Stay in the old Fremantle Prison
Fremantle prison YHA is a totally unique place to stay. It’s a great option if you are looking for good value accomodation in this historic port city in Western Australia. Something completely different and just two minutes from the town centre, this is the perfect choice for the discerning traveller.
The prison itself is an award winning tourist attraction. It is WA’s only World Heritage site. Built by the first convicts in the 1850’s, the prison remained in use until its closure in 1991. Tours operate daily and it is a great place to visit. Learn about the fascinating history of this building and the people that were held within its walls from a well informed tour guide.
Prison cells are now hotel rooms
Next door to the men’s prison, the former women’s prison has now been leased by the YHA and sensitively turned into a hostel. It has with a range of short stay accommodation which can cater for up to 202 guests. The old cells became well equipped bedrooms. There are also multishare dorms, double and twin rooms, some en suite available.
There’s lots of common space for relaxing, cooking and jumping on the free WiFi inside. The old exercise yard is now a leisure area. There are a few hammocks and a giant chess board and comfy sofas. The stories of unfortunate past inmates and their escape attempts.
Fremantle prison – stay in the warders cottages
In addition to the hostel accommodation you have the option to stay in one of three delightful colonial cottages. They have bee carefully restored within historic regulations. We stayed in no 2 which had been the old the old Guardroom. This one cottage was initially designed to accommodate 19 men!
When the Female Division of Fremantle prison was opened, the cottage was converted into quarters for the women’s prison warders. This house was also used at one time by the chaplain, to house his rocks and minerals collection which became the basis of the WA museum.
Fremantle prison – original features retained
Many original features of the buildings remain. The beautiful wooden floors and doors and sash windows are all as they were. This historic building has many many stories to tell. There’s lots of space and a well equipped kitchen. The cottage can cater for six to eight people, ideal family accommodation.
The cottages are clever in their construction. Opened up in the morning they made the most of the cool breeze. In the afternoon doors closed to keep the cool air inside the stone building. The hot afternoon wind that blows in every day is called the ‘Fremantle Doctor.’ The Matron and other female warders stayed in cottages no 4 and no 6.
Sleep well in the Victorian cottages
We thoroughly enjoyed sitting out on our veranda, watching the sunset (WA sunsets can be quite stunning) having a cool drink and looking over the city from our hilltop dwelling. In the early prison days, there would have been a view right down to the sea. Although the city now obstructs this view,the location is still ideal. as it is only a two minute walk into the heart of Fremantle itself.
The city centre has the Capuccino strip and lots of shops, lively pubs, bars and restaurants to try. Why not visit the fabulous Fremantle markets housed in another historic Fremantle building. Another excellent attraction for those that like to shop.
Fremantle Prison – in the heart of the city.
After five years of planning, the YHA opened the prison in May 2015. They have done a great conversion job and created a range of accommodation in an excellent location.
There is information everywhere about former prisoners. The tales gives a real sense of the difficult lives of people in times gone by. Very minor things could land a woman in jail.
‘Loitering in public places,’ ‘being idle,’ or ‘having no visible means of support,’ were all punished with imprisonment. If they entered Perth without a permit or escaped their settlements, Aboriginal women could be jailed too.
In 1991 the prison closed and development into one of the state’s major historic heritage sites began. The prison is now a first class visitor attraction and serves as a visible reminder of fascinating slice of Australian history.
Stay there and experience a piece of history for yourself! Check out availability and prices here – Freemantle prison YHA