Old Castlemaine Gaol.

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Old Castlemaine Gaol

Top choice in Victoria

Looming from its commanding hilltop location, the Old Castlemaine Gaol is the town's most notable historical landmark; dating from 1861, it closed its doors in 1990. Today the cells that once held some of the state's most feared criminals are home to the whimsical works and sculptures of esteemed Australian artist David Bromley. He bought the site in 2018 with the aim of beautifying the once-fearsome Pentonville-style prison into his latest canvas.

Despite the reimagining of this formidable space as a modern art gallery, featuring the vibrant work of both Bromley and his contemporaries, you'll still get a sense of its creepy history, with the old cells, gallows and watchtowers, and tales of its executions and notable inmates.

There are plans to open a cafe and outdoor shipping-container bar to take in the wonderful views of town.

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