Dog-Friendly Fremantle: Visiting Fremantle with a Dog

When visiting Perth with my dog, we spent most of our time in Fremantle, or Freo as it’s known to the locals. This port city perched on the edge of the Indian Ocean is often considered to be its own city, and is arguably the most dog-friendly part of Perth. Check out my top dog-friendly recommendations for Fremantle…

Dog-Friendly Fremantle

Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in Fremantle

While visiting Fremantle in Western Australia, make sure you add some of these dog-friendly sightseeing ideas to your itinerary.

1. Explore its Historic Buildings

Fremantle is home to many historic buildings dating back to its establishment as the commercial port of the Swan River Colony in 1829. In fact, it’s renown for having one of the most intact 19th-century port city townscapes anywhere in the world.

It’s a must to take a wander through the streets of Fremantle, especially along High Street and through Fremantle’s West End, with your dog at your side. Check out the historic buildings built by merchants and shipping companies, some with informative displays, many beautifully restored. These days many of the buildings are used by the University of Notre Dame, so it’s rather quiet on weekends.

Fremantle West End Buildings
Beautiful historic buildings line the West End of Fremantle

While you’re in Fremantle, it’s also worthwhile walking up past the historic Fremantle Markets, so that you can see the exterior of the Fremantle Prison, although dogs are not permitted to pass through the gate. (Dogs are also not allowed in the market buildings.)

Built by convicts in the 1850s, Fremantle Prison was only decommissioned in 1991 and is these days the only building in Western Australia included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. 

Fremantle Prison with Dog
Outside Fremantle Prison

2. Visit the Fremantle Roundhouse

One of the other most significant buildings in Fremantle is the Roundhouse. It was built between 1830 and 1831 as the Swan River Colony’s first civil gaol, and is these days WA’s oldest remaining building. 

Fremantle Roundhouse with Dog
The Roundhouse is the oldest building in Western Australia

Staffed by volunteers, it’s a gold coin donation to enter the basic interior, with pet dogs welcome to join you. It’s worthwhile timing your visit to coincide with the daily firing of the canon at 1pm. Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes early to enjoy the talk beforehand, and retreat a little for the sake of your dog’s ears – it’s very loud!

Inside Fremantle Round House with Dog
Inside the Roundhouse with our dog

3. Walk Through the Whalers Tunnel

Not all of the historic remains in Fremantle are buildings. One of the most intriguing historic remains is the Whales Tunnel, built in 1837, that cuts through the rocky outcrop at the end of the West End, underneath the Roundhouse. After visiting the Roundhouse, walk back down to the West End side and use the Whales Tunnel to cut through to Bathers Beach.

Whalers Tunnel
Walk through the historic Whalers Tunnel

Bathers Beach is also a historic site, being the location where Captain Fremantle landed in 1829 and proclaimed the land as British territory. It’s also a convenient beach to visit with your dog, with leashed dogs allowed on the sand.

4. Taste a Tray of Beers at Little Creatures

The Fremantle waterfront is home to the ever-popular Little Creatures Brewery. Established in 2000 with the aim of brewing an American-style IPA, the beers are still brewed onsite, in a building originally constructed to house America’s Cup yachts, before briefly being a crocodile farm.

Little Creatures Brewery Tasting Tray
A tasting tray at Little Creatures Brewery

Fortunately, the beer garden outside the front of the Brewhouse is dog-friendly, with well-behaved leashed dogs welcome. Pull up a seat and order a tasting tray of beers, featuring their full range of beers, including some special brews only served onsite. There’s plenty of food options on offer, including a range of wood-fired pizzas.

5. Take a Selfie with Bon Scott

Just outside of Little Creatures Brewery is a statue of Bon Scott, the lead singer of AC/DC and one of Freo’s favourite sons. Don’t miss getting a selfie or two, including with your pup!

Bon Scott Statue with Dog
Rockin’ out with Bon Scott

6. Stroll Along the River

Head over to North Fremantle for a great walk along the Swan River, the North Fremantle Riverside Walk. You can walk for nearly 3km in each direction between the Gilbert Fraser Reserve and the start of Minim Cove Park.

The walk is along a mixture of paved and rough paths, largely along the river’s edge and mainly flat. Best of all, dogs are allowed off-leash along much of the route, including Gilbert Fraser Oval, much of the Rocky Bay Foreshore and Garungup Park in Mosman Park – just check the signs.

Dog-Friendly Beaches in Fremantle

Being situated right on the coast, Fremantle is home to a number of beaches, including multiple dog-friendly beaches that are popular with locals and visitors alike.

A couple of kilometres south of the centre of Freo is South Fremantle Dog Beach, probably the most popular off-leash dog beach in the area. Luckily, parking is fairly easy here, even on a busy Saturday.

South Fremantle Dog Beach
At the popular South Fremantle Dog Beach

The off-leash section of South Fremantle Beach is at the northern end, extending south to Douro Road. While visiting the beach, don’t also miss viewing the beautiful mosaic of dogs in the adjacent reserve.

South Fremantle Dog Beach Mosaic
The beach is also home to this beautiful dog mosaic

If you’d prefer a quieter beach visit for your pup, head a kilometre south to North Coogee Beach, just outside of the boundaries of the City of Fremantle. Dogs are also permitted off-leash but we found there to be far less dogs than at South Fremantle Dog Beach.

North Coogee Dog Beach
North Coogee Dog Beach is another nearby off-leash dog beach

Alternatively, north of the Swan River to Leighton Dog Beach in North Fremantle. This popular off-leash dog beach is huge, stretching from the railway overpass all the way to South Cottesloe – check the regular signs.

Leighton Dog Beach
Leighton Dog Beach is in North Fremantle

Dogs are also allowed off-leash in Gilbert Fraser Reserve, located on the banks of the Swan River in North Fremantle. There’s the chance for dogs to enjoy a paddle in the river, although be wary of any shark reports in the river.

Dog-Friendly Parks in Fremantle

In addition to the above off-leash dog beaches, there are also a variety of off-leash dog parks located in Fremantle.

If you’re an early morning riser, head to The Esplanade in the centre of Fremantle, where dogs are allowed off-leash during the limited hours of 5am to 8am. Alternatively, dogs are allowed off-leash all day long at the following parks:

  • North Fremantle: Gilbert Fraser Oval, Rocky Bay Foreshore (except Rocky Bay Beach and Harvey Beach)
  • Fremantle: Beach Reserve, Fremantle Park, Gibson Park, Horrie Long Reserve, Knutsford Street Playground, Stevens Reserve
  • South Fremantle: Parmelia Park, Wilson Park
  • Beaconsfield: Bruce Lee Reserve, Davis Park
  • Hilton: Griffith Place Park, Grigg Place Park, Hilton Par
  • Samson: Sir Frederick Samson Park

Note that dogs will need to remain on-leash if a sporting event is taking place. For a map and further details, see the City of Fremantle website.

Dog-Friendly Cafes in Fremantle

Fremantle has a strong cafe culture, with plenty of cafes offering seating out the front where your pup can join you while you enjoy a bite to eat or just a coffee.

Cafes South Terrace
Cafes along South Terrace in Fremantle

One of the best spots for coffee or all-day breakfast is the Fremantle location of Good Things, which also has a location in Mosman Park. Centrally located on Bannister Street, grab one of the tables out the front. Delectable options on the menu include Bulgogi Benedict and Salmon Crumpets.

Another dog-friendly cafe to visit is Moore & Moore Cafe on Henry Street. With a focus on fresh, whole foods they’re open daily for breakfast and lunch. Dogs are welcome in their courtyard with water bowls provided, although it can get busy at times.

Further afield, head down South Street to Beaconsfield where you’ll find Two Dogs Laughing. Yes, of course this cafe is dog-friendly, with dogs welcome in their alfresco area and puppycinos on the house!

Dog-Friendly Pubs & Restaurants in Fremantle

There’s plenty of dog-friendly dining spots in Fremantle, especially at Fremantle Boat Harbour, with its many waterfront restaurants.

As mentioned above, the beer garden at Little Creatures Brewery is dog-friendly, with a wide-ranging menu from barramundi and burgers, to wood-fired pizzas and share plates. For non-beer-drinkers, there’s also a long list of mainly WA wines to choose from.

Little Creatures Beer Garden with Dog
Dogs are allowed in the beer garden at Little Creatures Brewery

Another popular waterfront spot in Freo is the Bathers Beach House, just south of Bathers Beach. There’s plenty of seafood options, from a full seafood platter to fish’n’chips and mussels. Plus you can watch the sunset from the outdoor dining area. 

Bathers Beach House
The outside dining area at Bathers Beach House is popular with dog owners

Next to the banks of the Swan River in East Fremantle, The Left Bank pub has a new dog-friendly alfresco area. Dine at the designated tables surrounded by grass, with river views. There’s even a dog wash next door on selected Sundays!

Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Fremantle

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commission if you make a purchase using the links. See my full disclaimer.

If you’re travelling in a campervan or with a roof-top tent, I highly recommend heading to the Fremantle Village, a pet-friendly caravan park located a few kilometres south of the Fremantle CBD. As well as the convenient location and pets being allowed, there’s a park within the park just for campervans. Each paved site surrounded by grass has its own table, plus there’s an adjacent camp kitchen.

Campervan at Fremantle Village
Our campsite at Fremantle Village

If you’re instead after a pet-friendly hotel, consider the Pier 21 Apartment Hotel, located in North Fremantle. With a range of luxurious apartments and studios plus a long list of complimentary facilities, it’s the perfect place for a relaxing getaway close to multiple off-leash dog areas. Enquire directly about the fees for pets.

Another pet-friendly option is Quest Fremantle. Centrally located in the historic West End, just a short stroll from the many dog-friendly attractions and restaurants in Fremantle, this hotel has self-contained apartments ranging in size from studios up to two-bedroom apartments. Enquire directly about their pet fees and rules.

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

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