Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Fremantle, or Freo to the locals, is a seaside town about 20 miles from Perth  home to the 'cappuccino strip'.  The brochures made it sound like you couldn't move for coffee shops, but they were obviously on a break the day we arrived as not a single outlet was serving coffee!

Freo High Street

Freo is famous for its well preserved 19th century buildings and convict built buildings. The first British convicts arrived in 1850, after local farmers requested skilled labour be sent from the UK. In 1851, the skilled convicts started work on Fremantle's infrastructure, building a prison and a series of aquifers supplying the town with fresh water.

Fremantle Prison was completed in 1855 and only closed in November 1991.   It is now a UNESCO world heritage site and tours are conducted daily.

Freo Hilton
Easy to get in...

Built entirely by convict labour
1 Division

The prison opened in 1855 with capacity for 800 inmates, but at its peak it housed more than 2000 men and women.

Used until the day it closed!
Original en suite room, 7ft x 4ft.

The prison never had any sanitation in the cells.

An easy working day!
Luxury TV from 1990!

Convicts had the option to work whilst enjoying their time inside.  Half of the money earned was automatically saved for when the inmate was released, whilst the other half was able to be spent on 'luxuries', ranging from chocolate and cigarettes to electrical items. Wages averaged $17 a week, and a TV cost $250!

The prison was a maximum security prison, and mainly housed violent male offenders, where the average sentence was just over 7 years. In 1989, the prison was severely damaged when a riot broke out.  Fire broke out and burned for 19 hours, as fire engines could not fit through the main prison gates.

In 1990, the prison received notice that it was to close (maybe due to the shortcomings highlighted by the riot). As a 'gift' inmates were allowed to decorate their cells and yards. Most of these works of prisoner art are preserved, although some of the more brutal images (and one of how to steal an ATM in 4 steps!) were removed.

Maximum Security
mmmm beer

We headed back into the 42c heat, and quickly decided to find a drink! We came across Little Creatures - a microbrewery, so thought we had better try some as they had gone to all that effort to brew it onsite! 

Refreshed, we had a quick walk around the marina before heading back to Perth in a lovely air conditioned train! Bliss! 

Freo Marina
Freo Lighthouse - but I guess you
guessed as much!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Amy & Dave, looks like you are having the most amazing time! Photos look brilliant!
    I am soooo super jealous!!
    Keep living the dream and sending lots of love!
    P.S - its actually about to snow in the UK! & I've heard on the grapevine Iain is loving the audi!!
    Lucy xxxx