Vendor City Guide: Fremantle

My name is Raylene, and I’m 60 years old. I love what I do, especially getting to talk to so many people. The Big Issue Australia has really helped me to get my confidence back, and the money I’ve earned has helped me go and see my brother and granddaughter interstate. I feel like I have such lovely support in this area: Garrett from Puck Express, Antony from the Barbers Lounge, Lisa from Burgers with Attitude and the people from Picobello bakery all buy a mag every fortnight.

What’s to like

I have lived in Western Australia all my life. I like living in Freo because it is friendly, it has beautiful beaches and it’s easy to get transport into town. I really love having the dog beach close by, and going to the Sailing Club (where I sometimes have a beer). Everything is close by. My favourite area of Fremantle is South Fremantle. On Saturday night there is live music and food trucks, heaps of cafes and heaps of atmosphere.

Big Issue Australia vendor Raylene

Best food

My favourite cafes and restaurants are Pizza Bella Roma, Benny’s Bar + Cafe and Ruocco’s Pizzeria e Ristorante. They have all been there forever, serve good food with big servings, and there’s no BS. For great coffee and brekkie, head to the Beaconsfield Farmers Market (Sunday) or the Fremantle Market (Friday to Sunday).


I think every visitor to Fremantle should do a tour of the Fremantle Prison, visit the Maritime Museum and go to Fishing Boat Harbour. Fremantle Arts Centre is another one – especially when bands are playing. Fremantle has such an interesting history, and these places can help people find out about it.

On a budget

What else? The beautiful beaches – they’re free and they’re relaxing, with plenty of people- and dog-watching. My picks are Port Beach and South Beach. Or jump on the free CAT buses that take you to a few of the local hotspots.

Fremantle illustration by Daniel Gray-Barnett

Out of the city

To escape city life, I go down south to Dunsborough and stay with friends. It keeps me sane and gets me out of the hustle and bustle of city life. There’s the HMAS Swan, a wreck you can visit, and lots of snorkelling, especially around Sugarloaf Rock. The locals have their secret spots – which I’m not allowed to tell!

Best time to visit

My favourite time of year in Freo is summer because there are people around, the weather is lovely, and there are bands playing – which is what I love.

Read more #VendorCityGuides here.