The above is an aerial view of Fremantle and its harbour with the Swan River wending its way towards Perth and beyond. (Our home is 4.9km south-east of Fremantle; about a 5-8 minute drive.....depending on the traffic).
To quote Wikipedia, Fremantle is a city in Western Australia, located at the mouth of the Swan River. Fremantle harbour serves as the port of Perth, the state capital. Fremantle was the first area settled on the west coast by the Swan River colonists in 1829. It was declared a city in 1929, and has a population of approximately 25,000.
Statue of engineer C.Y. O'Connor who designed Fremantle harbour:
The city is named after Captain Charles Howe Fremantle, the English naval officer who had pronounced possession of Western Australia and established a camp on the site. The city contains well-preserved 19th century buildings and other heritage features. The Western Australian vernacular diminutive for Fremantle is FREO. The Roundhouse was the first prison in Fremantle:
Fremantle railway station:
Some well cared for heritage buildings in High Street:
Fremantle lies on a series of limestone hills known by the Nyungar people as "Booyeembara"; the sandplain to the east is "Gardoo". The original vegetation of the area was mainly Xanthorrhoea and eucalyptus trees, which were traditionally 'fired' annually by the Aboriginal people.
Note: Xanthorrhoea were previously called 'blackboys' but as some found the name offensive they are now known as grass trees. We older folk still tend to refer to them as blackboys and mean no offence to anyone. This is Xanthorroea australis:
The area was considered as a site for possible British settlement in 1827, when Captain James Stirling, in HMS Success, explored the coastal areas near the Swan River. His favourable report was welcomed by the British Government, who had for some time been suspicious of French colonial intentions towards the western portion of Australia. As a result of Stirling's report, Captain Charles Howe Fremantle of HM Challenger, a 603 ton, 28-gun frigate, was instructed to sail to the west coast of Australia to establish a settlement there.
On 2nd May, 1829, Captain Fremantle hoisted the Union Flag in a bay near what is now known as Arthur Head, and in accordance with his instructions, took formal possession "of the whole of the West Coast of New Holland" in the name of George IV of the United Kingdom. (Remember 2 years earlier in 1827 a similar event took place on the south coast of Western Australia where Albany now stands).
The first convicts (possibly more about our W.A. convicts in a later post) arrived at Fremantle on 1st June, 1850 aboard the "Scindian". The thirty-seventh and last convict ship to dock at Fremantle was the "Hougoumont" on 10th January, 1868 signalling the end of penal transportation to Australia.
During World War II Fremantle was the home of the largest base for Allied submarines in the Southern Hemisphere. There were up to 125 US, 31 British and 11 Free Dutch submarines operating out of Fremantle, until the Americans moved forward to the Philippines.
Australian Rules football is a very popular game in Western Australia, as it is in most Australian states, and there were 8 football teams competed each week during the winter months (they still do but now there are also AFL teams in each state that compete nationally). John Gerovich, who played for South Fremantle, was well known for his high marking of the ball and this statue of his spectacular mark in the 1956 preliminary final has been commemorated in bronze. It stands in front the 1890's Victoria Pavillion in the Fremantle football oval.
The Fremantle Maritime Museum is one of the more modern buildings in Fremantle and attracts many visitors year round:
Locals and visitors travel to the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour for delicious seafood:
You will often find buskers making music in the mall and here in the Fremantle Markets two locals make music with their didgeridoos:
River also supplied some wonderful photographs of Fremantle she took when over here in Western Australia visiting her brother recently.