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Boggo Road Gaol History Tour

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by Karina Bryer (subscribe)
I'm a mother of four with two coeliac children. I'm always on the lookout for great gluten-free spots around Brisbane and feature gluten-free cooking in my blog: coeliacfamily.blogspot.com.au I'm also a muso and enjoy live music around town.
Published July 6th 2017
Walk a mile in these shoes
Boggo Road Gaol
Boggo Road Gaol history tours


As the gate clangs shut, we are transported back in time. Brisbane's Boggo Road Gaol, formerly known as the Brisbane Men's Prison has a fascinating history which, unbeknownst to may, ended not that long ago. This Gaol, built in the 1880's changed little in it's time as both a women's and men's prison, and many would be surprised that conditions for prisoners changed little in its one hundred and ten-year history.

Boggo Road bell
This large bell was rung to signal meals, shift changes and warnings, and could be heard streets away.


It was this fact, one of many, that I discovered on the Boggo Road Gaol History tour, which is held at 11am every day of the week. Known also for its escapees and prisoners rights protests, perhaps many of you would be amazed to know that one of the more famous residents was Tripod the cat!

Boggo Road cells
Stark conditions for prisoners with cells left as they were when the Gaol closed.


The tour guide was fantastic, leading us through the many stages of the Boggo Road prison history. We followed in the footsteps of former inmates and tried to imagine life inside this rather Victorian prison. With stories of famous inmates, including the prisoner who foiled guards with an exact replica of one of their guns which was painstakingly carved from soap and the prison guards famous "lady" prisoner, this tour gave us an insight into prison life for both inmates and guards, and even the prisons neighbours.

Boggo Road Gaol D Block
D block - home to some of Boggo Road's more notorious inmates.


Not all stories from the Gaol are grim, and it was wonderful to view the beautiful murals of New Zealand painted by one of the inmates to brighten the family visit area. These paintings took years and were all painted from memory by one of the prison's life sentence inmates.

Prison murals
Some prisoners found interesting ways to fill their time.


The history tour is one of many held at the Gaol and lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes. There is more information on this and other tours on their Website Visit the website or call (07) 3844 0059 to book your tour. Tours cost $25 for adults, concessions/students $20, teens (13-17) $17.50, children $12.50, under 5's free. A family pass is also available, 2 adults and 2 children for $50, or 1 adult 3 children $45.
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*Karina Bryer was invited as a guest
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Phone: (07) 3844 0059
Where: Boggo Road Gaol, Boggo Road Gaol, Annerley Road, Dutton Park, Queensland 4102 Australia
Cost: $14.50 - $25.00
Your Comment
Good article Karina
by May Cross (score: 3|1861) 270 days ago
My partner used to live in the area and he remembers Tripod the cat :)
by Kiesten McCauley (score: 2|533) 264 days ago
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