Cruising on the Swan River to Artistic Fremantle, Australia

Black swans dot the banks and give the Swan River her name according to the commentary on board the hour-long Captain Cook cruise from Perth to Fremantle in Western Australia (WA).

Black swans are the namesake of the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia

It’s easy to see why it is named Swan River.

It was a late spring day with a light breeze. The river sailing was smooth and the commentary identified key sights like the Royal Perth Yacht Club (only Australian club to win America’s Cup). My favourite river-cruise photos:

Viewing the glass bridge in Kings Park from the river cruise from Perth to Fremantle in Australia

Viewing the glass bridge as we cruised past  WA’s Botanic Garden in Kings Park.

River cruise from Perth to Fremantle, Western Australia

Point Walter Sandbar jutting out into the river.

River cruise from Perth to Fremantle, Western Australia

As we cruised past the Swan Canoe Club, it was this contrast of the white sail that caught my eye.

River cruise from Perth to Fremantle, Western Australia

These huge homes are a portion of “millionaire’s row”.

Once in Fremantle, our first stop was the visitors centre to get a map. From here we discovered a vibrant city filled with history, street art, seafood, and coffee. The only downside of our day was timing. With our late start and long coffee and lunch breaks, we didn’t have enough time to see it all, but we never do. Here are a few of our highlights:

Cappuccino Strip in Fremantle Australia

Any town with an official “Cappuccino Strip” is one that I like. This is both sides of the street. Of course, we stopped in one of the cafes for a coffee and a visit with Steve, a local travel blogger.

Remains of the Batavia at the Shipwreck Galleries in Fremantle Australia

This is the remains of the Batavia at the WA Shipwrecks Museum, a must-see museum along the coastal walk.

Round House in Fremantle, Western Australia

The Round House was purpose built as a gaol (jail). It is the oldest public building in the Western Australia. It is situated on the hill above the beach. The tunnel below the round house was built back in the whaling days to make it easier to drag whales from the beach to the town.

Maritime Museum in Fremantle, Western Australia

This plate was nailed to a tree in 1616 by Hartog when he discovered Australia. Thinking there was nothing interesting here, he nailed the disc and left. Now it is so fragile it must lay flat. It’s on exhibit at the WA Maritime Museum.

Street Art in Fremantle, Western Australia

This is two sections of a giant mural still in the works. We were lucky enough to meet artist Graeme Miles Richards who has been working on this building for 2.5 years. One side is very nautical, the other is worldly. They are 50m and 86m respectively.

Sculpture in Fremantle, Western Australia

Hubby stands with one of many sculptures in town, this one with Cicerello’s in the background – boasting the best fish and chips in Western Australia. Ask for the award winners, which cost a few dollars more than the traditional/cheapest fish and chips on the menu (these are made from New Zealand hoki).

More about Fremantle:

  • If you’re a surfer or a yachtie, Fremantle should be on your bucket list.
  • Fremantle was host to the America’s Cup yachting race in 1987.
  • The Fremantle Doctor is what locals call the consistent breeze that blows to the shores of Fremantle Harbour.
  • Like in Perth, the local buses are free to ride.
  • If you are staying in Perth, do what we did and take a sightseeing river cruise to Fremantle and take the train back.
  • The Round House closes at 3.30 so be sure to time your day better than we did if you want to get inside.
  • We have heard the Fremantle Prison is fascinating, however, the only way to visit is with a 90-minute tour (and we were too tired).
  • Check the Art Centre website before heading there to be sure there is an exhibit. When we arrived, there was nothing to see other than the gift shop.
  • Next time we head to Perth we will be sure to have time to explore the region, starting with Lonely Planet West Coast Australia.

While Perth was labelled as the last city after 16 days onboard the Radiance of the Seas, in reality, we disembarked in Fremantle. Once on land, we headed straight to our hotel in Perth as even packing super light, we don’t want to carry our stuff around when we are exploring a new region. Our Royal Caribbean cruise started in Sydney and sailed over the top of Australia with port stops in Brisbane, CainesDarwinBali Indonesia, Port Hedlands, and Geraldton.

Have you heard of or visited Fremantle?

If you enjoyed this article, please share it on social media including Pinterest:

River cruise from Perth to Fremantle, Western Australia

This post is linked at Photo Friday, Sunday’s in My City, and Through My Lens.

This post was proofread by Grammarly (Try it for free)

A Cow Parade and Other Interesting Sites in Perth Australia
Inside the Sydney Opera House: Touring an Australian Icon


  1. says

    Hi Rhonda – it looks an amazing little city … just beautiful … and with lots of interesting things to do – great photos … and I particularly like the dish. The museum does look interesting … cheers Hilary

  2. says

    What a way to end your cruise. I would have dumped the luggage right away too and then off for some great coffee and a bit of something. You both had an amazing cruise.

    I would love to be on the water here in our own boat. I like that kind of cruising the very best.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  3. says

    We spent a week in Fremantle a few years back and loved it. Historically it is an interesting city and the cafe scene is very vibrant. The Swan River cruise looked fabulous. 🙂

  4. says

    That place is adorable! I like touristy towns. There’s always something to see or do, and tourists are usually so friendly. (And there’s always a millionaire’s row, and I never get to live there! lol)

    • says

      Now that you mention it, no I didn’t see any white swans. We have black swans living on the by by my house in NZ and there are no white swans here either so it seemed really normal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.