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Quirky ways to explore Fremantle

Short on time or looking for a new perspective on the place you know and love? Here’s a few quirky ideas for exploring Freo.

 

Fremantle Tourist Wheel

The subject for many a photographer (day and night) you can’t miss the iconic wheel on Esplanade Reserve. Jump into a pod and do a circuit that will take you to a height of 40 metres. At the top most peak you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views across the city, Fishing Boat Harbour, Fremantle Harbour and on a clear day, right across to Rottnest Island.

Check out this video of Lucy Peach filmed in one of the pods of Fremantle Tourist Wheel as part of a special Fremantle edition of the RTRFM View From Here Series.

Invisible Cities Fremantle

Launched as part of Fremantle Heritage Festival, this engaging and interactive app reveals experiential tales you can listen to as you walk through Fremantle’s streets. From escapee chooks running down Essex Street to children ‘fishing for tourists’ from the rooftops of Cliff Street during the America’s Cup or a chaotic recollection of a boating trip up the Swan River gone wrong. Download the app from the App Store (for iPhones) and Google Play (for Android) and allow ‘push notifications’ to be told when you are near a story site.

Segway Tours WA (Fremantle)

In simple terms, the Segway is a two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered, electric vehicle. The feeling of riding Segway is a little more indescribable. The name is derived from the word ‘segue’, meaning smooth transition. Guided tours leave from 2 Marine Terrace (just outside WA Shipwreck Museum) and offer an experience in weightlessness as you roll on by.

Fremantle Food Tours

From start (ers) to desert, these walking tours introduce you to some of Fremantle’s great food spots and the stories behind the business. Enjoy a meal with fellow tour participants over six locations with a chance to walk it off between courses. It’s a little different than your standard walking tour.

Fremantle Tram Tours

In the early 1900’s, trams were the main form of public transport in Fremantle, operating services from the Fremantle Municipal Tramways building on High Street (opposite the Round House) throughout the city centre and surrounding suburbs.

In 2017 you can have a tram experience aboard Fremantle Tram Tours. The Hop-on-Hop-off tour drops you at key spots throughout the city including WA Maritime Museum, Fishing Boat Harbour, Fremantle Prison and Fremantle Visitor Centre with the added benefit of entertaining drivers delighted to share their stories and anecdotes of Fremantle.

During Hidden Treasures Winter Music Series (every Thursday night in July) you can enjoy a tram ride around Fremantle listening to some of WA’s finest acoustic musicians. Find the tram stop on High Street outside the Buffalo Club. Spaces are limited and on a first come, first serve basis.

Ed
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Connecting to culture

'Kaya, wanju' (hello, welcome)…a Nyoongar greeting to celebrate NAIDOC Week with its theme this year of ‘our languages matter’. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee and every July, communities around Australia organise events and activities to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. So 'alliwah' (look out) for NAIDOC Week celebrations in Fremantle from 2– 9 July.

We’ve collected a few more ideas to connect with culture in Walyalup (Fremantle) throughout the seasons of Makuru (June/July) and Djilba (August/September):

Language classes

There is no better way to understand a culture than to learn the language. Nyoongar is the language spoken by people of the Walyalup area and is one of many Australian Aboriginal languages that is endangered. The Meeting Place in South Fremantle runs regular beginner classes.

Manjaree walking trail | Arthur Head Reserve (free)

'Kya Wanju Nichia Nyoongar wardan bidi, winjalla gnulla kaatidj bal gwabbanijow.' This is the Nyoongar coastal trail, where our knowledge is put right.

A self guided walking trail is part of the Nyoongar coastal trail which stretches across Western Australia. The Manjarree walking trail consists of five information points describing Aboriginal history of the area.

Fremantle Indigenous Heritage Tour

Take a journey to the time of the Wadjuk, the traditional custodians of Fremantle, Perth and the Swan River. Hear the ancient Dreamtime story of the Nyoongar people, follow the story of Yagan (Wadjuk Warrior) and Midgegooroo (Wadjuk Elder of the Beeliar people).

Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre (WACC) (free)

The WACC is located on a significant traditional camping and trading place as well as in the area where Captain Fremantle arrived and settlement began in 1829 and where Whadjuk Nyoongars shouted "Warra Warra" (bad, bad!) to European arrival. The centre exhibits local Nyoongar artist’s work and offers programs and classes run by Aboriginal people.

Weaving workshop

Be inspired by traditional culture to create your own artwork, learn traditional Nyoongar weaving using different natural fibres or make your own jewellery using bush nuts. Art classes run at Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre each term.

Events coming up

King of Hearts | 17 Jun–2 July, Moore’s Building Contemporary Art Gallery (free)

Kings of the Hearts is the first solo exhibition by proud Ballardong Noongar artist Greg Barr. Having recently completed a residency at FAC, Barr has developed a unique blending technique using acrylics, resin, pastels, watercolours and oil crayons to create abstract and emotive works.

Yinjaa–Barni Artists 2017 | Japingka Gallery | 26 May–30 June (free)

Yinjaa-Barni artists from the Pilbara region of Western Australia tell the traditional stories of their homelands along the Fortescue River. Their paintings tell of the great Marrga or creation era when the land was formed from the smoke of the ancestor’s fires. Also worth seeing is Warakuna Artists & Lorna Fencer running from 21 July–31 August.

NAIDOC Week Launch 2 July | Hilton PCYC (free)

Family friendly launch, filled with music, fashion, food and a special damper cook off. A Fashion Showcase produced by the Noongar Arts Aboriginal Corporation Western Australia will be held with a catwalk show of their most recent collection.

NAIDOC Week word search 2–9 July (free)

By the time you’ve completed this word search you’ll know all the Nyoongar seasons plus some basic greetings. Bonus is the chance to win one of 5 double passes to Winterworld on the Esplanade Reserve.

Sean Choolburra–live in the heart of Hilton | 7 July

A friendly evening of high energy comedy and dance from one of Australia’s funniest comedians, Sean Choolburra performs at Fremantle PCYC. Bookings essential, tickets $10.

Ed
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Good nooks

A cosy snug, a wee dram, a good book. Is there a better way to pass a winter’s afternoon in Freo? Here’s our picks.

Nook: The Local Hotel
Book: Fremantle Football, The Origins 1885-1904. By Dr Norman Ashton
(New Edition Bookshop)

Colloquially known as Helen’s Bar after a former regular, this cosy snug has night cap written all over it: fire place, Chesterfields, plush sofas.

If it’s game day, the contest will be on the front bar’s big screen. More reflective moments can be spent in the cloistered surrounds of the Whiskey Bar, cradling a single malt Yamazaki and–if you really can’t get enough AFL–rifling through a book detailing 20 glory years of football in Fremantle. Colloquially known as Helen’s Bar after a former regular, this cosy snug has night cap written all over it: fire place, Chesterfields, plush sofas.

Nook: Miss Chat’s Bar and Kitchen
Book: In the Days of Tall Ships. By RA Fletcher
(Bill Campbell Books)

It’s an old world bohemian vibe at this West End establishment. Inspired by its namesake Miss Chatelaine– “a well heeled adventuress with a fondness for trinket collecting” –the room brims with warm wood and curios, and the bar reflects Miss Chat’s love for wickedly good cocktails. Since we’re casting back in time, order an Old Fashioned and leaf through the photos and yarns in this ode to the 19th century Sailing Ship.

Nook: Little Creatures Next Door
Book: Batavia’s Graveyard. By Mike Dash
(The Chart & Map Shop)

Pick a blustery day. Pull up a plush lounge overlooking the harbour. Order rum. Let your high perch put you in a maritime frame of mind, and sink your teeth into the true story of the mad heretic who led history’s bloodiest mutiny, just up the WA coast. Interest piqued? You’re a brisk walk from the WA Shipwrecks Museum, where the Batavia’s original timbers are on display.

Nook: Mrs Brown Bar 
Hook: Culture: A Memory Game
(Kate & Abel @ MANY 2.0)

The retro kids book menu covers are a clue; so is the magnetic poetry wall. There’s a sense of play in this quirky watering hole, and it’s not uncommon to see people imbibing with Connect Four or Backgammon for company. You might like to BYO memory game–this one showcases iconic works of art, architecture, design and literature. Everyone wins: it’s a walk through of some of the world’s greatest ideas.

Cosy up in the side bar of the building that once housed Fremantle’s first 75 convicts, and consider how far we’ve come. 

Nook: Ball & Chain
Book: Eyrie. By Tim Winton.
(Elizabeth’s Bookshop)

There’s history in here–including a rusty ball and chain at the bar–but the feel is both classic and modern: honey-hued leather arm chairs, warm wood, copper bench tops and a spirit wall for added warmth. Cosy up in the side bar of the building that once housed Fremantle’s first 75 convicts, and consider how far we’ve come. Winton evokes the streetscapes and the warts-and-all temperament that is modern Freo.

Nook: Moondyne Joe’s Pub & Bistro 
Book: Moondyne Joe: The Man and The Myth. By Ian Elliot.
(Fremantle Arts Centre)

Embrace a bit of wild bushranger spirit at this salt-of-the-earth pub on Freo’s fringe. You might spy a few characters in the sports bar channelling Moondyne Joe’s wily, never-give-up attitude. The Governor’s Bar offers a more intimate space to dip into a tome about the colourful bushranger who’s the pub’s namesake. Escaping from Fremantle Prison more than once? That deserves a raised glass.

What’s your favourite good nook in Freo? Share it @fremantlestory

Ed
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Fremantle vintage shopping trail

Fremantle has the highest number of vintage, retro and ‘op’ shops per square metre! You’ll find the stalwart in a cluster around High Street East & Josephson Streets.

In recent years a wave of curated and specialist vintage & retro stores have opened across the city. Current hot spots are in places flagged for redevelopment in the next couple of years including Woolstores Shopping Centre and the space now occupied by MANY 2.0. Right now there is an abundance of shops across Fremantle.

Find inspiration from local fashion bloggers and stylists to start your vintage expedition #vintagefreo #vintageoutfit #truevintage #vintageinteriors

Sourcing classic individual or one off pieces made from quality materials without the need for too much rummaging has made the curated vintage store big business.

There’s a huge production behind the scenes sourcing stock for these shops; from hours digging through op shops right through to importing stock from Japan, Korea and the US. You’ll pay a premium but the sifting and digging has been done for you by someone with an experienced eye.

Celebrities, fashionistas, bloggers and social media are also fuelling vintage style with vintage clothing now influencing fashion trends. Dedicated vintage shoppers are on the lookout for that special find to complete an outfit.

Under 25’s are loving the 90’s casual vibe while the over 35’s are looking for authentic pieces from the 50’s and 60’s.

There’s also a market for restyling and re working vintage finds to appeal to a modern market–right now the hottest trend is in denim. Think appliqued jackets, overalls, aprons and denim cut-offs. Find inspiration from local fashion bloggers and stylists to start your vintage expedition #vintagefreo #vintageoutfit #truevintage #vintageinteriors

Celebrities, fashionistas, bloggers and social media are also fuelling vintage style with vintage clothing now influencing fashion trends.

The Explore Fremantle vintage shopping trail takes you on a self-guided walking tour of the city to find all things vintage, retro and one of a kind; from fashion and accessories, books and vinyl, right through to interiors. We recommend allowing a whole day and planning for a few coffee + cake pit stops along the way.

Happy hunting and don’t forget to share your posts on social @Fremantlestory.

Ed
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The ideal Mother's Day

So Dads, you’ve got it all wrong… what Mums really want for Mother’s Day isn’t just flowers and chocolate. It’s time out… luxurious time out! Here's how to to plan a perfect day for the Mum in your life.

1. Wake up first

Creep out of bed, make sure those kids don’t make a noise and get them out of the house!  Ahhhh a child free sleep in…. amazing. 

Extra points if you leave the latest edition of our favourite mag next to the bed. You can pick one up from Kate & Abel, Compendium or Parkside Newsagency.

When you return it should be with a coffee and something delicious from one of Freo's boutique bakery's like Abhi’s, Wild Bakery, Lawleys or The Mill Bakehouse. A takeaway breakfast from Ootong & Lincoln, Grumpy Sailor, High Street Dispensary, Short Black Sheep or Jac and the Bean rates highly too.  Or organise Deliveroo to drop off breakfast from Ohana Acai Bar or Acai Brothers while you are out. 

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2. Hand over the credit card

Drop her off in Fremantle with the credit card (and no questions about the bank statement please).

If you know what she loves you can pre book something, otherwise talk to her bestie or better still, leave her to decide - just print off this blog post and hand it over with the credit card.  

Swanky lunch options include Bread in Common, Propeller, Il Cibo, Little Lefroy’s, Coast Port Beach, Bib & Tucker, Canvas or The Mantle Harvester.

Try cocktails from Esplanade Hotel Fremantle (bottomless Bellini brunch sounds perfect!), Strange Company, Sweetwater,  Miss Chat's, Mrs Browns, The Local Hotel, Percy Flint, Whisper Wine Bar or Who’s Your Mumma.

Relax with a massage or treatment at Keturah, Flirty Gertie or Djurra (or check beauty and wellbeing listings).

Browse the shops along Market Street and the West End; Kartique, Remedy, Common Ground, Morrison and New Edition Books or Wray Ave and South Freo; Ginger Morris, Pekho, South of the Border, Ivy & Isabel and Corner Store

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3. Around the house

While Mum's out enjoying this leisurely afternoon it’s time for you to get busy.

Look after the kids, clean the house, do the washing, prepare dinner... where to pick up the groceries?

If you head to North Fremantle the kids can play in the Gordon Dedman Park and you can pick up food and drinks from The Black Truffle and Old Bridge Cellars.

In South Fremantle pick up drinks from The Freo Doctor, groceries from Galati & Sons, and flowers from The Flower Hound.  

If you prefer a one stop shop try Gilbert's Fresh Market in Hilton.  

And isn’t there some little job that she's been gently reminding you about for a while?  Hang up that picture,  kill that spider… you know what it is.  

When you’re all done order an UberBLACK to bring her home.

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4. Family dinner

Kill two birds with one stone. Invite your Mum around and tell her to bring a bag of washing for you to do.  Enjoy a leisurely home cooked meal as a family, showering all the Mums in your life with love, affection and phrases about how fabulous they are. Wrap it up by putting the kids to bed, cleaning up dinner dishes and letting her choose the movie. 

Amazing…. best partner / son / Dad EVER. 

Ed
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#MyFreoStory is your Freo story

We all have a Freo story. From the locals raised in the port city, to the live music lovers or Sunday brunch devotees on the strip, locals and visitors alike have a story to share about Freo. And so #MyFreoStory video competition was born.

In early 2016, the #MyFreoStory competition was launched to encourage people to tell their own Freo story, with 40 very unique and heartfelt videos submitted. This included a day in the life of local Freo dog, following a unicyclist’s journey around town to the home of WA Circus, watching a time-lapse artist weave a large red basket around themselves in prominent Fremantle landmarks and Freo-inspired sea shanty “Fremantle, The Pride of WA”. 

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After much deliberation, 9 entries were shortlisted to determine the overall winner, Shakey’s Story. The first #MyFreoStory winning entry by Oliver Oldroyd and Stevie James Smith depicted the moving true story of a local artist and his strong connection to the Freo art scene and local music legend Bon Scott.

We asked the producer Oliver Oldroyd what motivated him and his cousin to enter “We love living here in Freo. There's such a good creative vibe and it's great to be part of it. We love making films and it was also important for us to get Shakey’s name out there and get him recognised for the talented artist he is.”

Another entry by a 16 year old student from Perth Modern School, Radheya Jegatheva was “My Journey Through Freo”, voted on the youtube.com/fremantlestory as the best film in our people’s choice category. This young film maker gave us a view of all the things he loves in Freo by filming on his mum’s iPhone.

We asked Radheya what motivated him to enter “A bit of everything to be honest, but one of the main messages that I wanted to convey through my video was that Freo is a city that can cater for all sorts of people of all ages - and that there was so much to do and so much to see.”

After viewing all of last year’s great films we couldn’t get enough, so in late March we launched the second 2017 #MyFreoStory video competition and are waiting in anticipation for the new stories.

If you want to check out last year’s films or submit your own #MyFreoStory video visit fremantlestory.com.au/myfreostory. Competition closes 22 May 2017.

Ed
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