The Fremantle Doctor (The Fremantle Docker) During summer months it consistently blows from the South-West along the southern half of the west coast, starting between noon and 3 pm. It can penetrate as far inland as 100km, reaching York in the early evening.
In Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, and in FREMANTLE the wind is called the Fremantle Doctor because it brings welcome relief from the summertime high temperatures.
On days when the wind fails, the afternoon temperatures of Perth suburbs are considerably higher, often exceeding 40°C (104°F), although this is also attributable to the influence of a strong easterly wind blowing in hot desert air from the arid interior of the state.
The wind is sometimes called the Fremantle Docker, allegedly because in the days of sail, ships would lie offshore waiting for the afternoon wind to carry them into the Fremantle Dock. This is not to be confused with the Fremantle Dockers, the local Australian Football League team. (See Fremantle Sport)
The Fremantle Doctor is strongest in December and January, when the temperature differential between the land and ocean is greatest. In February and March the breeze is not as strong, because the ocean temperature is a bit warmer. Though October and November are not as warm, the ocean temperature is cooler resulting in the sea breeze in these months.
Other months have a weak or non-existent Fremantle Doctor. In the winter months, the land temperature is usually cooler than the ocean temperature, and this sometimes results in the weaker land breeze in the early morning.
When the Fremantle Doctor first arrives it is from the west-south-west (WSW) direction. Later when it is at maximum strength, the direction is usually from the SW or SSW. By the early evening, the direction is from the south. This change in wind direction is due to the Coriolis Effect. Other factors like the prevailing wind of a particular day can also have an effect on the direction. A wind rose showing the different wind directions for Perth can be found at the Bureau of Meteorology's website. [Wikipedia]
In Manning Park just bordering South Fremantle there is a large lake named Davilak Lake which is home to many Western Australian Black Swans. Black Swans feature as emblems and decorations on most important public buildings in Western Australia. An example is the tower of the Fremantle Town Hall.
The Black Swan is the official state emblem of Western Australia, and is depicted on the Flag of Western Australia, as well as being depicted on the Western Australian Coat-of-Arms. The symbol is used in other emblems, coins, logos, mascots and in the naming of sports teams. When they fly north, they stop in Fremantle and raise their babies!
"Aboriginal usage of 'Black Swan'
The Black Swan is well-represented in the toponymy of the south-west. (Toponymy is the scientific study of place names.) One example is Kurrabup (Nyungar language), or ‘black swan place’, being the local Aboriginal name for the Wilson Inlet upon which the town of Denmark is situated in the South West of Western Australia, a few hours from Fremantle." http://en.wikipedia.org
More information on the south-west coast in our other Western Australian visitor guides:
Fremantle, the Port City, is located south-west of Perth at the mouth of the Swan River. Fremantle's vibrant nightlife, music scene and cafe' culture make Fremantle a perfect getaway from the bustle of Perth. Beaches, history, shopping, dining out, and more. VISIT FREMANTLE
The Margaret River Region is an area of magnificent beauty on the western coast of the south west of WA. From the expansive shores of Busselton on Geographe Bay, through Dunsborough & Margaret River to Augusta, the Margaret River Region is fantastic. VISIT MARGARET RIVER
Denmark WA is one of the most beautiful places along the south coast as it has forests, beaches, rivers and waves. Everything you need for the perfect south coast holiday. Denmark Wineries are popular too! Info on Denmark Town including shopping, dining & history, VISIT DENMARK WA