Travel: Have fun in fabulous Fremantle

When visiting Perth, take an afternoon to check out Fremantle, the atmospheric Old Port city, which witnessed New Zealand's first foray in the America's Cup.

Half an hour from the city centre, Fremantle is home to the Maritime Museum and Shipwrecks Gallery. This museum is one of the largest of its kind, with a riveting exhibition on shipwrecks in Australia and the world.

Fremantle is a perky, bustling port, well-flavoured with frequent festivals.

At the mouth of the Swan River, and known by the locals as Freo, the port city boasts the best preserved 19th-century port streetscape in the world.

Within these heritage buildings lies a wealth of stories about Fremantle's maritime and convict history. Amble along the backstreets past dockworkers' cottages, warehouses converted into trendy apartments and off-the-beaten-track local haunts.

Essential stops include WA's earliest convict jail, the Roundhouse, and the Maritime Museum.

A creative streak courses through the port town, so check out the local arts, crafts, jewellery and gourmet food at Fremantle Markets.

Hit trendy High St for fashion from local designers, art galleries and Aboriginal crafts.

Freo is all about soaking up the laid-back ambience, chilling out in a street cafe, enjoying fish and chips fresh off the boat at Fishing Boat Harbour, and sampling the pale ale at an award-winning microbrewery.

- Hamilton News

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