J Ward Museum Complex, Ararat

4.8
#1 of 13 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. Put J Ward Museum Complex at the forefront of your travel plans using our Ararat online trip builder .
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J Ward Museum Complex Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
166 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • What a great tour. Very informative. The history had me hooked from the very beginning. Our guide was very well informed and able to answer all questions. Well Worth visiting. Just allow a bit of time...  more »
  • LOVED the J ward tour, probably more so than the lunatic asylum. The gentleman that took our tour was so informative and a really lovely guy  more »
  • It was a really well run tour with a very friendly and informative guide! A very well worth stop over on your way through but allow plenty of time! I got the $25 for the JWard tour and also the day to...  more »
Google
  • Very interesting tour with lot's of information by the guide on this historical prison for the criminally insane. It was quite eerie down in the kitchen area and adjoining room. The ghost tour would not be for the faint hearted.
  • Can’t say enough about the volunteers that run the tours at jward and Aradale, they have gone out of their way to help 15 people left high and dry and out of pocket by another company. At a moments notice they organised a tour of Aradale asylum for us and gave up 2 hours of their time so we could experience Aradale and not have to go home disappointed. Was absolutely wonderful experience and very informative. Would highly recommend that you only book tours with the local tour guides as they are the ones that care about the tourists and community.
  • So much information!!! Amazing place. Tour guides are fantastic.
  • The tour here was awesome and staff where super friendly.
  • The old Ararat county prison, and also the institute for the criminally insane. Has been refurbished and offers regular tours.

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