Fremantle. Where the buildings make your heart sing. And if they don’t, the cappucino strip might do the trick. While visiting Western Australia in late August, we planned to spend 2 nights in Perth. On a whim we decided to book a hotel in this charming town 7 miles south of the city, mainly for its waterfront location–where the Swan River empties into the Indian Ocean–and proximity to the ferry to Rottnest Island. As we drove into town, my eyes lit up as I saw that every street and alleyway housed historic buildings made of arches, columns, pediments, copper domes, and original wooden windows–the kind of details that I seek out in New York and that the non-profit I work with battles to protect. Many of the Georgian, Victorian, and other mixed-style buildings were well preserved, while a few sat vacant with fading signs and weathered facades. I learned that many of Fremantle’s late 19th-century landmarks were built by the nearly 10,000 convicts sent to Western Australia between 1850 and 1870. Within the brick, limestone, and local sandstone facades sat cafes, historic markets, shops, and…wait for it…an entire street dedicated to coffee. Cappucino, specifically. To top it off, along the bustling port sat beautiful old factories being repurposed as breweries, restaurants, and ferry terminals. Around every corner I spotted textured walls and bright colors that would make the perfect backdrop for a portrait or wedding shoot. Architecture, waterfront, coffee, beer, and history? Pretty much sums up the ingredients to my ideal vacation spot.
For anyone planning a trip, be sure to stroll around the weekend Fremantle Markets, grab breakfast and a cappuccino on the strip (Fremantle Bakehouse was fab), stay at The Esplanade Hotel (great exterior–2nd image from the bottom below), and ferry over to Rottnest Island for the day. For breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a brew in a cool atmosphere, head to Little Creatures Brewing Company. Here are a few shots from our (too) brief stay.