The Boggo Road Gaol is the perfect way to escape the 21st century and head back in time to explore Australia’s most notorious prisons. You can find it on Annerley Road in Dutton Park. It’s a must-see if you’re spending any amount of time in Brisbane.
The first cell block opened in 1883, with 57 cells in buildings constructed from the remains of another jail. An expansion in 1903 included a women’s cell building that still stands today. With well over a century of operation, tens of thousands of prisoners have served time in the notorious jail, many of whom were notorious themselves.
With 42 prisoners executed by hanging by 1913, many visitors talk of ghosts haunting the jail’s hallways. The 1980s were eventful for Boggo Road Gaol, with riots, protests, hunger strikes, and escapes dominating the headlines. Eventually, these events led to its closure in 1989.
Boggo Road Gaol Tours
Today the site is a fascinating place to tour and learn the history of the buildings, the prisoners, and the people who worked there. Every individual who passed through the red brick building had a fascinating, unique story.
You can learn first-hand what life was like inside the Boggo Road Gaol through a prisoner or officer tour! Because these real-life stories include strong concepts and mature content, these tours are recommended for people over age 15. The tour includes time to sit with a former prisoner or officer and ask questions about life inside the prison.
Other themed tours of the Boggo Road Gaol include:
- History tour. This is a general, guided exploration of the Boggo Road Gaol’s 119-year history, including the buildings, stories of the crimes, a rundown of officer duties, and more.
- Gallows exhibition. Before Queensland became the first state in the British Empire to end capital punishment, 32 men, one woman, and two teenagers were executed by hanging at the Boggo Road Gaol. This tour examines the stories of these people. You also get a glimpse of the feared Black Hole and remains of the Gallows that carried out these executions. Due to its content, this tour is definitely not recommended for children 10 and younger.
- Escapes tour. Follow the notorious route of “Slim” Halliday, the “Houdini of Boggo Road,” who escaped the previously impenetrable brick walls of the prison. This tour is appropriate for all ages.
- Ghost tour. Join Brisbane Ghost Tours to explore the haunted nature of this incredible historic site. These tours combine the art of storytelling with a visit to Boggo Road Gaol for a unique, exciting tour experience highlighting stories of former prisoners – who may still walk these halls!
The Boggo Road Gaol combines the intrigue of the historic site with the human stories of the people who lived and worked in this unique prison for a fascinating look into Australia’s past.
Remember to stop by the Jail Store for a unique souvenir of your exciting trip to Boggo Road Gaol!
Next, explore the beauty of the highest peak in Brisbane at Mount Coot-tha.