|Front of Fremantle Prison|
Some might think a prison is not necessarily an interesting place to visit, but Fremantle Prison (or Fremantle Gaol - we love the odd spelling of jail as "gaol" here!) is well worth a stop for several reasons. First up, the building itself is pretty impressive (by Perth standards anyway), and it was built by convicts way back in the 1850s. Second, the fact that it was used as a prison right through until 1991 - I spent much of my childhood driving past it on the way to our beach shack, when it was in full operation - is pretty scary when you see the conditions the prisoners were living in. And third, there are some particularly cool tours to do - I've done the Torchlight Tour (kind of like a ghost tour) on a Friday evening, and it certainly made us jump and shriek - and there's also climbing and boating to be done underneath the prison in tunnels, originally dug as part of the water system.
|Artwork in exercise yard, Fremantle Gaol|
Oh, and just to be perfectly factual, Fremantle Prison isn't World Heritage listed on its own - it's part of a group of 11 convict sites which together have landed on the list. I didn't know that was possible - but now I do!
I've been to visit a few prisons around the world and I have to admit to some kind of fascination with them. Are you the same, dear reader, or it just me that's odd? Let me know in the comments!