A Lonely Planet Sunrise over the Port City Today

Here are some links to some of the media from the great Lonely Planet Top 10 announcement today.

Well done Freo.

From 7’s Sunrise program

From 9’s Today program 

And From Lonely Planet themselves 


Under the baking Western Australian sun, Fremantle is a raffish harbour town with sea-salty soul to burn. Like Valparaiso in Chile or Littleton in New Zealand, old-town ‘Freo’ is a tight nest of streets with a classic cache of Victorian and Edwardian buildings that somehow dodged the wrecking balls of the 1970s. It’s an isolated place – closer to Jakarta than Sydney. But as in any port, the world washes in on the tide and washes out again, leaving the locals buzzing with global zeitgeist. It’s a delicious process, and nowhere in Australia does it better. Fremantle thrums with live-music rooms, hipster bars, boutique hotels, left-field bookshops, craft-beer breweries, Indian Ocean seafood shacks, buskers, beaches and students on the run from the books.

A little context: Fremantle dragged itself out of the economic doldrums in 1987, scrubbing itself up to host the America’s Cup yachting race. Once the yachties left town (the Americans taking the cup with them) the city faced the question of ‘what now?’. A process of reinvention began, with investment in the arts, the establishment of Notre Dame University and the consolidation of the city’s waterfront at the fore. In 2016, Freo is bearing the fruits of this process, with thriving urban culture and a string of awesome arts events celebrating the city’s essence.

Life-changing experience

Beer, students and Fremantle: it’s all very simpatico. But a night spent mooching between the pubs, breweries and bars here is about more than just beer. The Freo vibe is liberated, freewheeling, engaging and infused with good music. Anonymous after dark on this forgotten rim of the planet, if you can’t get a little perspective on life, love and longevity here there’s something wrong. Essential booze rooms: Sail & Anchor, Little Creatures Brewery, Mrs Brown Bar.

Most bizarre sight

Legendary hell-raiser and AC/DC frontman Bon Scott (1946-80) moved to Fremantle with his family in 1956. Bon spent his teen years strutting around Freo, and the city still adores him. Check out his statue down by Fishing Boat Harbour, in classic rock pose (more cock-sure than bizarre). His ashes are interred in Fremantle Cemetery: enter near the corner of High and Carrington Sts – Bon’s plaque is 15m along the path on the left.

Classic restaurant experience

Fishing Boat Harbour is Fremantle’s culinary crux: an arc of seafood eateries tracing the waterline, with something for all budgets. Kailis Fish Market Cafe has been cooking up fresh fish and chips here since 1986. Little Creatures Brewery continues to dazzle with zingy microbrews, hip staff and quick-fire eats in its lofty brew house. The food here is killer: order up a prawn, coriander pesto and shitake pizza, or a fiery chickpea tagine with goat’s milk yoghurt.

Best shopping

Low-budget, spontaneous and surprising, MANY 6160 is a boho mashup of local artists’ studios, pop-up shops and galleries on the ground floor of a defunct department store. A little more predictable are the Fremantle Markets, a hippie haven of craft stalls, buskers, coffee carts and produce vendors.

By Charles Rawlings-Way

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

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