What tours, experiences and exhibitions can I expect?
Today, the Old Melbourne Gaol operates as a museum, preserving its original cells, gallows, and other artifacts. Visiting the gaol provides a captivating experience, shedding light on the harsh realities of prison life and revealing the fascinating stories that unfolded within its walls.
Explore the site where Ned Kelly faced trial. Interactive displays bring the famous bushranger's story to life, allowing visitors to delve into the complex circumstances that led to his demise. The gaol provides a nuanced exploration of his legacy, prompting reflection on justice, societal attitudes, and the impact of historical figures. Don't miss the chilling artifact – Ned Kelly's death mask.
Self-guided tours and exhibitions
Self guided audio tour – Daily 10am-5pm
A unique aspect of the Old Melbourne Gaol is the opportunity to see the original gallows, a grim reminder of the harsh penalties imposed on law-breakers.
Take your time exploring the curated artifacts displayed throughout the gaol with the self-guided audio tour. These relics provide tangible connections to the past, offering a glimpse into the daily lives of both inmates and guards.
History of the Women and Children of the Gaol – Daily 10am-5pm
The Women and Children of the Gaol exhibition offers a compelling exploration into a unique facet of the Old Melbourne Gaol's history. This exhibition is designed to illuminate the experiences and stories of the women and children who were once confined within the gaol's walls. Hear and read about the challenges and often untold stories of the female and juvenile inmates who found themselves facing the criminal justice system.
You'll also learn about the living conditions, daily routines, and the struggles faced by women and children during different historical periods within the gaol's operational years.
The Escape Artists tour – Daily selected times 10:30am – 2:30pm (duration 45mins)
In this thoughtfully curated outdoor tour, an expert National Trust guide offers a distinctive perspective on the remnants of Melbourne's historic crime and justice precinct. The guide not only reveals architectural details but also weaves captivating narratives around some of Old Melbourne Gaol's most ingenious and intriguing residents.
Life in the City Watch House – Daily selected times 11:30am – 3:45pm (duration 30mins)
Embark on an immersive journey where you'll truly feel the weight of 'the book being thrown at you'. Conducted by an experienced guide as your 'charge sergeant', visitors are actively 'arrested', offering them a first-hand encounter with the compelling reality of being confined within the historic Old City Watch House. This unique tour provides an authentic and engaging glimpse into the arresting experiences of the past, as well as the fascinating dynamics of law enforcement in Melbourne's history.
Night time tours
Hangman’s Night Tour – Selected nights of the week, 8pm-9pm
As daylight fades, the gaol becomes dark and atmospheric - perfect for evening tours such as the Hangman's Night Tour. This specialised night tour delves into the macabre accounts and haunted history associated with the Old Melbourne Gaol.
Due to the graphic nature of the tales, this immersive tour is not recommended for children under 16 years of age. If you have any concerns, contact the Old Melbourne Gaol directly.
Ghosts? What Ghosts? - Selected nights of the week 8pm – 9pm
The Old Melbourne Gaol Ghost Tour enables daring participants to delve into the mysterious and supernatural realms that linger within the gaol's cold stone walls. This uniquely haunting experience is led by seasoned guides with an intimate knowledge of the gaol's darker history, bringing forth tales of the unexplained, the eerie, and the haunted.
This night tour is conducted in the dark and includes confined spaces, and appropriate footwear is recommended. It is not recommended for children 12 years and under.