Unshackled - Hobart Penitentiary - Guided Tours

AUD $35.00
  • Duration: 90 Minutes
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania

Unshackled – Hobart Penitentiary offers four experiences for one ticket price:

* Convict Memorial: a digital history experience allowing visitors to trace the lives of each of the 75,000 convicts transported to Tasmania 1803-1853

* Pandemonium: a dynamic widescreen presentation of Tasmania’s convict years 1803 – 1853, shown in the prison chapel

* Rogues’ Gallery: a series of portraits of colourful convict characters

* Site tour: a guided tour of one of Australia’s richest convict sites, wrought by convict labour for convicts, moving through courtrooms, subterranean tunnels, cells, the gallows and the prison exercise yard.

The Hobart Penitentiary began in 1821 as the Hobart Prison Barracks, built as accommodation for convicts employed in Government public works. In 1834 the surviving Penitentiary Chapel was completed.

75,000 convicts were transported to Van Diemen’s Land between 1803 and 1853. Of these 62,500 were male convicts. After 1821 all male convicts were processed here before being given labour assignments across the island.

In 1857, 1860 convicts still under sentence were employed in converting two wings of the former Penitentiary Chapel as courtrooms. One wing remained as the prison chapel for the Penitentiary, then known as the Hobart Gaol. The Hobart Town gallows were relocated to the site with thirty-two people executed at the site 1857 – 1946. Some 300 to 400 men had been executed at the gallows on their original site in central Hobart. The Gaol was demolished in 1963 while the courts remained at the site until 1983.

Bookings are strongly recommended as group sizes are kept to a minimum.


Wednesday to Sunday

Morning: 10:00am  |  11:30am  

Afternoon: 1:00pm  |   2:30pm


We may open some additional Mondays or Tuesdays where cruise ships are visiting Hobart - Please see the booking calendar for availability