Shipspotting information

Western Australia

Fremantle - by Hans Fairhurst

Fremantle inner harbour located at the mouth of the Swan River has several freely accessible vantage points from which good photos can be taken.


Time of day should be considered to get optimum lighting.


1. North Mole


Located at the tip of Rous Head and the ideal location for spotting in the afternoons.

It gives close access to harbour traffic including tug and pilot activities.

It also gives a good view of the ships at anchor in Gage Roads (see inset) though a long lens and tripod is needed for best results.

Can be unpleasant in bad weather though the lighthouse provides some cover.

Access is via one of the two bridges crossing the river, into Tydeman Rd and following Port Beach & North Mole Drive around the coast. Free parking & toilets.


2. Rous Head (behind the ferry terminal)


Best in the afternoon. Provided with a small viewing platform, this is a good location for traffic in and out of the harbour.


From here Fremantle hill and the Maritime museum make a nice back-drop for ship photos, a pleasant alternative to vacant sky.



3. Port Beach (Black Salt Brewery Beach Bar)


Located at the intersection of Tydeman and Port Beach Roads alongside the Port Beach Surf Lifesaving Club.

The alfresco bar area gives clear views of approaching vessels as well as those at anchor in Gage Roads.

This allows plenty of time to finish the beer (made on the premises) and drive to North Mole for some close-up shots. Free Parking and play area for the kids.



4South Mole

Good location in the mornings with similar views to North Mole.

Also gives a clear view down the harbour for snapping ships in the easternmost berths of North Quay.

Though Gage Roads is obscured by North Mole, there is a clear view of traffic in the shipping channel to and from Cockburn Sound to the south.

A long lens and tripod is needed for best results. Free parking.




5. E Shed (Victoria Quay)

This spot has it all, ships, food and occasional entertainment.

Access via Peter Hughes Drive, entries at either end of harbour.

Old cargo sheds now converted into markets and a food hall. Gives a clear shot of most berths at North Wharf. Also possible to get close and personal with whatever is parked at D Shed though you will have to shoot over the barbed wire fence. Best in the early mornings with low-angle sunlight on the ships.

The additional benefit of this spot is that lunch and a fairly decent coffee can be bought here, live music and alcohol on weekends. The local maritime museum also well worth a look. The paid parking is fairly cheap.



Shipping movements and times for Fremantle, Gage Roads and Cockburn Sound can be found at:



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