Lonely Planet named this port city just south of the Western Australian capital, Perth (about five hours’ flying time from Sydney), as one of the cities to visit in 2016. And Freo, as it’s universally known, doesn’t disappoint, with great food, a vibrant arts scene, fabulous bars and excellent beaches. This World Heritage-listed former prison, recently transformed into a YHA hostel, is a great to base to explore all of that. Stay in the original cell block (ghost sightings need to be reported directly to staff), in the new purpose-built hostel or in one of the well-preserved guard’s cottages. There are private rooms and dorms, and all the facilities are shiny and new, including a spacious communal kitchen. Fremantle train station is a 10-minute walk away, and the trip into Perth takes about half an hour.