Fremantle Prison is one of Western Australia’s most popular tourist attractions, located near Perth city. The prison was in operation for over 150 years and was only closed in 1991. Today, the prison is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open to the public for tours.

The prison was built by convicts and was designed to be escape-proof. It held some of Western Australia’s most notorious criminals, including bushranger Moondyne Joe.

The prison is now a popular tourist attraction, with guided tours available seven days a week. Visitors can explore the cells, yards and Chapel and learn about the prisoners who were held there.


Fremantle Prison was constructed as a convict barracks in the mid-nineteenth century and had been operating continuously since then. Hangings, floggings, daring escapes by convicts and prison uprisings were all common occurrences at the Prison. Imperial convicts, colonial prisoners, enemy aliens, detainees from high-security prisons, and war captives were among the inmates.

The first convict transport arrived in Fremantle Harbour in 1850. The Convict Establishment, as the prison was originally known, was erected between 1852 and 1859 using limestone quarried on the site by prisoners. In 1855, the main cell block was completed.

The name was changed to Fremantle Prison in 1867. Transportation ended the following year when the Hougoumont transported the last prisoners to Fremantle. Between 1850 and 1868, nearly 10,000 convicts passed through the ‘establishment.

With the population explosion during the 1890s gold rush, Fremantle Prison once again became crowded. The increasing number of prisoners necessitated a larger area. Following the closure of Rottnest Island Aboriginal Prison in 1903, Fremantle Prison inmates were transferred to the island to carry out public works.

Following several prisoner riots and growing concerns over prison conditions, the Prince’s Royal Commission in 1983 called for the closure of prisons. Female prisoners had already been relocated to Bandyup Women’s Prison in 1970, bringing them closer to their families.

On 8 November 1991, Fremantle was decommissioned, and its inmates were transferred to Casuarina. Following its closure, the WA state government began a long-term preservation plan to ensure the site’s preservation for future generations.

Haunted History

For those interested in ghost stories, Fremantle Prison is also said to be one of the most haunted places in Australia! Visitors on the guided tour will hear stories of ghostly sightings and strange occurrences at the prison.


Fremantle Prison offers a range of different tours, so there’s something to suit everyone. Guided tours are available seven days a week and include the heritage-listed Prison Tour Package, the Triple Prison Tour Package and the Tunnels & Prison Tour Package.

Visitors can also explore the prison at their own pace with an audio tour or take a self-guided tour through the grounds.

For more information on tours and pricing, visit the Fremantle Prison website.


Tours depart daily, every hour from 11:45 am to 4:45 pm. One tour typically lasts for 1 hour and 15 minutes.


The prison is wheelchair-accessible, with a lift available to access the upper levels. Occasional renovation/conservation works may hamper wheelchair movement around the prison.

Audio Guides

Audio guides are available in English, French, German, Korean, Japanese and Mandarin.


Bookings are not compulsory for the tour but are highly recommended during busy periods.

Who Should Visit Fremantle Prison?

Fremantle Prison is a must-see for anyone interested in history, architecture or ghost stories! However, the tours are not recommended for children under 10.

Cottesloe Beach
The Master Plasterers