Fremantle is a place that stole my heart. First I didn't want to admit, then I realized it and I accepted it and now, one year after I left, I feel so much graving to go back here! So, you're warned: Fremantle is an exited place that gets underneath your skin.
Of course, my stories are based on my own experience. Depending on my experience somewhere, I will write positive about this place, or less positive... But Fremantle (we like to say Freo), really, not many can resist falling in love with it. It seems to work like a sticker. I flew within one year 4 times back to Perth from outside of Australia. I met people who didn't get any further than 1500 kilometers away from Fremantle in the 2 years they spend in Australia. And 15000 k might seem far but for Australia standards this is just around the corner. So they were free to do whatever, to go ANYWHERE in Australia, to the famous Uluru, Sydney, Byron Bay, Melbourne, Tasmania... But nah, they stayed in Fremantle, Let me tell you why!
I can't tell you what I love most about it. Is it because you keep exploring and so when you think you've found all the nice places, you still missed a street with the cutest café?
Is it the fact that it's right at the ocean? Pretty much al cities in Australia are near beaches, but even in Perth you will have to drive 20 minutes to get to the Indian Ocean. In Fremantle you can touch it while being in Freo. Or is it because there is such a good creative vibe? In the center you'll find people all over trying to sell their self- made goods on the streets. I also got into the vibe and started making hair wraps again, about 15 year I did it the last time. Is it because it's a little hippie: full of respect and you can just be who ever you feel like being, without being staring at? Here I found out how much I love to wear no shoes! I guess it's all off that, together with all of this;
What to do?
➳ Fremantle Markets: Every Saturday and Sunday there is a buzzing market right in the center. They have jewelry, lunch/dinner and fruit and vegetables. I always went at the end of the Sunday so I could score my fruit and veggies for super cheap! They wanted to get rid of it so great offers all around. Also offers for amazing cupcakes, Moroccan food, healthy bowls... Jumjummm.
➳ Full Moon drum party: Every full moon (in and around summertime) there is this amazing Full Moon party at a beach north of Fremantle. Everyone can bring his own drum / djembé and people dance and feel happy and free.
➳ Fremantle Arts Center: every Sunday (in summer and around summer) there are free very good concerts over here. You'll meet old and new friends and chill an drink your self-taken drinks and food. Pretty ideal.
➳ FERN (Fremantle Environmental Resource Network): This is my favorite place in Fremantle. Every Monday and Wednesday they serve from 6 pm delicious vegan food for a donation. Especially the Monday is very busy, be sure to get here early! Otherwise, you end up in a long line and some the food might be gone. But even when you end up in the line, it isn't the worse thing: you can make friends with the people who wait with you! During daytime they have a cafe with amazing tasteful food and drinks and it's always a good vibe at this place. And no, I can't stop writing about Fern, but I'll try after this: they sell bikes for cheap! Volunteers work on these bikes and you can always go back when you have a problem. They are always happy to help you.
➳ Fremantle Prison: This is such an amazing prison! They have night / torch tours and it is really worth doing it.
➳ Rottnest Island: The name comes from 'rats', which are actually Quokka's. They are the cutest animals. Wild, but not scared of people and always smile! Besited these cuties, it's a really beautiful island on itself. There is a ferry and don't forget to book in advance. There is a special day a week when it's cheaper to go!
➳ Fremantle Festival: So, you're already lucky to be in Fremantle on itself. But if you're SUPER lucky, you're here
when the Fremantle Festival is on. This is every year in the end of October and there is a lot of beautiful things
➳ The Blazing Swan: You're even luckier when you are near Fremantle when the Blazing Swan Festival is on. It's is a 2-hour drive, every year at the end of March and it's the best festival I've ever been to. It is inspired on the big Burning Man and just like here: there is no money involved and it's all about having fun, love and sharing. Don't only bring your jeans. Actually, don't bring them at all. Get something super crazy, colorful, happy. These pictures will get you in the good vibes:
If the Blazing Swan festival is not on (yet), don't worry too much: there are many fundraising parties's the camps organize. It's like a 15 dollar entrance and they are the best parties: full on Halloween, crazy theme's andthe biggest fun. Get into the official Facebook group "Blazing Swan community page (unofficial)" and you find all about the in's and out's.
Where to eat / go out?
➳ Moore and Moore Café: Best place to get your brekky and lunch! It's very tasteful, healthy, always nice people around and the garden in the back is beautiful. And you don'thave to be bored for a second: there is always an art exposition on. Say hi to the owner Simon from me, and he will give you a big smile back!
➳ Juicy beetroot cafe: Okay, this is a real insider tip, so don't tell anyone alright? This cafe has got really delicious and healthy food. The trick is, to go here just before they close. You can get a takeaway container for half price.
➳ Mojo's: A popular bar on the other side of the Swan River. Every Monday night they have open mic nights and also on the weekends there are some good bands on. You shouldn't mind the smell of weed so much, because there is enough of that smell in the garden in the back.
➳ Little Creatures: It is probably Fremantle's most popular bar. They make beer themselves and you can do free
beer tasting! You get a plate like this picture on the right. It's only till about 1 o'clock and not sure if it is every day
of the week, but worth to look up I guess. Besides beer, it's just a really great place to be. It's kind of industrial but
still has a good vibe, in summers it is usually very busy and they have nice food like pizza. Also have a look next
door, at Little Creatures Next Door. It's cozy, a good spot to see the sunset and they also have great food and once
a week live jazz.
➳ La Sosta: Don't worry to not eat 'local' food in Australia: they don't really have local food. That's barbeque and
once I've heard spagetti bolognaise is their second most popular food. So once Italian food is local food, behave like
a good tourist and head to La Sosta. I am not really a connoisseur, but this food tastes like heaven.
What does Fremantle not have?
Like every place, Fremantle isn't perfect. Two things I missed in Fremantle was first of all the surf. There are no waves in Fremantle ever, but you can find a surfspot in Cottesloe and further north. Once it's good, be sure the locals will also know and will do their best to get the best waves.
Second of all, the night life isn't that great. Yes, there are some nice bars to go out, but many bars (also in the big city Perth) close at 12 pm (haha what a joke, right?) There are some nightbars but I've been told better not to go there. And if I look at the crowd (young) I follow up this advice.
Well, I think these are the most important things to know about Fremantle. Please feel free to leave a note underneath if there is anything I have to add, if anything changed and especially if you TOTALLY agree with all of this ❤ ❤ ❤