J Ward Museum Complex, Ararat

#1 of 9 in Museums in Grampians
J Ward Museum Complex provides a historical glimpse at the Australian penal system. Starting in 1859 as a jail for miscreants of the local goldfields, J Ward started housing the criminally insane when the gold ran out less than three decades later. Today, you can tour the defunct prison and hear stories about its inmates from local volunteers. A visit provides a break on the Melbourne-Adelaide road, if you're passing between the two cities. J Ward Museum Complex is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our online itinerary creator, Ararat Edition.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
151 reviews
  • August 1, 2017
    Wow we loved this tour, so much history in this building. Fantastically preserved arranged and displayed by everyone involved. The volunteers done a wonderful job as they escorted us around with there...  more »
  • July 28, 2017
    We thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Our tour guide was a volunteer and was a wealth of knowledge about the history of the jail. The guide also gave us a bit of information about the lunatic asylum (it is...  more »
  • July 16, 2017
    David our tour guide was very knowledgable and at times amusing. Interesting tour of the history of this jail and then Lunatic Asylum for the Criminally Insane. Highly recommend this tour.  more »

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