Saturday, September 25, 2010

Perth - Go Freo!

Today's entry will be a combination of our two days visit to Fremantle or Freo as the locals call it. I'm just going to sum it all in one entry.

So yeah, on the third day we decided to head to Fremantle as most of the locals suggested us going there during the weekend. But since I've been wanting to visit at least one Catholic church while in Perth, we went to attend mass service prior going to Fremantle.

We were informed that the nearest Catholic church to our hostel is St Brigid. It is just a walking distance of about 10 minutes. Church service starts at 8.30a.m. for English mass. We arrived half an hour early and it surprised me to see the church was still empty. I mean, if this was in KK, church will already be filled up as early as half an hour before service starts. We decided to take some photos around while waiting for church mass to start.

st brigid

Fifteen minutes before service supposed to start, we only saw two people arrived at the church. Then hubby told me that he wouldn't be surprised if there were only us and that two people attending the mass. How sad.

Five minutes before service, we saw a few more people arrived and by then we decided to get inside the church. Only when the priest made his entrance to the altar that I saw some more people coming in. But all in all, I could actually count the congregation by fingers. Seriously, with the church capacity almost similar to our St Micheal church in Penampang, the congregation that day was only about 5% of the whole capacity. Sad isn't it?

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The aisle to the altar.

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St Brigid (statue) is the patron saint of this church.

We went to Fremantle by train. It costs us AUD9 per pax for Day Rider. Day Rider means we can hop on and off the train as many times as we can for one whole day (24 hours). The journey to Freo takes about 20 minutes for a one way route stopping at all stops (15 stops altogether before reaching Fremantle).

Arriving there, we straight head to Fremantle Market. We were supposed to go to E-Shed Market but we didn't know that the market is a total different from the Fremantle Market which is situated right in the heart of Freo. E-Shed Market on the other hand is situated at Victoria Quay Wharf, right in the centre of Fremantle Port. Anyways, Fremantle Market itself has a lot to offer and see. It is like the Petaling Street Market or the Gaya Sunday Market enclosed in a building.

freo market
Some nice chapel right in the smack of the city.

freo market2
Sidewalk cafes a normal sight in Freo and Perth as a whole. (Bottom left pix)
Baking essentials shop (Top left pix) - you just have to buy something from here. They are all too cute to resist (but in my case, I was able to resist).

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In front of Fremantle Market main entrance.

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Inside Fremantle Market

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Fresh veges, fresh fruits, fresh bread, fresh flowers and even fresh oysters!

After the market, we wanted to go straight to Victoria Quay Wharf, not knowing that Fremantle Prison is actually a walking distance from Fremantle Market. We were trying to find the Fremantle CAT stop when we stumbled upon the signage with an arrow telling us where Fremantle Prison is. So, Freo Prison it was first!

freo prison

Luckily someone was nice enough to offer to take photo of us in front of the prison building.

This is the earliest block of the prison and was built by the convicts themselves.

Inside the earlier block. Notice the nettings above our heads? That's to prevent prisoners from attempting suicide by jumping from the upper gangways.

These boxes are prisoners' second privilege that would be removed if they violated their prison custody. I forgot what the Blue Forms and the C63s for but the Spend Slips was for prisoners to insert their 'pay slip' in exchange for items like cigarette etc while the Mail Box was obviously for mail sending purpose. While in prison, prisoners and convicts will be given a job (depending on their trust-worthiness to work) at the boiler room, as kitchen staffs etc. Their method of payment was in the form of slips. Each slip was equavalent to a certain amount of money values. These slips were the one the prisoners would insert in the Spend Slips box.

freo prison4
It feels odd to see prison with such proper toilets. I've always imagined that prison toilets are terrible. And these toilets are somewhat better than some of our toilet here in Malaysia. However, during night time when prisoners were only allowed inside their cell, this small bucket (R)) was their so called toilet and had to be shared with their cell-mate every night.

freo prison5
The earliest cell (L) and the solitary confinement cell (L). The view inside the solitary confinement (Insert)

During day time, prisoners who have no job would spend their 8 hours time here. No roof, no shades. You can pretty imagine how the prisoners be when it is in Summer season or Winter.

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The gallows.
Death by hanging was the only legal form of execution in this prison up until 1965. 43 men and one woman were hanged here. The blue painted wall (R) was purposely painted that way cos psychologically blue color can calms the mind although I can't imagine how one can be calmer when faced with a death sentence.

Flogging or whipping was also one of the punishments used for lesser crimes. Prisoner who were sentenced to whipping would be strapped to this wooden tripod, flogged and upon completing their numbers, they would be put to lie on the floor with stomach on the floor. A bucket of salt would be immediately poured on their wounded back. This was not done for mere punishment but to prevent the wound from getting infections.

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The women cell.
Apparently, women prisoner were treated badly compared to their male counterparts.
On picture right is the bathroom. We were asked to identify what's lacking in that bathroom and all I could find was, there's nothing wrong to it. Everything's there. Until another lady pointed out there's no hot shower in it. For me(and probably most of us in Asian countries), having tropical climate all around the year, we couldn't be bothered so much about having hot shower installed at home. But for countries that experience the four seasons, a cold shower on winter season is definitely torturous.

freo prison2
When you have been enclosed in a building for too long with nothing much to do, you'd definitely want to do something to kill the time. And even better, sharpen the skill you already have. That's what happened here. Those in the pictures are some notable art drawn on the wall of some prisoners' cell. Impressive!

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More drawings on the walls outside the cell.

This 'escape-proof' cell belonged to a convict named Joseph Bolitho John or famously known as Moondyne Joe famed for being an escape artist. The cell was built from stone, lined with jarrah sleepers (one of the hardest wood in the world) and over 1000 nails so that Moondyne Joe won't be able to escape again. Somehow, this cell looks cool don't you think? Read HERE for more of Moondyne Joe's story.

It was nearly 4 p.m. when we finished the prison tour and our hungry stomachs were yelling for food. We hopped on the Fremantle CAT and got off at Marine Terrace and walk another 5 minutes before we reach the eateries area along Mews Road. Having been told that while in Perth, must try the Chilli Mussels there, I was already plotting my way to find a place that serves Chilli Mussels. However, I failed to find out details of which place has the best Chilli Mussels. So relying on our Perth's Visitor Guide, it says that The Mussels (duh!) Restaurant has the best Chilli Mussels to offer in Fremantle. But the resto looked too posh to have good but reasonable price Chilli Mussels. I insisted on checking out the menu nonetheless. Yep, the price is too expensive for our budget. So we decided to walk further to check out other eateries. And that's when we found Cicerello's, said to have the best Fish and Chips in Western Australia. And I had my Chilli Mussels there with pricing that our pocket could handle.

freo dinner

You know, what I like about eateries in Perth or perhaps Australia as a whole, every eating outlet has a list of menus put up outside their premise. People would look at the menus and the pricing first before deciding to go in or not. And if by chance while you are looking at the menus, a waiting person greets you but you apologized for not going to dine there, they will politely and jovially say, "Ah oukay, no worries!" It makes you feel at ease to 'browse' around the eateries trying to find a place that suits your palette and pocket.

Stomach filled and feeling more than happy, we continued sight seeing around Mews Road, taking more photos before we decided to head back to Perth City around 6 p.m.

Cicerello's at the back

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freo dinner3

The next day, we headed back to Freo for another round of sight seeing since we weren't able to visit the Maritime Museum as well as the Shipwreck Galleries. Again, we took the Day Rider train ticket. We had Subway sandwiches for brunch and ate it while sitting at street bench surrounded by various cafes and absolute gorgeous day. It was in fact a very sunny day that I was brave enough to just wear sweat pants, two layers of tops, scarf and my pair of Crocs. Then, we straight away hop on the Fremantle CAT heading to Mews Road for the Shipwreck Galleries.


Western Australian Museums has 6 branches in Perth, two sites in Fremantle, Albany, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie-Boulder. We only visited three of which the Perth Museum itself, the W.A. Maritime Museum and the Shipwreck Galleries. The Shipwreck Galleries housed hundreds of relics from ships wrecked along WA’s treacherous coastline, including the original timbers from the Batavia (wrecked in 1629), the de Vlamingh plate, and also countless artefacts from the Dutch shipwrecks Zuytdorp, Zeewijk and Vergulde Draeck. ( It is actually amazing to be able to see relics of over hundreds years of age searched, collected, analyzed and display at the gallery. It sort of bring you to a journey deep down the sea, viewing all those wrecked valuables and understanding why they ended up down there. In short, it tells you the story behind every ship that have sunk along W.A. coastline.

Some relics being displayed.

Yes, you can take photos inside. Just, no flash please.

Goofing around...

Long time ago, when Sabah and Sarawak were yet to exist and when Borneo was still FAT.

The thing that made the hubby went wild. Underwater photography gears.

We spent quite a while at this place, mesmerized by the relics and artifacts found from the sea bed. Unfortunately, we had to rush ourselves to the next destination, which is the W.A. Maritime Museum due to limited time.

Western Australian Maritime Museum houses several unique galleries that explore WA's relationship with the sea. From leisure boats and handcrafted sailing boats to commercial pearl luggers, the Museum inspires visitors to discover WA’s affinity with the ocean. The Museum is home to the winning America's Cup yacht, Australia II, an Oberon class submarine — HMAS Ovens, Jon Sanders’ Parry Endeavour and many other iconic vessels from WA's maritime history. ( It has seven sections or galleries which are named as below;
  • Tin Canoe to Australia II
  • Hooked on Fishing
  • Indian Ocean
  • Swan River
  • Fremantle
  • Cargoes
  • Naval Defence




You can actually get a tour inside the submarine but of course that would be another AUD to burn.

We ended our tour at almost 5 p.m. and quickly rushed back to the city to get ready to meet up with a friend who is working in Perth.

belgian beer
We had dinner at Fast Eddy's, an American style diner. Hubby used to frequent this place when he was still studying in Perth.

Tim, hubby's friend while studying Culinary have been working in Perth for few years already. He treated us for drinks at one of the famous drinking place called Belgian Beer Cafe.
belgian beer2
It was our first time tasting a handcrafted flat beer (gas-less beer). This is Belgian made. 14% alcohol and tasted sweetish. Tim also made us try a few selection of beers that come with explanation of each beer. I love the Hooegarden beer and Stella Artois. Suits the feminine taste buds.

We bid our good bye to Tim with promise to meet again the next day for dinner and that's a wrap for our Fremantle visit. By the way, Go Freo as in on this entry title is actually a tag line for the Fremantle team who is in the finals for the Australian Football League.

Freo Day 1
  • Day Rider (return trip) train ticket AUD9 per pax
  • Breakfast at Pallot's Pie for two (less than AUD15)
  • Fremantle prison tour (Doing Time Tour and Great Escapes Tour) fee AUD25 per pax. For booking and enquiries,  please call (08)93369200 or check online at
  • Fremantle CAT bus - FREE
  • Dinner at Cicerello's ; Chili Mussels AUD22, Fish & Chips AUD18.50, drinks AUD7.70 = AUD48.20

Freo Day 2
  • Day Rider (return trip) train ticket AUD9 per pax
  • Brunch take away at Subway for two (about AUD16)
  • Fremantle CAT bus - FREE
  • Shipwreck Galleries - FREE entry but a donation is required (at least AUD5). For more info, visit
  • W.A. Maritime Museum - Entry fee AUD10 per pax. For more info, visit
  • Dinner at Fast Eddy's ; Main Ribs AUD26.95, Chicken Teriyaki AUD17.95, drinks AUD8.95 = AUD53.85
  • Handcrafted flat beer AUD60, beer platters (N.A.) treated by friend.


  1. Wow, looks like you guys had so much fun! I'd love to visit Perth too someday! :D

  2. quite scary oh the prison... nasib sia tidak masuk dulu hihihihi...

    I laugh bah your hubby photo with itu bom panjang hahahhahahaha...

  3. Cindy...We did! You should. Perth and Western Australia is really a place must visit. It's very laid back but systematic and you can never get lost there.

    CathJ...Iya sebab quite old sudah bah tu building. Ada satu kali kami kena bawa pigi tu morgue but we didnt know it. Sudah kami di dalam baru tu guide kasi tau pas tu dia kasi takut2 lagi kami :)

    Dia tu i said in FB, men and their thing for something big. Hahahaha


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