Fremantle/Perth:  Our Last Australian Port for This Cruise

2023 HAL World Cruise

Wednesday & Thursday, February 21 & 22, 2023

Fremantle was first visited by Dutch explorers in 1697.  They mapped the area and sailed up the Swan River.  The Captain, Willem de Vlamingh reported to the Dutch authorities that it would be a good place for settlement.  No one listened—or cared!!!  Not until 1827 when Captain James Stirling of the HMS Success explored the area and submitted his own favorable report.  The British listened.  And they sent the HMS Challenger, captained by Charles Femantle, to establish the Swan River Colony settlement there.  On May 2, 1829, Fremantle hoisted the Union Flag and took formal possession in the name of Britain’s King George IV.  But interestingly, Western Australia Day (aka Foundation Day) is observed on the first Monday in June and actually commemorates the arrival of Captain Stirling, aboard the HMS Parmelia.  He brought the Surveyor-General and the first contingent of immigrants to set up a colony at the junction of the sea and the river.  That was immediately followed by the settlement of the capital city of Perth which began on August 12, 1829.  Capt. Fremantle, commanding the HMS Challenger, departed the colony on August 25, 1829.  Because of Fremantle’s invaluable assistance, Stirling named the port settlement:  Fremantle!!!  In case you’re wondering, Perth was named for the city of Perth in Scotland to honor the influence of Stirling’s patron Sir George Murray who had connections with that Scottish city.  Perth was established as the administrative center of the area and that explains why it is now the capital of Western Australia!!!

Why don’t we take a look at the photos?!?!

We arrived in Fremantle (affectionately called Freo by locals and visitors alike) and docked at Victoria Quay. The harbor is at the mouth of the Swan River that flows thru Perth to the Indian Ocean.
Upon arrival, we passed the Western Australia Maritime Museum. Designed by Perth’s Cox Howlett Bailey Woodland Architects, the WA Maritime Museum examines Western Australian seafaring heritage and contemporary maritime trade and culture. It opened in 2002.
The Oberon class Submarine HMAS Ovens is an authentic Cold War-era vessel situated on Fremantle’s historic World War Two submarine slipway. This exhibit serves as a living memorial to submariners and those who gave their lives while serving from Fremantle in WWII.
Another part of the WA museum system, which originated in 1976, is the WA Shipwrecks Museum, housed inside historic Commissariat buildings.
Originally built to store the food, clothing and building supplies of the Swan River colony, these buildings are among the first Western Australian sites built using convict labor.
After touring the Wrecks Museum…..
…..we took to the sky and enjoyed the view from the Fremantle Ferris Wheel, located in Esplanade Park.
The view at the top was quite nice.
From the Wheel we could see Bathers Beach and the Fishing Boat Harbor with its many restaurants.
We could even see the Zuiderdam in the distance!!!
Leaving the park, we found the Esplanade Hotel directly in front of us!!! It’s a beautiful building built in 1850.
Obviously, it was time for a libation!!! We chose Swan draught.
And while awaiting the French Fries, we planned out the rest of our sightseeing!!!
And then headed out for more exploration!!!
We visited the Round House–first structure built by convict labor in 1831.
We tried to visit the Fremantle Markets only to learn they are open on weekends only!!
So we shopped the streets of town and Sandy finally found the Tilley Hat she searched all of Australia for!!!
She thinks its a jaunty little sun hat!!!
And then we headed back to the ship as we have a dinner cruise scheduled this evening on the Swan River in Perth proper. Must get ready!!!
Perth itself is an interesting city with phenomenal architecture!!!! This is the bell tower.
We boarded the James Stirling for our dinner cruise.
And set off for a lovely evening…..
…..of fine wine…..
…..and good food!!!
And then returned to the ship for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow we sightsee some more!!!
This time, rather than walk, we took the shuttle to town. It did not take us to the lovely Railway Station.
Instead, we were deposited near St John’s Church, built in the center of Town Square in 1882.
Freo has an abundance of art throughout town.
Roger took a particular liking to this hero, Sir Hughie Idwald Edwards, who won may aviation awards during WWII; went on to be appointed Governor of Western Australia in 1974; and passed away in 1982. A life well lived!!!
Also in this square is the Town Hall. It was built in 1887 and remains in use today.
And moving on…this is High Street Mall at Adelaide/Williams St.
No caption needed here; the name of this building says it all!!
The Sail & Anchor, originally the Freemasons’ Hotel, was bought and renovated by Phil Sexton in 1984. After renaming the establishment, Mr. Sexton went on to launch the very first contemporary craft brewery in Australia!!!
Freo is dotted with charming, art-filled, tree-shaded, pedestrian malls.
And then there’s the National Hotel. Built as the National Bank in 1868, it became the National Hotel in 1886. Under new ownership, the hotel was expanded in 1902. And in 2018, under the Carnegie chain, a rooftop garden was installed.
The view is marvelous.
Nice view of the ship!!!
And the bar has a good selection!!!
Look, there’s even more!!!
Apparently, they can satisfy any taste.
We were easy to please: French Fries and beer, please!!!
Of course, it was good!!!
There is so much to see and do in Fremantle, but we ran out of time and had to return to the ship. However, our adventure continues.
We sail out of Fremantle, saying “goodbye” to Australia as we continue the journey–on our way to another continent!!! Africa is in our future!!!

We will now spend seven days churning across the Indian Ocean.

Next stop is Port Louis, Mauritius

See you then!!!