Solitary Cells. Underground Tunnels. Gallows. Chapel.
Uncover the hidden secrets of this internationally significant convict site – located right in the heart of Hobart CBD!
In the early 1830’s, a service in the chapel of the Van Diemen’s Land Prisoners’ Barracks Penitentiary was far from a serene and holy experience.
The building, in the shape of a cruciform, was designed by John Lee Archer to make additional space for the growing number of convicts arriving in the colony. The design included thirty-six solitary confinement cells beneath the chapel floor, which were later declared inhuman.
Hear the incredible stories of crime and punishment in Van Diemen’s Land as you are led through the courtrooms and underground tunnels, to the chapel, solitary cells, and still-working gallows of this fascinating historic convict site, which later became Hobart’s old Gaol and Supreme Court.
Over 40,000 convicts passed through this internationally-significant convict precinct, their stories are told through the various experiences available today.
The Hobart Convict Penitentiary is also home to ‘Pandemonium – The Convict Film Experience’.
Immerse yourself fully in the convict story during this incredible audio-visual film experience, book here!
Projected four metres tall onto the walls of the Penitentiary Chapel where the convicts actually sat, the film delivers an experience that drives right to the heart of Tasmania’s dark past, contextually connecting the convict sites around the state, and exploring the journey – from conviction, to transportation and beyond – of our convict ancestors.
This unique and memorable site is also available for private bookings, school tours and conference cocktails (see below for details).
New at the Hobart Convict Penitentiary
Hobart Convict Penitentiary Ghost Tour
Come tour the Hobart Convict Penitentiary after dark and hear the stories of those that experienced Heaven and Hell in the Chapel and the solitary cells beneath, those that were sentenced for their crimes in the court rooms, the lives that were ended at the Gallows, and the spirits that remain haunting every wall.
Hobart Gallows Walk
It’s not been long since Tasmania held it’s last hanging, but a lot has changed around the docks since the early days in the grimy, dangerous area of Wapping.
Now, for the first time, you have the chance to ‘take a walk in convict shoes’ from Wapping to the gallows.
Two of Hobart’s top-ten TripAdvisor rated tourism operators – The National Trust of Australia (Tasmania) and Hobart Walking Tours – have come together to offer this gritty new convict experience.