Fremantle Day Trip: An Arts & Culture Filled Day Out

Maybe it’s the salty sea air that gets the creative juices flowing. Or perhaps it’s Fremantle’s unique cultural allure that attracts creatives from around the globe to collaborate and create. Fremantle has long been a mecca for arts and culture and there’s always a star-studded line-up of exhibitions and events to discover. The many art galleries and spaces are jam-packed with works from local, interstate and international artists. Here’s how to spend the ultimate day trip in Fremantle.

Day Trip Itinerary

As one of Australia’s largest heritage-listed precincts, Fremantle is a destination where award-winning eats and drinks are served with a side of old-world charm and soul. 

9:00 am: Breakfast at Moore & Moore Café

Moore & Moore Café
Credit: Moore & Moore Café

Begin your day trip early with a healthy feed at Moore & Moore Café in Fremantle’s historic West End. You’re sure to find something you love, be it smashed avocado, chilli eggs with halloumi, or wild blueberry hotcakes with whipped coconut and berry compote. While you’re there, peruse the current exhibition at Moore’s Contemporary Art Gallery, which shares the raw and rustic heritage building. 

10:00 am: Paper Bird Children’s Books & Arts

Paper Bird Children's Books & Arts
Credit: Paper Bird Children‘s Books & Arts

Swing into Paper Bird Children’s Books & Arts, which is located just next door to Moore & Moore Café. The dynamic children’s cultural hub often hosts a buffet of writers, storytellers, and illustrators for workshops, kids’ book clubs, book launches, and discussion panels.

Japingka Aboriginal Art Gallery
Credit: Japingka Aboriginal Art Gallery

Spend some time exploring the colourful and imaginative works at Japingka Aboriginal Art Gallery. The creative space is located across two levels of a heritage 1890s warehouse building in Fremantle’s West End. The ground floor gallery presents a broad cross-section of Aboriginal art from leading artists and regions. While the two upstairs galleries present 12 new exhibitions each year, chosen from emerging and established Indigenous artists and communities. The stockrooms hold an impressive selection of 4,500 Aboriginal artworks.

11:00 am: Explore High Street in Freo’s historic West End

The Artisan Store
Credit: The Artisan Store

Teeming with intriguing history and magnificent architecture, Fremantle’s West End is where art and culture collide. It’s home to the state’s largest collection of heritage-listed buildings, many of which date back to the 1890s! 

Make your way to the restored heritage building, PS Art Space — located just off High Street to explore contemporary exhibitions. If you’re down for a little retail therapy, shop local at The Artisan Store. The boutique supports more than 170 WA artists and sells all things hand-made jewellery, ceramics, paintings, and textiles. Or try Common Ground for a constant flow of fashion, art, planters, and gifts.

11:30 am: Discover Freo’s eclectic street art collection

Calamity's Rod
Credit: Calamity’s Rod

Head to Bannister Street, and admire the huge Escape Artist (2020) mural by Fintan Magee which completely covers a wall of the Hougoumont Hotel. The piece depicts a man floating in the ocean and six flying geese, and is dedicated to six Irish prisoners who escaped from WA in 1876. In Irish history, the term Wild Geese refers to the tens of thousands of Irishmen who fought the wars of others. If you’re feeling peckish, refuel with hot chips and a beer at Calamity’s Rod.

11:45 am: More street art

Immerse yourself in more street art at Horatio’s Wall. Take a photo with the ever-evolving artwork on the side of the forever-bustling Gino’s Café. You might even find the artist, Horatio T Birdbath, working on his piece.

12:00 pm: Lunch (and art) at Fremantle’s Hawker-style markets

Credit: FOMO Freo

Grab your day trip lunch at FOMO — a one-stop shop for all the senses under one roof. Nestled in the heart of Fremantle’s Walyalup Koort, FOMO is a blend of art, architecture, culture, retail, and dining. Here you’ll find Varsity, Smash Grill, Yin Yang Wok & Soup Bar, Roll’d, Get Chunky, Fry’d Ice Cream, and so much more.

If you’re down to check out more artistic genius, FOMO’s public art installations include Peter Drew’s Real Australians poster series. Plus, Dipesh ‘Peche’ Prasad’s Neon Swan paste up, and Tim Meakins’ colourful Big Flower sculpture.

1:15 pm: Spend an afternoon at Fremantle Arts Centre

Fremantle Arts Centre
Credit: Fremantle Arts Centre

Make your way to the Fremantle Arts Centre and spend an afternoon revelling in the beauty of the lush grounds. Spread over four acres and housed in a gothic heritage building, the annual program includes a range of contemporary visual arts exhibitions worthy of a gander. It’s also home to a café and the FOUND shop which celebrates the highest quality creations of WA makers and designers. Or enjoy the free live music on the lawn if you’re visiting between October and March.

4:30 pm: Cocktails and jazzy beats at Strange Company

Strange Company in Fremantle
Credit: Strange Company

Sit back and salute a fabulous Fremantle day trip with a cocktail, tasty fare, and free jazz — every Sunday afternoon — at Strange Company. Grab a few plates and share with your mates — you can’t go past the pickled green tomato salad, seared scallops, sardines on toast, or a selection of charcuterie. Simply divine!

8:00 pm: Stay the night

The National Hotel, Fremantle
Credit: The National Hotel

If you don’t want the day trip to end, Fremantle is a fabulous destination for a convenient weekend getaway or extended staycation, so why not stay the night? With so many unique, boutique, and out-of-the-ordinary accommodation options to choose from, deciding which one is the hardest part.

For more Perth Day Trip itineraries to help you discover the best of Perth, visit our Destination Perth Day Trips hub.

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