9.20.2016

Fremantle Prison : Doing Time Tour




'You are going to Jail.'

Shivers went down the spines of the boys when they heard that. What have they done wrong during the Perth holiday trip to deserve this?

Before you think I am a wicked dad, relax ah.

We are actually heading to Fremantle Prison in Perth. Fremantle Prison is NOT a working prison. It is a former Australian Prison that was closed in November 1991. Today it is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and opened to visitors for a visit.

There are tours of various fear factor for Fremantle Prison. From the family friendly Doing time to the adventurous tunnel tour and the spine-tingling Torchlight Tour, there is a tour for everyone at Fremantle Prison. Since we are a family with young kids, we decided Doing Time is good enough for us.

Our Tour Guide, who reminded us of a Prison Warden, brought us through the assembly area where New Prisoners would first 'check in'. Thankfully we do not need to give up our valuables before we start our time in Fremantle Prison.


After checking in, we are led through a shower to clean up before hitting the prison ground. 

Cancel that thought about the shower. Apparently, the prison ran out of towels for us to dry.

Beyond the shower area, we headed to the open compound of the prison. The prison had undergone some renovations since it was opened in 1855. You can see new facade and additional walls throughout the prison grounds.

It's time to head into the main prison compound to see our cells.

If you look up, you would be thinking that you are on a ship as the prison was build to resemble the interior of it. If you notice the nets , they are not meant as barriers. Rather they are life savers as they are purposely build to save convicts who decided to throw themselves or be thrown down the floors by others!

The tour continues with a walk through parts of the prison.

The next stop was the Prison Chapel. Time in the Chapel is always treasured by the prisoners. Here they can escape from their tiny cells, seat freely and interact with others. After looking at their tiny rooms later, you would understand their feelings.

It's time to head back to the Prison and check out our lodging.


Nah, we will not be staying there , but here is a peek of what to expect if you were a prisoner at Fremantle.



In the early days, you would have a cell that measures 2 X 1.2 M. Not exactly your standard room in the hotel.


After some time, I guess the conditions were deem as inhuman and it was improved to a room twice the size.

Beds with mattress replaced the hammock in the years that past.

It does look comfortable and probably bigger than some of the small apartments bedrooms of today. That is until someone decided it might be a good idea to add a bunk bed.


Bulk bed allows companion but it halves the living area.


Some of the prisoners have painting privileges and they use it to decorate their room.

Definitely made it more liveable!


Other than the chapel, convicts have open spaces to let them stretch their legs. The open areas are separated by the convicts' categories. The milder convicts were separated from the aggressive ones to keep peace and order.

There is also a gym in some of the open areas. The gym equipment was chained down so they will not use as weapons.

Next, we were brought to a small house where the convicts are kept if they misbehave.

An empty room with awaits the convicts if they create trouble in Prison. For the ones that continues to misbehave, whipping was conducted at the whipping post.

No one as whipped on the tour. Just a demo only lah.


The tour ends with a visit to the gallows where the hangman noose awaits. Not wanting to 'disturb' the peace, I decided not to take a photo of it. If you noticed the walls to the gallows were painted blue as the colour was meant to keep the convict calm before he hangs ( not quite sure it will work though)

We walked passed the warden office before we leave the prison.

In our hearts, we were glad that we were not inmated of Fremantle Prison.



You can also visit the small museum if you do not intend to take the tour.


The small museum has some of the relics from the past. Here you can see the prisoners and officers uniforms as well as other 'accessories' such as chains and cuffs.

To end your trip, pay a visit to the shop to get your souvenir.

We decided to get the keys to the prison. Just in case we need to unlock ourselves if we ever get caught in prison.


Fremantle Prison is worth a visit when you are in Perth. It is not every day you can freely visit a prison. This was an eye opener for the boys as well as it will give them second thoughts about doing a bad deed. Overall, the tour itself is suitable for kids, though some parts might freak out the meek ones.


Fremantle Prison is located within walking distance to Fremantle market ( less than 200 meters away). We suggest you park your car at the Prison compounds, visit the prison and head to the markets for a little bit of shopping to lighten up the 'scary' experience.




A must see when you are in Fremantle Perth!







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