55 days away
45 km / 28 miles since last post
14,826 km / 9,212 miles total
Feeling quite refreshed after our day off we headed south towards Freemantle. We took the coastal road, avoiding a drive through the city. The coastal area was lovely, and some of the houses overlooking the sea were amazing, though pretty pricey I'm sure. We stopped off at Cottesloe - a recommendation from one of Stu's work colleagues in Amnesia. We took a stroll along the coastal path and down along the beach. We both agreed that the beach was lovely. It was a really warm sunny day, but offset by the coastal breeze which made it very pleasant. We thought it was a great place to take a walk and enjoy an ice-cream.
Once we arrived in Freemantle the first place we visited was the Freemantle Prison. Built by the convicts in the 1850's, this was used as a maximum security prison until its closure in 1991. It is now kept as a museum providing tours to the public. Our tour guide was great, a really funny guy from Cornwall. He liked to pull people out of the group to use as 'props' in the stories he told. This included me, when he demonstrated how the guards would have to search the prisoners when they arrived at the prison! He made the tour of the prison really interesting and enjoyable. We visited the huge kitchen, some of the prisons cells, solitary confinement, the gallows and the prison church, which is still consecrated and is used for wedding ceremonies by ex-inmates. There were some beautiful paintings in a couple of cells by prisoner artists.
After our tour we decided to park the van and head into the centre of Freemantle using the free buses provided. These buses run every 10 minutes and take you around Freemantle in a big loop. It's also worth mentioning that there are three bus routes in and around the Perth CBD that you don't have to pay for. Just jump on and off whenever you like! If only the UK could demonstrate such a forward-thinking approach to public transport.
In the street of Freemantle there are some wonderful old buildings, mainly built in the booming gold rush of the 1890's. We took a walk through some of the streets, then up to the Round House gaol, built in 1831 it is the oldest building in Western Australia.
We took a stop at a lovely cafe, which had the biggest variety of delicious cakes and biscuits to choose from. Then we talk a walk over to the Shipwreck Galleries. This contained various cargo retrieved from a number of ship wrecks around Western Australia. It also included the original timbers of the Batavia which was wrecked off WA in 1629.
Stu and I both agreed that Freemantle was a lovely town, and somewhere well worth a visit to anyone planning on coming to Perth. We could easily spend more time here.