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Old Melbourne Gaol

Certificate of Excellence
Central Business District
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Address: 377 Russell St, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
Phone Number:
+61 3 8663 7228
09:30 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 09:30 - 17:00

Step back in time and walk the road to the gallows in a 19th century...

Step back in time and walk the road to the gallows in a 19th century prison, be arrested in a modern-day Police Station or put yourself on trial in court.Home to Melbourne's oldest prison, historic Magistrates' Court and former Police City Watch House, Russell Street has been at the heart of crime, law and order in Melbourne since the 1840s. Most of Australia’s infamous characters, including iconic bushranger, Ned Kelly and notorious gangster Squizzy Taylor have spent time within the walls of this amazing precinct. A ticket to the Old Melbourne Gaol Crime & Justice Experience grants you visiting rights to the past, present and future of crime and justice in Australia.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,129 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1077
  • 745
    Very good
  • 157
  • 19
  • 13
cold and dreary. but historical

this place is great for school excursions or for people who want to see what our old jail looked like so many years ago before they built these new ones. Their is also the noose... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Melbourne, Australia
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2,129 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,011: English reviews
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

this place is great for school excursions or for people who want to see what our old jail looked like so many years ago before they built these new ones. Their is also the noose that ned kelly was hang by. It has so much history behind these closed doors been in and is a little scary. Great place to... More 

Thank angetony65
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

It was good to see some of the old jail but the information boards/exhibits felt like they could have done with a bit of updating

Thank Stephanie T
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

The Old Melbourne Gaol and the attached Watch House tour is a must do. They were running a short play about the life of Ned Kelly which we happened to arrive just in time for and it was well worth it. I think everyone thinks they know the story of Ned Kelly but this tells it from the perspective of... More 

Thank Erica J
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I learnt a lot the day I visited Old Melbourne Gaol, more death masks than I was expecting (a little creepy). They explain who each person the mask belongs too and what crime they committed. It is only a section of the prison so it is one wing and has 3 levels. I don't remember seeing a lift (elevator), but... More 

Thank Siobhan B
Level Contributor
84 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

I loved the 'getting arrested' bit. The 'guard' who did the processing and tour was great and made it a really good experience. Our group was only adults and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Afterwards we did the other part of the jail which you can do on your own and read about prisoner's stories and of course Ned Kelly.... More 

Thank Andrea v
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

If you like history and have some time, it is a great tour to take. Recommended for all ages as it gives you an insight into jail life during the early days. Staff play their "police" roles very well (good cop/bad cop).

Thank ROSE M
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We spent nearly three hours in the Old Gaol, reading all about Ned Kelly and the history of other inmates over the years. The guides are very knowledgable and helpful. We did the Watchtower Experience where you are taken into custody and imprisoned by a guard who doesn't spare you any airs and graces, treating you as he would an... More 

Thank RetiredBritsAbroad
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Yeah there's lots of stuff about Ned Kelly. Can't say I really care. My favourite bit was the start, where you get "locked up" by a cranky warden for theft, public nuisance and other general dodgy deeds. Lots of reading involved in the main part of the museum, but lots of interesting tidbits about prison life, other notable criminals etc... More 

Thank LaCorka
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Absolutely love this & go twice a year - kids love the maybe haunted side of things - especially the cell that may or may not have haunting actively - much colder than the other cells - spooky - again love the history - especially with Ned Kelly death masks - and tales of other prisoners - some I have... More 

Thank Jacquelyn L
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Well worth it. Its amazing what heritage we have in the CBD area. Amazed watch house only closed in 1984. This part of tour was exceptionally good. Sergeant on the day was very intimidating - very realistic.

Thank Rosa53Holidays

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Staying in Central Business District

Neighbourhood Profile
Central Business District
Full of discovery and delight, Melbourne’s laneways tease the imagination long after you’ve put your weary feet up to rest. They weave through the heart of the city: cafes, bars, restaurants and boutiques, throbbing with conversation and espresso coffee. You never quite know what you’ll find around the next corner: cobblestone alleys, old beer barrel hoists and even vats of simmering organic soup. There is the air of Berlin in the street art, a touch of Paris in the umbrella-shaded cafes and, reminiscent of Rome, eateries tucked away in the most unlikely of places. Perhaps you might want a break and cross the Yarra River to Southbank - walk along the promenade, bask in the sun at a waterside bar and decide whether to go to the nearby casino or book a ticket at the Melbourne theatre company.
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