Fremantle

Fremantle is the port city for Perth. Perth’s downtown district is about 10 miles up the Swan River from Fremantle. It seemed appropriate that our trip end here since it started here with our ferry ride over to Rottnest Island five weeks before.

Fremantle is a bustling place with shipping businesses, colleges, restaurants, museums and no place to park. We got there later in the day, so we luckily found a parking place near our B&B just as the hourly parking ended for the day and folks were heading home.

We walked down to the waterfront and had a nice dinner at a brewery overlooking the harbor as the sun set.

Our departure the next day was 11PM so we had all day to explore before heading to the airport. Our first stop was the Western Australia Maritime Museum. Their temporary exhibit was all on sharks, which seemed appropriate for Australia.

They had a lot of interesting shark exhibits and it seems sharks are going extinct because of the huge Chinese market for a male aphrodisiac, shark fin soup. A lot of exotic animals are going extinct due to this market. It was horrifying to see how many sharks were killed each year just for a fin.

One of the more interesting items was the shark’s cage from the movie “Jaws”. It was constructed smaller than the normal cage next to it to make the shark appear much larger. It worked. I still won’t go into the ocean at night after watching that movie when it first came out.

The rest of the Maritime Museum had a lot of the sea-faring history of the region.

They also had the Australia II and the America’s Cup, where in 1983 the Royal Perth Yacht Club became the first non-American winner of the cup since its inception in 1870. In part the win was attributed to the unique keel design that began the racing ship technology development frenzy.

We also visited the Western Australia Shipwreck Museum, which was fascinating. He is a picture of a recovered shipwreck with the “ballast” it had stowed, an entire stone entryway.

The museum had many items that have been recovered from the shipwreck along the Western Australia coastline. Many of the wrecks were Dutch East India Company ships that sailed these shores from 1602 until 1800.

The museum had coins, pottery, tools and stories of the ships that met their fate along the coastline.

After our museum exploring, Pam and I drove on the wrong side of the road one last time to the Perth Airport, completing the third and final leg of our Western Australia adventure. What a great trip.

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