Old Melbourne Gaol

Historic Building in City Centre

Dating back to 1841, this bluestone prison was in operation until 1924 and decommissioned in 1929. It's now a museum where you can tour the tiny, bleak cells. It was the scene of 133 hangings – including that of Ned Kelly, Australia's most infamous bushranger, in 1880 – and you can also attend spooky night tours (not recommended for under 16s) or take part in the Police Watch House Experience, where you get 'arrested' and thrown in the slammer (more fun than it sounds).

The dire social conditions that motivated criminals in 19th-century Melbourne are also highlighted, including the era's obsession with phrenology. During school holidays you can visit the Old Magistrates' Court, where notorious gangster Squizzy Taylor stood trial.


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