Adelaide Gaol | Step Back in Time


A Visit to Adelaide Gaol

The Adelaide Gaol is one of the oldest remaining colonial public buildings in Adelaide and is the site of some of the State’s more interesting past. Open for business from 1841 to 1988, the Gaol was one of Australia’s longest continuously operational prison facilities.

Over those gruelling 147 years, the Gaol housed some of the state’s most notorious and dangerous criminals. Today, visitors can explore the grounds and get a unique glimpse of nearly 150 years of South Australian prison life.


Drop in to the interactive exhibition and touch the artefacts that were once used during the Gaol’s operational life. Try on handcuffs and leg irons and get a feel for what it was like to wear them. Have a go at unpicking the locks and discover just how hard it was for prisoners to escape!


You can also check out the archaeological dig by the South Australian Museum in the grounds of the gaol. The dig revealed that the Gaol site was once a temporary site for the earliest white settlement of Adelaide. The dig uncovered finds reflecting the changing nature of prisoners’ activities at the Gaol, their personal life and hidden secrets.


Self-guided Tours

Find your own way around the Adelaide Gaol to discover the hidden stories of South Australia’s criminal past!  From early prison life to the Gaol’s closure in the late 1980s, there were many remarkable characters who once populated this intriguing place.  Self-guided day tours are available Sunday to Friday between 10am and 5pm (last entry at 3pm).  




Access to Adelaide Gaol is from Gaol Road, via Port Road. Bus stop 1 on Port Road is a short walk from the Gaol. Nearby tram stops are located on the corner of West Terrace and North Terrace or adjacent to George Street, Thebarton.

Please note there is no right turn into Gaol Road from the city. For ease of access from the city take Sir Donald Bradman Drive and turn right onto James Congdon Drive, right onto Port Road and left into Gaol Road by the Thebarton Police Barracks. Free parking is available for cars and coaches.

things to do in Adelaide for families

For more information and all enquiries please visit the Adelaide Gaol website

What  Adelaide Gaol

When:    10am – 4pm (7 days a week – last entry for admission: 3pm) Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day

Where 18 Gaol Road, Thebarton

Who All Ages

Image Source: supplied


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