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J Ward Museum Complex, Ararat

4.7
#1 of 16 in Things to do in Ararat
Specialty Museum · Museum
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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
265 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The tour was raw but good, would recommend everyone be exposed to this piece of confronting history. I thought the tour guide was good but not great, I felt it was clear he had never had anything to.....  more
    The tour was raw but good, would recommend everyone be exposed to this piece of confronting history. I thought the tour guide was good but not great, I felt it was clear he had never had anything to.....  more »
  • We had done a lot of research before we came and still found our guide, Peter, very informed. There was a full accounting of the full history of its use as a gaol, mental institution, and as a place.....  more
    We had done a lot of research before we came and still found our guide, Peter, very informed. There was a full accounting of the full history of its use as a gaol, mental institution, and as a place.....  more »
Google
  • Peter was our tour guide and he was great. Telling us historic facts and interesting stories that have happened at this place over the years. Our tour had quite a few people in it, and am glad we were able to get on it, it would have been better, I feel, with less people. I would like to have more time to read all the stories of the inmates. Otherwise, it was certainly a good way to spend a couple of hours in Ararat.
  • We enjoyed our visit, loved learning and hearing about its history. Highly recommend a visit! We did however find ourselves torn between listening to the tour guides awesome stories or reading all the other stories (or get left behind :)). Would come back, maybe a self-guided tour would also be a nice alternative to pace ourselves?

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