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Abandoned South Fremantle Power Station

Home > Perth > Misc | Places of Interest | Unusual Things to do
by Tom Zaunmayr (subscribe)
Getting lost is the easiest way to have fun!
Published October 7th 2013
Explore a decaying, haunted monument to Perth's history
Casting an imposing shadow over C.Y. O'Connor beach is a decaying monument to our past and a stunning showcase of brutalist architecture. Closed in 1985, the South Fremantle Power Station now resembles a decrepit shell of its former glory, coated in a mosaic of urban art.

The abandoned South Fremantle Power Station in North Coogee was opened in 1951 after five years of construction to power a growing Perth and Fremantle metropolis. Employing over 250 people at its peak, the station was eventually closed after advances in technology (ironically at the now controversial Muja plant) deemed it uneconomical.

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South & East walls of the abandoned Fremantle Power Station


To get the best out of a trip to the power station it's best to go weekdays or after dark on weekends as the place is well patrolled during the day on weekends. Technically you aren't allowed to go in, but if you want to be adventurous, half of the fence on the beach side has been pulled down for your convenience.

Once inside the building you're met with a cavernous chamber, completely empty besides rubble and empty bottles. The walls however are alive with colour. Every nook and cranny available to be painted, has been painted, then repainted, and so on. The internal structure is an incredible 360 degree mosaic of constantly evolving graffiti art. The lengths some people have gone to to get prime real estate is just unbelievable.

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Graffiti occupies every centimetre


By day the sunlight bounces of the brightly coloured walls, but by night the graffiti adds to the abandoned stations harrowing reputation. This is a place many believe to be haunted.

The wind creates an eerie atmosphere as it whips through the thousands of empty window sills, torn remnants of cloth flapping in the breeze. Chains dangle slowly and rustic girders strain as the distant sound of crashing waves haunts the night air. The building is loud yet unnervingly devoid of sound and life.

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Inside the abandoned power station at dusk


Your mind starts to play tricks on you, you're sure you just heard footsteps, a voice, breathing. The inevitable rumours surrounding the abandoned - haunted - power station are humbling.

If you're to believe word-of-mouth, underground tunnels connect the power station to the Fremantle Prison, within which occult cults practice their sinister rituals. There is potentially some merit to this as pentagrams are scattered throughout the buildings empty rooms. Many, myself included, have found patches of blood on the floors and walls.

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A lone gantry crane is the sole reminder of the power stations industrial past


Rumours of murder and suicide are abundant - the latter of which is easy to see as truth, suicides are rarely reported. According to various informal sources, four murders have taken places in the office area. The ghosts of those said to see their life end here are told to be trapped forever within the monoliths confines.

Adding to the daunting rumours are the equally distressing truths. This is a winter refuge of junkies and the homeless. Those sounds you keep telling yourself are in your head may likely be coming from a group of displaced citizens hiding from the realities of the world which has failed them.

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Sun shines through the abandoned power station windows


Whilst the Fremantle Power station was operating it was not immune to tragedy either. Many workers did meet an untimely, gruesome demise inside its walls. From falling to electrical burns and mechanical mishaps, there are plenty of lives consumed by the power station to give rise to haunting stories.

Due to its heritage listing, great difficulties have arisen in what to do with the building. Demolition seems the obvious answer due to the enormous cost that would surely be encountered by redeveloping it, but its historical significance has so far prevented this.

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Remnants of the abandoned powerstations cooling pond


With new urban developments now sprouting up around the powerhouse it is becoming increasingly urgent a plan is put to place. The once isolated powerhouse is now surrounded by new housing estates, and no prime coastal land to date has been able to escape the clutches of Perth's unquenchable thirst for development.
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Why? Photography, graffiti, curiousty.
When: Weekdays, weekends after 6pm
Where: North Coogee
Cost: Free
Your Comment
This is socially irresponsible, dangerous, and directly contravenes occupational health and safety directives. Tom, do you plan on paying the medical bills for the person who has rubble fall on them and can't ever walk again?? I'd suggest not. What about for those who take in asbestos and die of cancer in 10 years time. You paying their chemo costs?? Probably not hey. Think about what information you are putting out there. It is mind-numbully stupid to recommend people enter a heritage listed, abondoned building that is in a state of disrepair for something to do on a weekend.
by Kyale (score: 0|6) 1114 days ago
I've been fascinated by this place since I was a kid. Visited it several times and spent dozens of hours just wandering the halls in quiet wonder. Never have done it at night though, and never have been too deep into the dark below. The clock is certainly ticking for this old building, so I do recommend any who are interested to visit the place while it is still worth doing so.
by jezza (score: 0|4) 1476 days ago
Great article! Thanks for documenting the place. i located the fence yesterday and was wondering if it was safe to go in (in case I get robbed of my camera or caught by police patrols). Would you reckon it's safe to visit?
by zahee (score: 0|4) 1484 days ago
this is just the best place for photographers…

This is my effort from a hexacopterhttps://vimeo.com/87272516
by david (score: 0|4) 1417 days ago
Great article :) Awesome place. Would like to stay and have a longer look around next time :)
by Gen Adams (score: 2|135) 1554 days ago
awesome pictures!
I visited in june 2014, here are some of the picshttp://jaymcbride.social/freopower
by revie (score: 0|2) 1020 days ago
sorry guys, posted the wrong link.
Here is my visit back last year, some incredible pics and a walkthrough of the underground tunnels. Enjoy http://jaymcbride.photos/freopower
by Jay McBride (score: 0|4) 1004 days ago
Here's a video I shot of the power station this week, security and workmen everywhere, looks like they're serious about developing this spot.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBwrTVNkOIw
by niena (score: 0|2) 994 days ago
in 2004, American Industrial metal band Fear Factory filmed their music video for the single Cyberwaste off their album Archetype at this location. Somewhere inside there's a huge Fear Factory logo (to Fs)
by nick. (score: 0|2) 916 days ago
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/man-24-dies-after-falling-from-old-south-fremantle-power-station-20160501-gojfoq.html
30th APRIL 2016
A Byford man died after he fell from the second floor of the dilapidated old South Fremantle Power Station.

It is believed the 24-year-old man was with a woman when he fell 15 metres through a hole in the floor just before 6pm on Saturday night.
by mrmax (score: 0|2) 625 days ago
I visited this on 05.03.16 and it was the most amazing place I have ever been too, perfect spot for photographers like me. There was some scary looking bits like dark rooms but it's definitely not a risk to go inside. Yeah you have to jump a few electric fences but it's well worth it and I'd recommend it to anyone as its a safe place and as for 2016 the roof is still on and isn't going to fall anytime soon. I spent a good 3 hours just wandering and admiring it. Please have a look for your self !!!
by Byrne (score: 0|2) 681 days ago
The powerhouse can be an enjoyable time of you understand the consequences that you might face. Some of the people you encounter in the building aren't always that nice and I've know people that have been robbed in their. Be careful where you stand, who you go with and be on the lookout for security. It is full of asbestos as well so hanging around for too long or touching anything isn't a great idea. Correct footwear is needed and make sure you can run if you need to. It can be dangerous so if you're not ready to face the consequences or you're not going to stick to the concrete parts of the floor then don't go because you will injur yourself or you will die.
by elayn (score: 0|2) 620 days ago
Went here on Saturday night (21st March) it was very windy but getting in was tricky as there are so many holes in the fence but so much barb wire that was stopping us. But once inside it was just fully covered in graffiti and I even found my name (Kiara) sprayed on the floor!!! Didn't stay there long as it was pretty creepy and there was other people there
If you're looking for something to do on your boring Saturday night go check this place out.
by kiki_ (score: 0|2) 1029 days ago
Maybe go and check it out Kyale. This place is amazing been there many times without any problems.
by aaron (score: 0|2) 1031 days ago
There is asbestos all over the floor in great clumps.
by snow- (score: 0|2) 1052 days ago
I have been in the building but I would not tell anyone else to go in. That is a decision for each person to make themselves. Barney does great pano tours so take his advice if you would like to experience the building totally without risk.
by grung (score: 0|3) 1099 days ago
The world is full of wussies, life is too short, get on and enjoy it. On the scale of dangerous things to do, decide what your personal limit is and do it!
by barne (score: 0|6) 1112 days ago
Hi guys, if you're so concerned about legalities, dangers and being caught, why not take a virtual tour through this power station with me at 5am?
Here's the tour:http://barneymeyer.com/south-fremantle-power-station/
enjoy! Barney
barney.meyer@ozemail.com.au
by barne (score: 0|6) 1112 days ago
The previous comment about this being "socially irresponsible" was actually written by me and accidently posted under a colleague's name. Please refrain from sending Kyale messages about this. If you have a comment to make direct it at me. For the record, I'm not adverse to enjoying life or thrill-seeking if that's your thing. It is not up to Tom to recommend people break the law in the name of a good time. People make their own choices about risk taking - it is not good practice to encourage people to do so, particularly when it is an illegal and dangerous action. I agree that OSH has gone mad in the modern world but Tom has crossed a line when he is advising people to break the law. As I suggested previously, Tom should take ownership of this action if somebody ends up injured or arrested as a result.
by Chainsaw (score: 0|2) 1114 days ago
I think that this place it really good but I've never been inside before or seen it, so can you guys please help me with these following questions.
1) Are you aloud inside the building?
2) If you are aloud to enter the building do you have to have permission to enter?
3) who can help me get permission to enter the building without trespassing?
by seren (score: 0|2) 1204 days ago
Your article was hilarious. I hope to get inside to shoot (some photos) and I hope the security has found something better to do with their time. This is an amazing building that should be celebrated, not ignored.
by Trist (score: 0|2) 1212 days ago
This is an abandoned power station built in the 50s, it likely has asbestos built into the building.
by scott (score: 0|2) 1316 days ago
I've been in there on a few occasions. I wear a pendant or cross. You can get lost in a particular spot. I followed some girls they went through a window which lead to that entrance hall which is short and you can find the staircase and levels to the top floor. And so many rooms and an underground. That's the spot you don't want to be on you're own. I almost had to follow my nose. I could of been lost in that part. Otherwise.
It's good for the curious to enter at their own risk.
by whata (score: 0|2) 614 days ago
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