Fremantle Prison, what an experience. We only had a short visit in Perth and after our Urban Adventures tour. The tour gave us such an intrigue into the life of the prison we had and go inside.
While we were here we did two tours while here, the doing time, and the great escape.
Our guide was Jim, a Scotsman who worked as a correctional officer from 1973 all the way up until its closure in the ’90s. We need to point out that Jim was a very (pausing for the right word), energetic, knowledgeable and passionate guide. I couldn’t find just one word I know. At the beginning of the tour, he asked if we wanted to be treated like inmates. Of course, everyone said yes. So our life as a prison inmate had begun.
So this was all about life in the jail, from the cells, the kitchen, the outside toilet, the ‘yard’. Culminating in taking a look at the solitary confinement cells and walking the mile to the hanging chamber. I filmed the talk, which was incredible. However, after speaking to Jim, we assured him that we would not publish this. I guess you have to go and see what we saw. Especially the story about the hanging that went wrong!
The tour lasts about 90 minutes after we escaped prison we then joined our second tour of the day.
The Great Escape
This time, we had Steve. Again, although he didn’t mention it. We are sure he was an ex-prison guard. An entirely different guide to Jim. But just as knowledgeable.
You hear about the lucky escapes and the ones that just were never going to work. We had heard about Moondyne Joe from our Urban Adventures tour. But now we got to see the escape-proof cell they created for him (see picture below). It was said that he would granted his freedom should he escape from the cell. He did escape, but not by leaving the cell. Will have to leave the guide to explain just how intelligent this man was.
The final part of the tour was to visit the women prison. Let’s note that neither the men of the women prison had sewage in the rooms. So you had to shit in a bucket and carry it to be cleaned out. You will see from the picture below there are a few things missing from the bath and the sink. We will let you figure it out, but bare in mind it was built by convicts in the 1850’s. If you cannot figure it out, leave us a comment and we will let you know.
Women were only allowed to take one bath a week (yep, that’s one bath a week). In the winter, this would have been horrific.
So after a 3-hour tour around Fremantle Prison. We concluded that we would not want to be confined to life here. The prison system back home could take some things away from this and use in our prisons. But of course, the human rights police would have a few things to say about that.
Prices were great, we managed to get a BOGOF ticket from our B&B owner. But having said that you can brag both of these tours together and pay just $28AUD for the privilege. You do have another two, the tunnels and torchlight tour and their website states you can do all of them for $100AUD.