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The Fremantle Prison

The Fremantle Prison was always on my “to do” list while we were staying in Perth.

I just never expected to enjoy it as much as I did and the history of The Fremantle Prison was incredible.

Convicts started arriving in Australia in the 1800’s and began work on the Fremantle prison in 1852 finishing in 1859.

You may be surprised by the cramped conditions, dampness and general conditions of the Prison.

Keep in mind that it was only closed in 1991 (Not that long ago really). Following a riot in 1988 which caused a fire in the main block and the media exposed the type of conditions they were living in. Within two years the prisoners were transferred to a more modern maximum security prison.

A remarkable piece of Australian History.

Five different Tours are available.  We did back to back Tunnels and Torchlight Tours.

Doing Time

Great Escape

Tunnels Tour

Torchlight Tour

Art Tour

The Tunnel Tour

What a great mix of history and adventure!  (2.5hrs and for ages 12 and above only) We highly recommend it.

Constructed by convicts some 120 years ago you get a sense of the dire cramped conditions they were forced to work under.

Descending 20 metres down into the tunnels navigating the tunnels dressed up in a glamorous white jumpsuit, hard hat, headlamp and harness along with some stylish gumboots.

Not good if you are claustrophobic!!

It is hard to believe that the convicts worked for so many hours, with limited air and limited light in those conditions.  All for what could of been in those days – stealing a loaf of bread!

Torch Light Tour

Make sure it is dark. Keep in mind in summer it is still light at 7pm and the tour takes approximately 1.5hrs.

Fremantle Prison tour guides do an AMAZING job and their stories of what transpired within the walls of the prison really make the experience.  

Led through the beautiful grounds, you will be shown cells, exercise yards and the solitary confinement (no thanks!).

Prisoners only had a bucket to use in their cell for a toilet.

Horrible thought but if you were given a sentence of 100 lashes and were too ill to finish them they would care for you, nurse you back to health and send you back for the balance lashes. Yikes!  Doctors stayed for the lashes so as to ensure you were fit to continue.  Nice!

Then there was the gallows.  Chills. 43 men and 1 woman were hung there.


Amazing artwork is displayed throughout the cells.  Beautiful and simple in design so raw you can feel the emptiness and despair felt by the artists who created them.

Paintings of empty landscapes and considering the utensils and limited resources available the art shows a genuine natural talent.

Homeschoolers / Worldschoolers!

Excellent student and teacher resources are provided on The Fremantle Prison website. Ensuring that your visit will be both an exciting and educational one.

convict-daily-life    fp-convict-history-student-resources     For more teacher and student resources click here

Don’t come to Perth without visiting The Fremantle Prison!!

Savings tip – The entertainment book has a discount off entry available (nearly half the cost of the book in savings here alone!)

Cake and Eat it 3










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