City Walking Tours (telephone: (08) 9447 9079) offer a 2 hour
guided tour of the city centre, taking in historic buildings such
as St George’s Cathedral, Government House and London Court.
The tours cost A $9 and depart from the Western Australian Visitors
Centre, Forrest Place, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9.30 am .
Tram (telephone: (08) 9322 2006) is actually a bus,
a wooden replica of the first trams, built in 1899, to operate
in Perth. Drivers provide a full historical commentary for the
90 minute City Explorer Tour and passengers can get off and rejoin
the tram later.
There are stops at Burswood Casino, Kings Park,
Barrack Street Jetty, Murray and Queens Streets, Hay Street and
Pier Street, and Hay Street and Hill Street.
The tour costs A $15 and booking is not necessary.
Also offered is a 1 hour Kings Park & University Tour, stopping
at Fraser Avenue, Pioneer Women’s Fountain, University of
Western Australia, Lakeside Picnic Area and Saw Avenue. This costs
A $12 or A $25 when combined with the City Explorer Tour.
Captain Cook Cruises (telephone: (08) 9325 3341) offers a
variety of scenic ferry services between Fremantle and the city,
leaving from the East Street Jetty in Fremantle or Pier Three,
Barrack Square in Perth.
Prices start at A $15 for a 1 way trip (the journey
time is 1 hour 30 minutes). Similar services are provided by Golden
Sun Cruises (telephone: (08) 9325 1616) and Oceanic Cruises (telephone:
(08) 9430 5127).
Excursions for half day
There are several reasons for taking the 25 minute train ride
from Perth Railway Station to Fremantle. Visitors to Fremantle,
which is located 19 kilometres (12 miles) to the south west of
Perth, can experience convict era architecture
and museums, sample the many pubs and South Terrace
cafés, or simply enjoy fish and chips near the harbour
while gazing out to sea.
‘Freo’ was spruced up to welcome visitors during the
1987 America’s Cup and remains a striking and welcoming
port, while retaining a bohemian edge. Highlights include the
Fremantle Markets, which bustle
every Friday to Sunday, with stalls selling handicrafts, produce
and antiques, and the History Museum and Arts Centre (telephone:
(08) 9430 7966) converted from a convict built lunatic asylum,
open from Monday to Friday 10.30 am to 4.30 pm, Saturday 1.00
pm to 5.00 pm and Sunday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, with admission by
The Western Australian Maritime
Museum (telephone: (08) 9431 8444) explains the
port’s history and showcases the remnants of shipwrecks
dating back to the early 17th century, including many relics of
Dutch attempts at colonisation. Opening times are daily from 9.30
am to 5.00 pm and admission is by donation.
Fremantle’s several historic buildings,
along with their surprisingly bloody pasts, are located along
West route (telephone: (08) 9339 8719).
4 different narrated tours of 45 to 110 minutes are offered and
all leave from the tourist bureau. Perhaps the most fascinating,
and macabre, example of Fremantle’s architecture is the
Fremantle Prison (telephone: (08) 9430 7177), a maximum security
facility from 1855 to 1991, now open to the public, daily 10.00
am to 5.00 pm.
Bureau is situated at Fremantle Town Hall, corner of William
Street and Adelaide Street (telephone: (08) 9431 7878, facsimile:
(08) 9431 7755).
Excursions for a whole day
In spite of a name that is Dutch for ‘rat’s nest’,
this island is a peaceful 10 kilometre (6 mile)
stretch of sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, lying approximately
20 kilometres (12 miles) west of Fremantle.
The rats in question are actually quokkas, small,
harmless marsupials that are nonetheless incorrigible picnic crashers
(feeding them is forbidden).
Swimming, windsurfing, snorkelling, skin diving, sunbathing and
fishing are all enjoyed on the island. Bicycles
are available for hire and are the popular method of transport.
A 2 hour Bus Tour leaves from Thomson Bay 3 times
a day in winter and 6 times a day in summer, exploring the island’s
natural features and ignoble history as a prison for Aborigines.
A light railway tour to Oliver’s Hill gun
emplacement offers impressive views. Bird watching is an especially
fruitful pastime on Rottnest, with cormorants, whimbrels, reef
heron, swans and ospreys among the species populating the isle’s
Ferry services to Rottnest Island leave from
Perth (Barrack Street Jetty) and Fremantle (East Street Jetty
and Victoria Quay). The Rottnest Air Taxi (telephone: (1800) 500
006) offers flights on demand from Jandakot Airport, 20 minutes
from Perth on the Southern Freeway.
The Visitor and Information Centre is located in Thomson Bay
(telephone: (08) 9372 9752; facsimile: (08) 9372 9775).