Underground Tunnels. Chapel. Solitary Cells. Gallows.
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.
The Penitentiary is home to incredible stories of crime and punishment in Van Diemen’s Land, with 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.
The Penitentiary is also available for private bookings, school tours and conference cocktails, contact us for more information.
Terms and Conditions of Entry
When visiting a National Trust Tasmania property, from 15 December 2021, please read and follow the Terms & Conditions of Entry.
The major points being:
- Be fully vaccinated
- Have proof of your COVID 19 vaccination
- Wear a face mask indoors
- Practice social distancing
- Use safe hygiene practices
- Don’t visit if you are feeling unwell
- Prebook your visit wherever possible
We thank you for helping to keep properties open and the community safe.
Pandemonium – The Convict Film Experience
This guided tour provides daytime access through the court rooms and tunnels to the chapel, where you will be immersed in the chaos of Convict life in Van Dieman’s Land through the world-class multi-sensory film experience ‘Pandemonium’.
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 immersive experience is currently available Saturdays and Sundays, with tours hourly from 10am to 3pm. Book here
Paranormal Investigations – Convict Penitentiary
Keep an eye out for some special opportunities. Join us on a regular 3 hour Paranormal Investigation with a passionate team of investigators in one of the country’s most significant convict sites. Or, if a Paranormal Investigation isn’t enough, our special Paranormal Lockdown events are sure to satisfy even the most ardent ghost hunter. Bookings are essential and conditions apply. Book here
Hobart Convict Penitentiary Ghost Tour
Come and 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. Book here