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History and Heritage

A port rich in history

The Fremantle Inner Harbour is at the mouth of the Swan River, on the edge of the Indian Ocean and a gateway to Western Australia. This is a place of plentiful resources where people met for thousands of years as well as a place of spiritual meaning where ancestors walked, camped, hunted and fished, naming the features they saw.

In the early years of European settlement, the port comprised various wooden jetties in the area known as Bathers Beach and Arthur's Head. These jetties were exposed to the elements, including the strong south-westerly winds known locally as the Fremantle Doctor. Work began on the Fremantle Inner Harbour, designed by State Engineer CY O'Connor, in 1892 and the harbour was officially opened on 4 May 1897.

The port has played a significant part in Western Australia's development and history, including wartime.

Deepwater bulk facilities in the Outer Harbour, 20 kilometres south at Kwinana, were first developed in 1955 to service the Kwinana industrial area, which expanded rapidly in the 1960s and 70s.

1947_ASTURIAS_migrants

Passenger and ship records

If you are seeking passenger and shipping records for ships that called at Fremantle Port, please see contact details below. Please note that ship registers are only registers of ships by date of arrival with a limited amount of detail and no passenger information.

Passenger records up to 1963

JS Battye Library of West Australian History

State Library of Western Australia

Alexander Library Building

Perth Cultural Centre

PERTH WA 6000

Telephone (08) 9427 3111 (Hours: Mon - Thurs 9am - 8pm, Fri 9am - 5.30pm, Sat/Sun 10am - 5.30pm)

http://www.liswa.wa.gov.au/

Passenger records from 1963 onwards:

National Archives

384 Berwick Street

EAST VICTORIA PARK WA 6101

PO Box 1144 EAST VICTORIA PARK WA 6981

Telephone (08) 9470 7500; Fax: 9470 2787

http://www.naa.gov.au/

Ship registers to 1954:

State Records Office of Western Australia

Ground Floor

Alexander Library Building

Perth Cultural Centre

PERTH WA 6000

Telephone (08) 9427 3360

http://www.sro.wa.gov.au/

 

Ship registers from 1954 onwards:

Fremantle Ports, phone (08) 9430 3555 for an appointment.

Find out how you can explore the port or get ferry and cruise info...