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On our recent trip to NSW, a visit to the Old Dubbo Gaol with the kids was one of our top things to do in Dubbo! Tucked away on the main street behind more modern buildings, this historic site is worth adding to your Dubbo itinerary.
Visiting Old Dubbo Gaol With Kids
This well-preserved historic site was a hit with our kids. Some parts may be a bit confronting for kids, such as the darkness in the solitary confinement cells and the gallows. We let our kids guide us with what they were comfortable with – Zed and Kiki were fascinated with everything, however Roo does not like the dark! Our visit was an eye-opening look into Australian prison history for the older kids, including the conditions in the prison (no toilets, just a bucket in the corner!). Getting put into the stocks was a popular activity!
Old Dubbo Gaol History
This site operated for 119 years! Follow it’s journey from a courthouse lockup in 1847, to an official gaol from 1859, until it’s closure in 1966. Informative signs around the prison bring to life the history of inmates and the conditions they lived in during these years, including solitary confinement and a padded psychiatric cell. We loved reading about the escape attempts (including seeing the indents in a roof from where a prisoner landed while trying to escape!).
Walking past the hangman’s kit and the gallows where prisoners were executed is a rather eerie feeling. Eight men were hanged at the prison between 1877 to 1905.
Old Dubbo Gaol Guided Tours, Entry and Opening Hours
- Self-guided tours are available daily at all times, just follow the map you are given upon entry.
- Guided tours and Characters in Costume run on weekends and during NSW school holidays.
- Nights Tours operate during NSW school holidays.
- Sensory Friendly Sundays run from 8am to 9am every Sunday.
Address: 90 Macquarie St, Dubbo
Opening hours: 9:00am – 4:00pm, seven days a week (excluding Christmas Day)
Cost: $50 for a family of 5
Dubbo is located 5 hours inland from Sydney.
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