These blue stones have seen it all: built in 1864, the Old Melbourne Gaol was the scene of 135 hangings, the most famous being of bushranger Ned Kelly in 1880. It’s one of Melbourne’s oldest surviving buildings, and was Victoria’s first gaol.

With many a tale of murder and misdeed, a tour of the Gaol is a must on any visit to Melbourne, including the candlelit night tour with spooky feelings thrown in. There are plenty of death masks on display, and you’re given a vivid understanding of the horrible conditions in which prisoners were kept.


“A brilliant tour due to its remarkable guides. They paint a picture so clear, I still get chills just thinking about that place.”
– Catriona Rowntree


Did you know?

Thieves stole the skull of Ned Kelly in 1978. It has not yet been returned to the Gaol.

How to get there

Qantas and Virgin Blue offer frequent daily flights to Melbourne from most major cities in Australia.

Old Melbourne Gaol is situated on Russell Street, between Victoria & Latrobe Streets.

Catch a train to Museum Station or the City Circle tram.

Best time to go


Further information

Useful websites:
Detailed info on Old Melbourne Gaol

× Newsletter logo

For more of the best in travel sign up to our newsletter!
Website for public transport in metropolitan Melbourne
Website of the City of Melbourne

** This is our original 100 Things to Do Before You Die. First published in 1996. There is an updated 100 Things To Do In Australia Before you die, published in 2011.
Enjoy this article?

You can find it in Issue 8 along with
loads of other great stories and tips.