A great way of spending our last day here was to drop off the hire car and buy a combo cruise/tram (commentated)/prison (tour) ticket for Fremantle (or Freo as they call it here). IT is lively authentic port with plenty of shops and rstaurants to explore and some interesting history to boot. Captain Cook Cruises run tours from Barrack Street. A combo ticket costs $85 AUD and saves you $7 on buying individual tickets. Cruises go at 9.30 and leave Fremantle at 3.45pm for a 5pm return. There are a number of options – check out the website below. It’s interesting to cruise past all the millionaire homes down the Swan River – one of which is owned by a former “ten pound tourist”. Over a million migrants came from the UK to Australia between 1945 and 1972 on this ten pound ticket. You can also see Carnac Island but you can’t visit it – it has 3 tiger snakes for every 25 metres square, so you wouldn’t want to anyway.
Fremantle Prison was built in 1850 to house 100 of the first male convicts transported to Australia often for very petty crimes to act as a labour force to help build the Swan River Colony. Their first project was to build their own home. The walls didn’t need to be that high. If you escaped, you didn’t have much chance of getting far if you had no boat to tackle the ocean, no survival mechanism for the deep red outback or any ideas on how to turn the bush into productive land. Several men did escape and came back when they got hungry. The sentences weren’t long (7 -20 years) and some men never stayed in the prison – they were put to work instead. When you got out, you were Australian, because you couldn’ t afford to get back home even if you wanted to. The prison was decommissioned in 1991.
Fish and Chips at Kailis in Fremantle boat harbour. – they sell the freshest fish in the sea, so they say. It certainly tasted like it.