Virtually There 3D Resources

You can explore from your desk some of Victoria's most intriguing historic sites as if you were in a video game.

Take a virtual visit of our historic sites using new 3D technology.

This application lets you wander around our sites and see them just as though you could really walk around from room to room or place to place. We have scanned two very different properties and made them available for you to explore.


Visit the Polly Woodside Tall Ship – click here

Suitable for Yr 5 and above.

Students can explore all three levels of the Polly Woodside, a fine example of a merchant fleet sailing vessel from the late 19th Century.

The Polly Woodside was built in Ireland in Belfast’s shipyards in 1885 and was named after the owner’s wife Marian ‘Polly’ Woodside.

Polly Woodside  sailed on 17 journeys between 1885 and 1904, rounding the notorious Cape Horn – the ‘sailors’ graveyard’ 16 times. She also visited ports all around the world.

Renamed Rona in 1904 she sailed the Tasman and Pacific trade routes until 1922, before ending her working life as a coal hulk in the Port of Melbourne.


Visit the Old Melbourne Gaol – click here

Suitable for Yr 8 and above.

Age Warning: – The Old Melbourne Gaol is an original 19th Century prison and is an unsuitable environment for lower and mid primary levels to explore.

Explore the Old Melbourne Gaol across three levels and spend time inside a gaol cell. The Gaol has many stories told in the text panels on the walls about the many felons and convicts who spent time there including bushranger Ned Kelly.

When the Old Melbourne Gaol was built in the mid-1800s, it dominated the Melbourne skyline as a symbol of authority. Inside the Gaol, dangerous criminals were held alongside petty offenders, the homeless and the mentally ill.

Between 1842 and its closure in 1929 the gaol was the scene of 133 hangings including Australia’s most infamous citizen, the bushranger Ned Kelly. Today you can visit the Old Melbourne Gaol to find out was life was like for the men and women who lived and died here all those years ago.

Find out more about its history here.

Things to find while exploring the Polly Woodside

  1. Bedrooms on ships are called cabins. How many cabins can you find?
  2. Why does the Captain have his own special cabin?
  3. What special things does the Captain have in his cabin?
  4. How many masts are there on the ship?
  5. What is the deck made from?
  6. What are the sides of the ship made from?
  7. Make a list of all the different materials you can find aboard a ship.
  8. How did sailors climb up the masts?
  9. Why are there so many ropes?
  10. What safety equipment can you find aboard to help sailors if they fell over board?
  11. On the top deck near the anchors there is a tall green metal cylinder that appears to spin around called a capstan. What do you think this did?
  12. In front of the Ship’s Wheel is a brass binnacle. What do you think was inside the binnacle?

Explore the Old Melbourne Gaol - Activities

What do you see?

These are Death Masks. They are plaster casts of the heads of prisoners who were executed at the Gaol in the 19th Doctors and scientists made the casts of prisoners because they believed in the science of phrenology.

Phrenology was the study of bumps and shapes on the human skull which were thought to indicate personality and behavioral disorders. This so called science was shown to be completely false in the late 19th Century.

What other things do you notice about the 19th Century Gaol system and punishment system that we no longer believe are true or acceptable?

What things do you think are the same?


What are the walls made from in this cell?

Why do you think they are different from the stone walls?

What evidence does this provide regarding the mental state of some of the prisoners who may have been locked up here?

Read about Governor Castieau.

He raised his family in a fine residence inside the Gaol’s walls.

What do you think a childhood growing up in the Gaol would have been like if you were one of his children?

How would you feel about the Gaol if it were your family home?



What do these accounts tell us about the sorts of prisoners sentenced to spend time in gaol in the 19th Century?

What do these accounts tell us about the role of the gaol in managing welfare?


VAGRANCY—Emma Loyd, alias Love-

ridge, was charged with being an idle, drunken

and disorderly person. The amiable Emma, in

a state of dishabille not altogether elegant,

claimed the protection of the Bench, professing

to have been perfectly regular in her habits,

even to the extent of having paid a fine of five

shillings regularly for some weeks past. Ap-

pearances not being in her favor, she was sen-

tenced to a two months’ residence in the House

of Correction.


– The Argus, 13 January 1851



Jane Monteith, a hideous looking old

woman, was charged with threatening the

life of Mrs. Madden. The latter said in

the box that on Saturday the 14th the

prisoner who resides in the same house as

witness, began flourishing an axe in the

back yard, and came into Mrs. Madden’s

room and threw the fire out of the grate

on the floor. Witness then sent for Con-

stable Doyle and gave the prisoner in

charge. The Bench were addressed by

the prisoner in a rambling manner and

Inspector Brown, who was present in court,

said he thought she was mad and accord-

ingly the Bench remanded her to gaol for

medical treatment.


– North Melbourne Advertiser, 20 May 1887

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