Freemantle is Perth's funky, quasi-Victorian coastal cousin, complete with a thriving alterntaive scene and loads of stuff to do with sailing boats, past and present. This was after all, the place where the Aussies won the America's Cup race with the controversial 'winged keel'. I visited this icon, as well as the excellent, not-to-be-missed Shipwreck Museum.
This place occupied me for several hours--longer than any other museum I've ever visited.
In the 1600's, Dutch sailors began running into Australia's West Coast in true explorer fashion. The Batavia's partially reconstructed hull and one of her many cannons grace this well-appointed museum which is all about those early adventures, extending into the whaling and pearling days. This place had everything--harpoons, hookahs, coins, crucibles, buttons, beacons, weights, widgets, sails, whales, nails, fales, glass, brass and even sassafrass. For a very frustrated sailor from landlocked Colorado, I was in heaven.