Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia.
Get into jail cheap
One day every year, the Old Adelaide Gaol is open to the public for a special entry price. Normally entry for a family is $34, but this year on May 26th you can get the whole family in for just $3 per person.
The Adelaide Gaol was built in 1840 and is one of the oldest remaining colonial public buildings. The Gaol is as old as Port Arthur and has it's own stories to tell.
Some of the things that you can expect to see on your self guided tour are: (courtesy Government of SA)
A unique glimpse of nearly 150 years of South Australian prison life.
See and touch the artefacts that were once used during the Gaol's operational life. Try on handcuffs and leg irons and get a feel for what it was like to wear them. Have a go at unpicking the locks and discover just how hard it was for prisoners to escape.
Marvel at the magnificent nineteenth century architecture of the Gaol's outer walls, its two towers, and the New Building and gallows, where 21 prisoners were hanged between 1894 and 1950.
Admire the front administration building, part of the original Gaol, which is in Georgian Palladian style. The grotesques were an expensive extravagance, with eight figures on each tower at a cost of £300 each. The towers are incorporated into the outer wall structure and contain the most detailed stonework in the Gaol.
The castellated design on top of the towers was one of the most criticised parts of construction because of the expense. The original design called for three watchtowers however, due to high costs, only two were built, and only one completed.
Visit the prisoner graves within the grounds of the Gaol.
Check out the archaeological dig by the South Australian Museum in the grounds of the gaol. The dig revealed that the Gaol site was once a temporary site for the earliest white settlement of Adelaide. The dig uncovered finds reflecting the changing nature of prisoners' activities at the Gaol, their personal life and hidden secrets.
Drop in to the interactive exhibition and the museum shop where you can buy souvenirs and books about the history of the Gaol.
There is plenty of free parking and the Gaol has been adapted to allow access for disabled visitors.
The Old Adelaide Gaol is open for self guided tours from 10am to 5pm everyday except Saturdays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. The last entry is at 3.30pm, as it will take you at least 90 minutes to explore this important historic site.
The Adelaide Gaol is located in Adelaide's north western parklands at 18 Gaol Road, Thebarton. Gaol Road runs off the Port Road by the Police Barracks. (Please note, when heading out of the city, there is no longer a right turn from Port Road into Gaol Road.)