Hobart Convict Penitentiary

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 of worship 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, from 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.

Visitors are able to view the site by guided tour only, which includes a screening of the Pandemonium film experience, located in the chapel itself.
Tours last approximately 90 minutes. For bookings and tour times – please see below:

The Penitentiary is also available for private bookings, school tours and conference cocktails – please 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:

  • 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.

Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site tour (Including ‘Pandemonium’ 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 Wednesday to Sunday, with tours at 10am, 11:30, 1pm and 2:30.

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!


Paranormal Investigations – Convict Penitentiary

Keep an eye out for some special opportunities. Join us on a 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.

If you are interested please contact us at oldhobartgaoltours@gmail.com


Hobart Convict Penitentiary


6 Brisbane St / Cnr Brisbane & Campbell
Hobart 7000 TAS


Wednesday to Sunday from 10am – 3pm.
Tour Times - 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm.
Bookings are preferred (see link below).


Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day & Good Friday

For general enquiries (03) 6231 0911
Entry Fees:

$25 adults | $20 concession | $15 children | $65 family (2 adults, 2 children) + extra children $5 each | $10 National Trust Members
For Ghost Tours and Paranormal Investigation fees and info please visit our booking page (link below)

What we offer:

"Fantastic guides with loads of historical information. You cannot imagine what lies within this building."

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Tour Info & Bookings

Ghost Tours, and the world-class multi-sensory film experience guided tour 'Pandemonium'!

Find Out More & Book Now

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Schools Program

Exclusive one hour guided tours are available for students from Grade 3 - 12 through the courtrooms, tunnels, chapel, cells and gallows (optional).

Find out more

Venue Hire

“Whitelion’s signature event the Bail Out has been held at the Tench for three years running. The Tench is a venue with a difference and comes highly recommended, with outstanding staff and volunteers assisting with all our needs. If you are looking for a unique venue, the Tench is the place to be!”

Barb Walters – Assistant State Manager, Whitelion

View 'Bail Out' in action at the Hobart Convict Penitentiary

Pandemonium - The Convict Film Experience

Immerse yourself in the chaos of convict life in Van Diemen’s Land through the world-class multisensory film experience ‘Pandemonium’, screened at the Hobart Convict Penitentiary.

Find out more and book!

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