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Images Of South Fremantle Power Station

The Old Fremantle Power Station

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Photographing The Abandoned Power Station In North Coogee

Old abandoned buildings are a magnet for photographers & the Old Abandoned Power Station in South Fremantle/North Coogee is no exception.

This heritage listed building has been a curiosity for photographers & the general public for decades & before being fenced off from the public, it was also a canvas for graffiti artists.

Looming over C.Y. O’Connor Beach, just a few kilometres south of Fremantle in Western Australia, it’s readily visible from a distance as you drive along the coastal road & this local iconic building can’t help but draw your attention.

A Brief History

South Fremantle Power Station

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After 5 years of construction, this power station finally became operational in 1951.

Perth & Fremantle were really growing at that time & over 250 people found employment at this power station.

Technology marched on & eventually this coal fired electric power generating station was deemed uneconomical to keep running.

So in 1985 it was finally shut down. The 4 chimney stacks were demolished & any signs of a working power station are long gone.

Now there’s just the ghostly shell of what once was a magnificent art deco industrial structure.

When internal access was available, the abandoned station was used to film some music videos as well as being a location for numerous independent filmmakers.

The Darker Side

Graffiti on Fremantle power station wall

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Once you were able to freely wander about inside, but now the entire building is fenced off & there’s often security there too.

Apparently this is due to a young man falling to his death whilst trying his hand at some graffiti.

But the structure used to be a hangout for drug addicts that lived in the tunnels that run under the building.

It was also a winter refuge for the homeless & junkies (btw, I’m not implying that homeless people are junkies, but unfortunately addicts can become homeless).

It’s also rumoured to be haunted, as many suicides took place when the internal staircase was still in place & there are also tales that satanic worship & rituals were performed.

It’s also recorded that when the station was operational, some workmen died as it was quite dangerous as well as tiring work requiring long shifts.

Going back to the tunnels, these were created because water from the ocean was required for cooling the station's 4 condensers.

But word on the street is these tunnels also connect to the Fremantle prison where occult practices took place.

The tunnels exist, as some more adventurous types have tried to explore them to find that government authorities have put up blockades.

I never had a chance to explore inside, but there are those that did & testify to pentagrams throughout it’s empty rooms as well as blood stains on the walls & floors.

It’s also rumoured that there's been a number of murders committed within the building's walls.

All a bit spooky, probably for the best that access inside is no longer possible.

Inside The Old Fremantle Power Station
The interior of the Old Fremantle Power Station was a haven for graffiti artists & other nefarious activities

The Future Of The Power Station

With all it’s unnerving history, I’m happy that the building is still standing.

There were discussions about demolishing the power station, but fortunately it was declared a heritage building in 2014.

There’s been talk for years about the site being redeveloped & restored into apartments or some sort of shopping/café precinct.

But the cost would be enormous due to retaining it’s architectural heritage & it would simply be cheaper to demolish the structure.

Despite the darker elements of it’s past, it’s a wonderful testament to the architecture of it’s era & I hope it remains a feature of the landscape for decades to come.

Visiting & Viewing The Power Station

front view of South Fremantle Power Station

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The Old South Fremantle Power Station is actually in North Coogee, I’m guessing back in the day there was no suburb of Coogee, it was still all under the area of South Fremantle.

If you have a vehicle it’s simple to access, simply turn off Cockburn Road into McTaggart Cove, you’ll see the sign for C.Y. O’Connor Reserve.

Then turn left into Robb Road for a few hundred metres to Caledonia Loop.

You can either park & walk about 100 metres or so up to the building.

But there’s a track that you can access from the corner of Caledonia Loop & Robb Road.

The first section is a bit sandy, but I got my old Suzuki Super Carry van through.

Fortunately I went with a mate, as getting back out required a push!

If you’re using public transport, there’s the Cockburn Road Potato Marketing Corporation bus stop literally right opposite the power station.

You’ll still need to walk about 200 metres to McTaggart Cove though, as it’s the only access due to the railway line.

The power station can also be accessed from the beach. I was itching to get inside, but the fencing is pretty secure & there was a security guy there at the time.

Avoiding Hazards

storm clouds above Fremantle Power Station

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If you do sneak in somehow, it is considered trespassing & you could be prosecuted & fined up to $5,000.

It would be pretty foolhardy to visit at night, as there can be some unsavoury characters lurking about as well as other hazards like asbestos, rusty metal & holes to fall in!

Purchasing These Photographs

If you'd like to have any of these photos on your wall, they are available as:

Canvas Print

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There's also a choice of various sizes, frames & finishes.


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