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During the height of the Goldrush, Castlemaine was a booming mining town with enough criminals in its midst to warrant its own gaol. First built in 1861 and active for 130 years, the Old Castlemaine Gaol has seen men, women and children pass through its imposing wooden gates and for 11 years was the site of 10 hangings.

Be led on a journey through the ages by joining one of gaols guided tours, or take a self-guided tour and discover the history of the imposing building by yourself. For those looking for something truly special, explore the hidden recesses of the gaol at night with monthly ghost tours.

The house of the former Governor of the gaol has been uniquely transformed into a cafe which provides a breathtaking view of the Castlemaine landscape and countryside beyond. With a large outdoor courtyard and cosy rooms inside, The Governor’s Cafe is the perfect place to enjoy a meal or to relax, and enjoy a drink from The Cell Bar.

If this is not enough to entice, the Gaol also hosts a series of live music ranging from blues and roots, to jazz to classical, both under the stars and behind the bars.

Content: Old Castlemaine Gaol

Price & booking


Type Entry cost
Self-guided tours $10.00 per person. Guided tours $15.00 to $20.00 per person. Kids under 15 free. Group tour discounts available.
$10.00 - $20.00

More info

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  • Café
  • Car park
Opening hours:
  • Daily: 9:00am - 4:00pm

  • Visitor Information Centre

  • Disabled access available, contact operator for details