Fremantle YHA 150317

Guests sleep in jail cells at Australia’s most unique new accommodation offering.

The Fremantle Prison YHA in Western Australia is now open, providing unique accommodation in a World Heritage-listed nineteenth century jail.

YHA recently converted the property into a 200-bed place to stay and guests can now sleep in original cells or prison warder’s cottages.

Through a heritage-sensitive renovation, Fremantle Prison YHA combines historic charm with purpose built facilities including brand new private rooms and dormitory-style accommodation.

This one-of-a-kind YHA contains the original fabric of the prison (including walls, floors and cells) and its history is interpreted and displayed throughout the building.

Prices start from AUD$28 per person per night in multi-share, dormitory style accommodation; while twin/double en-suite rooms cost from AUD$120 per night (family en-suite rooms from AUD$140.); and a perfectly-preserved eight-bed Victorian-era guards’ cottages, located just outside the front gates, cost from AUD$280 per night.

For the real deal, twin bed cells are available from AUD$68 per night.

Fremantle YHA 150317

Fremantle Prison YHA offers all the facilities that budget travellers need, including a self-catering kitchen, large common areas, TV rooms, a laundry and luggage storage.

The reception is open 24 hours and there is a travel and tours desk to help guests fully experience the area. There is ample parking, air conditioning, heating, lockers, a pool table, ping pong and WiFi. Groups are also catered for with dedicated facilities, including a conference room.

The history of the site dates back to 1829, when the area, dubbed the Swan River Colony was designated for free-settlers. However, the settlement’s fledgling agricultural industry soon floundered, due to a lack of workers and transport and administrative issues. With the colony’s future looking bleak, convict labour was introduced and Fremantle Prison was created for the newly constituted penal settlement. Originally known as the Convict Establishment, the prison was built in the 1850s with the first convicts occupying the site from 1855, right up until 1991. During this time, hangings, floggings, escapes and riots were etched in history.

When the Old Perth Gaol closed, female inmates were moved to Fremantle Prison in1889. The laundry, bakehouse and cookhouse of the prison were sectioned off to accommodate the women. Extended twice over the years, this women’s prison is what has now become Fremantle Prison YHA.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management