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Fremantle Prison

Explore the cells, underground tunnels and artwork of a prison that housed transported British convicts and notorious Australian prisoners for over 130 years.


Fremantle Prison was constructed during the 1850s. During Australia’s convict era it housed prisoners transported from England and Ireland. In 1886 the jail was handed over to the colonial authorities to house locally-sentenced prisoners. The prison closed in 1991. Today the historic building is preserved as an internationally recognized World Heritage Site. The former prison houses a museum with artifacts and artwork by former prisoners and hosts a range of exciting tours.

Wander through the Main Cell Block and examine the tiny living quarters. Take the Doing Time Tour for an in-depth account of the prison’s history. Learn about the hanging of serial killer Eric Edgar Cooke, the last man to face capital punishment in Western Australia in 1964.

See the gallows where dozens met their end and be spellbound by tales of daring escapes, both successful and otherwise, on the Great Escapes Tour. Stare up at towering walls topped with razor wire, the rifle range and gun towers as you hear about the prison’s most ingenious escape artists. The best story is perhaps that of an inmate nicknamed Moondyne Joe, who notoriously escaped straight through the limestone walls.

Book a Tunnel Tour and put on a hard hat to descend into the underground tunnels that once supplied the prison and surrounding establishments with fresh water. They were dug out by convicts sentenced to hard labor in the late 19th century.

Join the Torchlight Tour to explore the prison at night. Listen to frightening and brutal stories as you trek past the whipping post and into the morgue.

A whole different experience is the Prison Art Tour. Wander from cell to cell and through the Prison Gallery to see wall paintings left behind by inmates. Head to the Visitor and Convict Centers to gaze at important artifacts and read up on key events in the prison’s history.

The Fremantle Prison is located about 13 miles (22 kilometers) south from Perth and is accessible by public transport. It’s open every day of the year except Good Friday and Christmas Day. Check the website for tour prices and times.

Ensure you have plenty of time at Fremantle Prison. Here are the best things to do:

For more activities, peruse our Fremantle things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Fremantle Prison


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Fremantle Prison

See all 895 Properties near Fremantle Prison
Esplanade Hotel Fremantle - by Rydges ¥9,026
Esplanade Hotel Fremantle - by Rydges

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle - by Rydges

Cnr Marine Terrace and Essex St, Fremantle, WA
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in the historical district, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Fremantle Markets and University of Notre Dame Australia. Fremantle Prison and Fremantle Passenger Terminal are also within 1 mi (2 km). Fremantle Station is 9 minutes by foot.

    Fremantle Prison YHA ¥4,706
    Fremantle Prison YHA

    Fremantle Prison YHA

    6A The Terrace, Fremantle, WA
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Fremantle, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Fremantle Prison and Fremantle Markets. University of Notre Dame Australia and Round House are also within 1 mi (2 km). Fremantle Station is 12 minutes by foot.

      Quest Fremantle ¥12,403
      Quest Fremantle

      Quest Fremantle

      8 Pakenham Street, Fremantle, WA
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Fremantle, this aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Kings Square and University of Notre Dame Australia. Round House is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) away. Fremantle Station is only a 3-minute walk.

        Norfolk Hotel ¥7,261
        Norfolk Hotel

        Norfolk Hotel

        47 South Terrace, Fremantle, WA
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Fremantle, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Fremantle Markets and Fremantle Prison. University of Notre Dame Australia and Bathers Beach are also within 15 minutes. Fremantle Station is 8 minutes by foot.

          Adelaide House Apartments Fremantle ¥8,067
          Adelaide House Apartments Fremantle

          Adelaide House Apartments Fremantle

          29 Adelaide Street, Fremantle, WA
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Fremantle, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Fremantle Passenger Terminal, Fremantle Prison, and Fremantle Markets. University of Notre Dame Australia and Round House are also within 15 minutes. Fremantle Station is 6 minutes by foot.

            Hougoumont Hotel ¥10,599
            Hougoumont Hotel

            Hougoumont Hotel

            15 Bannister Street, Fremantle, WA
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated by the sea, this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Fremantle Markets and Fremantle Prison. University of Notre Dame Australia and Round House are also within 10 minutes. Fremantle Station is only a 5-minute walk.

              Fremantle Colonial Cottages ¥16,269
              Fremantle Colonial Cottages

              Fremantle Colonial Cottages

              6 The Terrace, Fremantle, WA
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Fremantle, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Fremantle Prison and Fremantle Markets. University of Notre Dame Australia and Round House are also within 1 mi (2 km). Fremantle Station is 12 minutes by foot.

                Gallery Serviced Apartments ¥14,114
                Gallery Serviced Apartments

                Gallery Serviced Apartments

                185 High street, Fremantle, WA
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of Fremantle, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Fremantle Prison and Fremantle Markets. Fremantle Passenger Terminal and Round House are also within 15 minutes. Fremantle Station is 7 minutes by foot.