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Ships cannot stop or change course quickly and are often travelling faster than you think.

For many recreational boat users, the port is a gateway to Rottnest Island, Cockburn Sound and beyond. If you are a recreational boat user, please read the Navigating Fremantle Waterways Guidelines. The guidelines highlight some of the special considerations recreational vessels should be aware of to safely navigate Fremantle Port waters.

It is important that recreational boat owners understand the operational limitations of large vessels in restricted waters, such as the port's shipping channels. Department of Transport regulations require small boats to keep clear of commercial shipping in all WA ports.

Fremantle Port is Western Australia's major trading gateway. The port operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and there are more than 4,000 shipping movements annually. Fremantle Ports is responsible for the safe navigation of shipping in the port's 383 square kilometres of water and the safety of shipping and recreational boating is critically important. Fremantle Port waters are part of a busy working port. 

Steer clear

    • Keep 50 metres clear of all shipping at all times, whether ships are berthed or moving.
    • Only travel through the Fremantle Inner Harbour in your recreational craft; do not stop or turn your craft around to look at ships.
    • Remember that ships visiting Fremantle weigh up to 150,000 tonnes; they cannot stop or change course quickly and they are often travelling faster than you think.
    • Obey the 8-knot speed limit in the Fremantle Inner Harbour and keep to the right of the main channel.
    • Small boats must steer clear of ships and give way to any large vessel.
    • Just because you can see a ship doesn't mean it can see you.
    • Marked shipping channels should not be used for fishing and other recreational uses.
    • Keep clear of berthing ships to avoid being caught between a ship and a berth.
    • Don't tie up to navigation aids, such as buoys and markers.
    • Don't anchor in shipping channels.


See the Department of Transport's Tide and Wave Date page for weather data (see the marker for Cottesloe). Also, see the Bureau of Meteorology for the latest weather forecast.​


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