sounds of local buskers, sample fresh and unique local produce or wander through the eclectic stores brimming with indigenous and independent products.
9. Tunnel through time at the Leighton Battery Heritage Site
Leighton Battery at Buckland Hill was part of the coastal defences of Australia during World War II and the Fremantle Fortress, protecting Fremantle Harbour. Leighton Battery was once an artillery site with guns and searchlights serviced by a web of tunnels under the hill. The site is now a heritage museum open daily and free to the public. However, a small fee is involved if you want to explore the tunnels.
10. Enjoy a stunning WA sunset
Few places in Perth have more vantage points to enjoy the quintessential WA sunset than Freo. With a wide selection of rooftop bars, beach and waterside venues, there's no better place to enjoy dinner and drinks with a view. The star of the show is The National Hotel's rooftop bar. With 360-degree views over the rooftops of Fremantle, it's the picture-perfect position to take in those golden sunset hues.
11. Check out the themed parks around Fremantle
For the kids (and big kids), the City of Fremantle offers more than 70 parks and reserves, including native bushland, beach parks and sporting reserves suitable for local sporting groups, leisure activities and community events. This includes cute, themed natural play parks at North CY O'Connor Beach Playground at North Coogee, Tuckfield Oval in East Fremantle and the South Beach Playground.
12. Visit the Kids Zone at the Fremantle Library
The new library at Walyalup Civic Centre in the heart of Fremantle is a place for everyone. Discover your next favourite read, inspire your work, think creatively, learn and enjoy. The library offers a special Kids Zone filled with picture books, easy reads and children's fiction. Families can enjoy the engaging environment that will inspire kids with playful design, bold colours, reading nooks, a gaming area and even an indoor slide. This might just be the best library ever!
Still eager for more? Take the kids (or a special someone) to ride the Skyview Wheel at Esplanade Park, jump on a guided walking tour with Two Feet and a Heartbeat, explore the Fremantle Prison or go brewery hopping and visit Little Creatures, Gage Roads, Running with Thieves and Kahuna Brewing Co.
Want more fun freebies? There are more money-saving adventures to be discovered at the Destination Perth website.