High in the dunes of C.Y. O’Connor Beach stands a monument of urban decay and days of an industry gone by. The ruins of the South Fremantle Power Station have stood empty since 1985, home only to urban explorers and street artists.
Opened in 1951, the power station was once a pillar of progress for the expanding energy demands of Perth. Here it stood proud and strong for 34 years, supplying energy to its surrounding metropolis until 1985 when it was deemed to no longer be worth the money. The doors were shuttered, and the plant’s four tall chimney stacks were demolished, leaving the rest of the plant to rot by the sea.
It now lies empty. All evidence of a working station are gone and what remains now is just the shell. But what a stunning shell it is. The windows that once gleamed with life and industry reach several stories high. They are now the shattered and rusting eyes of a ghost; a spirit who looks out over the pristine coastline below.
Inside, the walls which once contained the hustle and bustle of daily working life now are covered in magnificent displays of artwork from the large to the scribbly. The floors, with no workers to keep them swept, are now a minefield of spray cans, broken glass, and rubble. Only the once majestic stairwell has managed to retain some semblance of dilapidated elegance.
According to some explorers, a network of tunnels also still exists beneath the ruins. They say some tunnels take you to the beach, while others are rumored to take you to the center. Given the site’s proximity to the sea, if there are tunnels beneath the plant, they would be a possible death trap.
The ruins rest on private property that is sometimes patrolled by security guards, but the ruins can be viewed from afar.
Know Before You Go
Once you locate the station itself there are several ways to get through the fences. Just a quick wander will uncover plenty.