J Ward Museum Complex, Ararat

#1 of 16 in Things to do in Ararat
Must see · Specialty Museum · Museum
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
251 reviews
  • Loved every minute of our tour with Allan.. just wish we had a little more time to explore the museum. His knowledge is incredible. The gaol/ asylum is very well preserved. A real must do for...  more »
  • Treatment for inmates with violent tendencies has come a long way since J Ward opened in 1887. J Ward is spooky. J Ward closed in 1991 and it is now a Museum. It's well worth joining a tour of J...  more »
  • Very informative tour. The staff are lovely. The building is beautiful and well maintained. Really worth the visit. The gift shop items are also fairly priced.
  • After a brief trip to Ararat, we went to J Ward, to see what life was like in the 1800s, and share the people's stories with the group. Beautifully restored and cleaned just a amazing experience.

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