Fremantle is a port city in Western Australia, located 19 kilometres (12 mi) southwest of Perth, the state capital, at the mouth of the Swan River on Australia’s western coast. It was the first settlement of the Swan River Colonists in 1829. It was declared a city in 1929, and has a population of approximately 26,000. The city is named after Charles Fremantle, the English naval officer who had pronounced possession of Western Australia and who established the camp at the site. The city contains well preserved buildings and other heritage sites. The Western Australian vernacular diminutive for Fremantle is “Freo”.
The city is popular with diners, catering for all tastes and budgets. Italian and Asian cuisine is abundant as well as a vast variety of seafood restaurants. There are numerous cafes and coffee shops situated around Fremantle, particularly on its famous ‘Cappuccino Strip’ – a section of South Terrace given over to alfresco dining since 1977.
The city has an operational fishing boat harbour which contain markets and restaurants, developed as a tourist precinct. Fishing charter boats also operate from this harbour.
Fremantle is a popular place for its nightlife, second only to Northbridge in Perth’s CBD. It attracts people from all over the metropolitan region for its pubs, bars and nightclubs.
Fremantle is home to Bathers Beach, South Beach, Port Beach, Leighton Beach and Sandtrax with several of Western Australia’s other beautiful beaches nearby on Transperth’s Fremantle railway line, most notably Cottesloe Beach, less than ten minutes away by rail.
The cooling breeze blowing from Fremantle to Perth during the hot summer is colloquially known as the “Fremantle Doctor”.
In 2011 Fremantle will host the ISAF Sailing World Championships.
Fremantle was the host city for the America’s Cup yachting race in 1987, after Australia was the first country to ever win the race, aside from the USA, in 1983. The unsuccessful cup defence was conducted on the waters in Gage Roads, off Fremantle.
Fremantle is the home to an AFL team, the Fremantle Football Club (colloquially known as the Dockers). It has a fierce rivalry with the West Coast Eagles, the only other West Australian AFL team. This rivalry is put on display twice a year when the two teams play each other in a match known as the Western Derby (In WA it is pronounced as Durby rather than Darby) at Subiaco Oval, attracting capacity crowds. The city also has two teams in the state football league (WAFL), East Fremantle and South Fremantle.The derbies are played at Fremantle Oval and East Fremantle Oval.