06 February 2013

Australian Heritage Prisons: A 'Value for Money' Comparison

The Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society wants to see the old prison run along not-for-profit lines, as currently practiced at such world-class attractions such as Old Melbourne Gaol, Fremantle Prison and Port Arthur. Boggo Road was reopened for an interim period in December 2012 under private management (small business) and I did a comparison of how high the current adult admission prices were compared to other southeast Queensland heritage sites. I thought I’d also take a look at how Boggo Road compares to other heritage gaols Australia-wide. The results are in the table below.

There are plenty of old prisons across the country, and some of the larger ones you can visit are listed below. This not only shows how much it costs to get inside them, but also how long you can stay and what there is to do and see.

AUSTRALIAN HERITAGE GAOLS – WHAT YOU PAY AND WHAT YOU GET

Price (adult)
What you get
How long?
Where the money goes
PORT ARTHUR
$32 (Bronze Pass)
Access to more than 30 historic buildings; guided walking tour; harbour cruise;  interactive Visitor Centre experiences, Museum and Convict Study Centre, Access to the Convict Water Supply Trail, the Dockyard and the Coal Mines Historic Site at Saltwater River
5 hours (valid for two days)

Running the site
(not-for-profit)
BOGGO ROAD GAOL
$25
Tour of part of one cellblock, no displays
2 hours
Personal profit
OLD MELBOURNE GAOL
$25
Gaol; historic Magistrate's Court; former Police City Watch House
Live performances of Ned Kelly Story, trial re-enactments, Watch House Experience
All day
Running the site
(not-for-profit)
FREMANTLE PRISON
$19
Guided tour, prison art gallery, prison museum, convict museum
All day
Running the site
(not-for-profit)
ADELAIDE GAOL
$18
Guided tour; museum; interactive displays
All day
Running the site
(not-for-profit)
MAITLAND GAOL
$17
Self-guided audio tours
All day
Running the site
(not-for-profit)
J WARD (ARARAT)
$16
Guided tours, displays
All day
Running the site
(not-for-profit)
OLD DUBBO GAOL
$15
Self-guided tour of whole site; museum,  animatronic models and holographic displays
All day
Running the site
(not-for-profit)
GEELONG GAOL
$10
Displays
All day
Running the site
(not-for-profit)
HOBART PENITENTIARY CHAPEL
$10
Guided tours, displays
All day
Running the site
(not-for-profit)
OLD WENTWORTH GAOL
$8
Guided tours, displays
All day
Running the site
(not-for-profit)


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