Fremantle Prison : Interesting Facts, Information & Travel Guide

Fremantle Prison : Interesting Facts, Information & Travel Guide

Fremantle Prison is an iconic Australian tourist destination steeped in rich cultural and historical heritage in the port city of Fremantle, Western Australia. It is one of the oldest heritage-listed convict prison sites in the nation and is a fascinating insight into Australia’s complex colonial history. Built between 1854 and 1859, Fremantle Prison has an incredibly dark and intriguing past; though it has since been decommissioned and transformed into an award-winning attraction that offers visitors an insight into its fascinating past. In this article, we explore the interesting facts, history and travel guide associated with Fremantle Prison. Discover what made this historic site so infamous, learn about the prison and its convict inhabitants, and get some useful travel tips for a visit.

Interesting Facts About Fremantle Prison

1. Fremantle Prison is the only building in Western Australia that has been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

2. Fremantle Prison holds a grim past with its intensive system of labour under the supervision of British military officials was designed to break the spirit and punish ‘economic’ offenders such as poachers.

3. In 1989 the Fremantle Prison Exhibition Centre opened as an interactive and immersive museum.

4. Fremantle Prison hosted many executions, with the last occurring in 1964.

5. Visitors can experience solitary confinement in a simulated cell, or a real one during overnight stays.

6. The prison was closed in 1991 and is today run as a popular tourist attraction.

7. Fremantle Prison is the only prison in the world to mint its own currency – the ‘rat bag-dollar’.

8. Built in the late 1800’s, the prison’s architecture and engineering is considered a masterpiece of military prisons.

9. Fremantle Prison has been featured in several Hollywood films such as Bootmen and Anacondas.

10. The prison was once home to an aboriginal Australian community.

History & Information About Fremantle Prison

Fremantle Prison is a prison located in Fremantle, Western Australia. The prison was constructed between 1851 and 1859, and originally served as an Imperial convict establishment for male convicts. It later began to house male and female inmates, and also became a Military Prison.

In 1991, the prison was closed and subsequently declared a World Heritage Listed Building. Since the closure of the prison, many of the cells and buildings have been opened for public tours and heritage site visits. The prison consists of five main precinct blocks, each with a unique name and purpose.

The oldest part of the prison is known as the Convict Establishment and consists of the old limestone walls and buildings. Other precincts include the Tunnellers’ Barracks, the Separate Prison and the Round House, which is Australia’s first permanent prison building and now serves as an interpretive centre.

An early form of labour punishment was also practised at Fremantle Prison, and convicts were often put to work breaking and crushing limestone to be sold for use in construction.

The prison has seen some famous inmates over the years, including the Breaker Morant, a British Army officer who was convicted of war crimes in the Second Anglo-Boer War. Fremantle Prison was the site of two executions of Australian soldiers. During World War Two, some Japanese prisoners of war were held at the prison and two of them were put to death.

Fremantle Prison is now an important cultural and heritage site in Western Australia. It offers an insight into the history of the State and is open to the public for tours and visits. It is regularly used as a setting for films, television shows and other media.

Travel Guide For Visiting Fremantle Prison

Fremantle Prison, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, is one of the oldest and most iconic buildings in Western Australia. Its striking architecture stands prominently in the heart of the city, while providing a haunting reminder of the prisoners who once served their sentence there. Visitors to Fremantle Prison can take a guided tour of the old-fashioned cells, explore its underground tunnels, and even take a ghost tour.

Getting There:

Fremantle Prison is easily accessible by public transportation. The closest train station is from Fremantle Station, where visitors can take the bus from the city centre. From the station, it is only a few minutes walking distance to the prison.


Guided tours are a great way to learn more about the prison and its history. Tours last about an hour and include visits to the old-fashioned cells, the chapel and the exercise yards. Visitors can also add on a tunnel tour to explore the underground complex, or opt for a ghost tour for a more eerie experience.


Fremantle Prison offers a variety of special events throughout the year. These include outdoor cinema screenings, music performances, and even ghost and twilight tours. Visitors can also explore the prison’s interactive museum and interactive educational program.


When visiting Fremantle Prison, visitors can explore its tunnels, learn more about its history, and take in the amazing architecture. There are also a range of activities to do, from a guided tour and a prison break experience to a ghost story tour and an immersive theatrical experience.


When you’re done exploring the prison, there are plenty of dining options in the surrounding area. Visitors can find cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs to cater to all budgets and dietary needs.


There are a number of accommodation options near Fremantle Prison. Hotels, apartments, and guesthouses are all nearby, providing accommodation for both budget and luxury travellers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fremantle Prison

Q: What is Fremantle Prison?

A: Fremantle Prison is a former Australian prison and World Heritage Site located in Fremantle, Western Australia. It was built between 1852 and 1859 and operated until 1991.

Q: Who built Fremantle Prison?

A: Fremantle Prison was constructed by the convict labour of the Swan River Colony, under the direction of Royal Engineers.

Q: What is the history of Fremantle Prison?

A: Fremantle Prison is Western Australia’s oldest operational prison, having held up to 1000 prisoners from the 1870s until its closure in 1991. During this period, the prison also housed political prisoners such as suffragettes, young offenders and adult male and female inmates.

Q: What can visitors experience at Fremantle Prison?

A: Visitors to the prison can explore the old jail and its history by taking a guided or self-guided tour, explore the art gallery, join a specially themed twilight tour, or take a ghost tour. There are also a range of other events held within the walls.

Q: Are there any other aspects to Fremantle Prison?

A: Fremantle Prison is home to the WA Shipwreck Galleries, which explores the maritime history of the region and the Maritime Museum of Western Australia which showcases the histories of the many boats and ships built in WA waters.

About me

Hello,My name is Aparna Patel,I’m a Travel Blogger and Photographer who travel the world full-time with my hubby.I like to share my travel experience.

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