Fremantle (Perth), Australia
For such a remote city, Perth is surprisingly cosmopolitan with a great food scene, outdoor-focused local lifestyle, and a serious wine culture. The cruise terminal is about 12 miles south of the city in Fremantle, a surf-centric suburb with a personality of its own.
What We Love
Fremantle's Surf Culture: Hitting the beach and watching surfers ride the waves is a perfect simple pleasure. A number of surf schools teach lessons, or you can soak up the scene over a pint or a flat white at Bib & Tucker.
Beaufort Street: In addition to being one of the prettier precincts of Perth, this short stretch is jam-packed with restaurants, pubs, and patisseries.
Best Known For
Kings Park: Located near the Perth city center, this spectacular swath of green, with views of the city skyline and Swan River, is a local gem. Much of the park is unmanicured bushland crisscrossed with walking trails, and some 3,000 species of Western Australia’s unique flora are on display in the botanic garden.
Fremantle Prison: Large and atmospheric, this former jail occupies the only World Heritage-listed building in Western Australia and contains a rich history. The network of tunnels 20 meters below ground is open for tours.
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Who It's Best For
Outdoorsy Types: Follow the locals to the parks or riverside for training runs or nature strolls, or to the beaches for surfing and sunbathing.
Wine Aficionados: Giant cans of Fosters aside, Australia has a serious wine culture. Perth benefits from its proximity to the Margaret River Valley, which produces some of the country’s finest semillon sauvignon blancs.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
You'll Have to Make Choices: Unless you have a lot of time on shore, you’ll likely have to choose Perth or Fremantle. The drive between them can be long, especially if traffic is bad.
Fremantle Can Get Rowdy: Especially on game days ("game" being Australian-rules football, not exactly known for its decorum) or times when the navy is in port, locals can be a bit boisterous.
Ann Abel is a Brooklyn-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Departures.