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.

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


The Old Melbourne Gaol is temporarily closed

The Old Melbourne Gaol will be closed from 5pm on 8 July 2020 until restrictions have been lifted.

Cluedo Experience

The Old Melbourne Gaol Cluedo Experience is opening on Saturday 27 June, for a strictly limited time.

Step back in time to solve a mysterious murder, in this world-first event that brings the iconic board game Cluedo to life. The Old Melbourne Gaol Cluedo Experience is an immersive adventure puzzle game for all ages. Dodgy lawyer Lionel Grey was found dead at the Gaol in 1924, but authorities never cracked the case. Now it’s up to you! Was it Warder White, in Cell 13, with the lead pipe?

Search the Gaol’s darkest corners for clues, studying alibis of colourful crims, examining physical evidence, and scanning weapons for DNA. Using your smarts and the help of modern technology, can you discover WHO killed Grey, WHERE he was killed, and with WHAT weapon? The murder may be fictional, but the fun is very real!

The Cluedo detective booklet is an additional $5 to your general admission ticket.

Your ticket will gain you self-guided entry to the Old Melbourne Gaol and the City Watch House, as well as access to download the new audio guide app.

Health & Safety

In response to COVID-19, the National Trust have introduced the following protocols to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of visitors, staff and volunteers.

Conditions of Entry

  • We ask you stay at home if you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Must register your first name and phone number upon entry
  • Please use cards for a contactless transaction
  • Must maintain a distance of 1.5m from others and follow directional signage
  • Please use sanitiser and handwashing facilities
  • Be aware that capacity restrictions apply and we recommend pre-purchasing your tickets in advance
  • Download the COVIDSafe App if able to do so

Facilities will also be closely maintained and monitored, including the ongoing revision of hygiene protocols and the increased cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces.

Pre-purchase tickets

As capacity restrictions will apply, we suggest pre-purchasing your tickets online. To receive free admission to the gaol, plus access to hundreds of National Trust properties in Australia and abroad, learn more about the benefits and become a National Trust member via our website.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back, the Gaol is not the same without inmates in the cell blocks – even the resident ghosts are wondering where everyone went.

Planning your visit


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


Open daily 10am to 5pm


Christmas Day, Good Friday

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

$30 Adult
$25 Concession
$17 Child (5-15 years)
$70 Family (2 adults + 2 children)
$50 1 Adult Family (1 adult + 2 children)
$7 extra child on family tickets

National Trust members receive free general admission
The Cluedo detective booklet is an additional $5 per general admission ticket.

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

What we offer:

"Ah well, I suppose" - 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 tour is a self guided experience which allows visitors to explore the old Watch House.


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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