The Fremantle Markets was the first stop of our visit and we utilised the free Cat bus service to make our way into the city. Here we spent several hours wandering around the stalls, which were thankfully all undercover as the weather was showery. Between showers we headed outside to look at the Fremantle Oval, St Patrick’s Basilica and the Proclamation Tree, planted in 1890, granting responsible government to the State of Western Australia. After enjoying a lunch at the Newport Hotel we walked to the Fremantle Harbour and paid homage to the statue of Bon Scott of ACDC fame, viewed a replica of the old Dutch sailing ship the Duyfken, originally built in 1595-1605, one of the first European sailing ships to record a landfall on the continent that we now call Australia. We spent an interesting afternoon visiting the Ship Wreck Museum, the foremost maritime archaeology museum in the southern hemisphere, its galleries housing hundreds of relics from ships wrecked along Western Australia’s treacherous coastline, including the original timbers from the Batavia, (wrecked in 1629), the de Vlamingh Plate, and artifacts from the Dutch shipwreck Zuytdorp, Zeewijk and Vergulde Draeck. We squeezed in a visit to the Round House (built in 1831 and is the oldest public building in Fremantle, the HMAS Oven’s submarine, (commissioned on the 15/04/1969) and the tributes to Australian migrants at the W.A. Maritime Museum then took a bus ride towards home.
The next morning we planned to spend the day at Fremantle Prison, where we had booked a Tunnel tour which gave us the opportunity to walk and row through the labyrinth of tunnels that were dug by the prisoners in the 1800’s to provide fresh water for the prison and later the city. Upon arrival we looked over the terrace area, the original residential area for the officers before heading inside. After morning tea we had a look around the Gatehouse displays until we were called up for our Tunnel Tour. Our guide proved to be very informative and comical making for a very entertaining and educational tour. As we still had some time available we chose to do a second tour which took us on a historical insight into the life of prisoners, their cells and the punishments endured. As we strolled back to the bus and as we walked passed Monks Brewery we thought we had better stop in to sample some of their brews.
Our time in Fremantle was interesting and exciting but we wanted to explore Perth and discover some of its exciting sites as Cheryl had only a few days left before returning home. On our way to Perth we paid a visit to the Fremantle Cemetery and the final resting place of Bon Scott. We then made our way towards Perth with a detour to see Cottesloe Beach with its sloping grassy banks and huge Norfolk pines forming a picturesque backdrop to the sandy and rocky shoreline.