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The Old Melbourne Gaol

Home > Melbourne > Historic Houses | Tours
by Vanessa ★ (subscribe)
WeekendNotes Chief Editor / Chief Writer / PR & Communications.
Published October 19th 2010
Update September 26th 2012
This articles contains references to events which occurred in 2010.

Visiting a defunct prison for the day may not be the first thing to come to mind for a weekend activity but The Old Melbourne Gaol located in Russel Street, has become an enjoyable and interactive attraction, since it's opening in 1972. At The Old Melbourne Gaol visitors can explore Australia's sordid criminal history (particularly that of folk-hero Ned Kelly, who met his death in the prison on 11 Nov 1880) and it has also become an unusual site to encounter the supernatural – as the museum is widely considered to be haunted by its previous inhabitants and is investigated on a monthly basis by Ghost Seekers Australia.

The Old Melbourne Gaol is open daily from 9:30am to 5:00pm (closed Christmas Day and Good Friday) and visitors can make their way through the former prison grounds on a self guided tour and enter the cells and gallows and learn about prison life, including a viewing Ned Kelly's death mask. Admission is priced at $21 for Adults, $11 for Children and $49 for a Family of 2 Adults and up to four children. The 'Watch House Experience' is a daily guided tour in which visitors can 'role-play' and get a firsthand experience of what it is like to be arrested and incarcerated in a 19th Century Prison.

Ghost Seekers Australia conduct monthly paranormal investigations and you can be part of the experience, which includes touring and investigating the grounds in the dead hours of the early morning (untill 3am). Priced at $140 for a Single ticket and $220 for a Double Ticket, observe Ghost Seekers Australia at work and enjoy a midnight supper. Bookings are essential (see Ticketek for details) The last investigation for 2010 coincides with the 130th anniversary of Ned Kelly's death on the 13th November 2010.

To mark the upcoming anniversary of Ned Kelly's death, who was hanged at age 25 130 years ago, after being found guilty of murder of Constable Lonigan, The Old Melbourne Gaol is holding a series of special events, including a re-enactment of the much discussed trial of Ned Kelly. Occurring on Thursday 28 October in the evening (5:30 pm to approximately 8 pm), visitors can immerse themselves in the scripted court-room drama and enjoy canapés and wine for $38. Bookings are essential.

Also there is a special tour entitled 'Kelly Quest: The Ultimate Search for the Real Ned Kelly,' in which visitors are guided from the Victoria Police Museum, to The State Library, then to the Former Magistrates' Court and finally to The Old Melbourne Gaol - in each of these venues visitors will come face to face with historical artifacts. The tour will occur on Friday 29 October, beginning at 9:30 am and ending approximately at 3:30 pm. It is priced at $20 per person. Please note bookings are essential.

Finally there is a special dinner entitled "Roast Lamb, Peas and a Bottle of Claret – Such is Life," which takes place at The Old Melbourne Gaol and guests can enjoy a three course dinner on Wednesday 10 November for $120. Bookings are essential – book before the 31st of October and receive a $40 dollar discount.
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Why? Experience what it is like to be arrested and incarcerated in a 19th Century Prison.
When: Open daily from 9:30am to 5:00pm (closed Christmas Day and Good Friday)
Where: Old Melbourne Gaol
Cost: Adults $23, concession $18, children $12 (ages 5-15), family $52 (2 adults, up to 4 kids)
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