Old Melbourne Gaol

Since 1845 until its closure in 1924 the Old Melbourne Gaol has held Melbourne's most dangerous criminals. Open daily 9.30am to 5pm.


The original cells also held petty offenders, debtors, children, the homeless and the mentally ill along with Australia’s most infamous citizen, the bushranger Ned Kelly.

The gallows, where prisoners were hanged are still in place at the gaol.

Today you can visit the Old Melbourne Gaol and find out what life was like for the men and women who lived and died here.

Explore all three levels including the execution area and see Ned Kelly’s death mask. Rent our new audio guide and explore the original Gaol or join the Charge Sergeant on a tour of the cells when you visit the Watch House. Take a night tour with the Hangman or join our Ghosts..What Ghost? evening tour. In the school holidays visit the former Magistrate’s Court and perhaps put yourself in the Judge’s seat to mete out justice. Performances of the Ned Kelly themed play ‘Such is life’ are available on most Saturdays – check the website for details.

Find out more about the Gaol’s fascinating history, how to book the Gaol for a function or bring your school for an education program.

Find out what’s on at the Old Melbourne Gaol

These Spring school holidays (Saturday 21 September to 6 October) kids can become inmates on a mission to hatch the perfect escape plan. Solve the riddles, find the clues, and keep your eyes out for the guards! For more on Escape the Gaol click here

Planning your visit


377 Russell St (between Victoria Street and La Trobe Street), Melbourne 3000.


Open every day from 9.30am to 5pm


Christmas Day, Good Friday,

Call bookings office 03 9656 9889 open Mon-Fri
Entry Fees:

Adult: $28
Concession: $23
Child (5 - 15 years): $15
Family (2 Adults + 2 children under 15 years): $65
Single Family (1 Adult + 2 children under 15 years): $48
Additional Child: $5
Audio Guide: $5

Prices effective as of 1st July 2017

A Virtual Reality headset is available for mobility challenged visitors courtesy of the State Trustees Australia Foundation.

What we offer:

"Such is Life!" - the last words of Ned Kelly as he stood on the gallows at the Old Melbourne Gaol, 11 November, 1880

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School Programs

The Gaol offers challenging and engaging programs for junior and senior secondary levels in humanities and legal studies. Four Court Room Dramas encourage students to analyze text and evidence. Gaol and Watch House tours offer introductions to Melbourne's colonial history and concepts in crime and punishment.


Night Tours

Try one of three different night tours at Australia's most feared destination. Our night tours include taking you to the place of real ghost sightings, a tour of the Gaol with the hangman, and an introduction to the criminal underworld in the notorious City Watch House.


The Watch House

Tour the Watch House as part of your Gaol visit. The Watch House Experience is a 40 minute interactive experience like no other. With a Charge Sergeant as guide, visitors are ‘arrested’ and encounter what it is like to be locked up.


Venue Hire

The Gaol can be transformed into an unexpected and unique setting for corporate events, weddings and private functions.


Call for Participation

The National Trust is currently undertaking an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage survey of The Old Melbourne Gaol and City Watch House so that we can better tell the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


VR headsets for Mobility Impaired Visitors

Visitors who have difficulty navigating the stairs and narrow entrances of the Gaol can use a Virtual Reality Headset on request. These are provided courtesy of the State Trustees Australia Foundation.

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