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J Ward Museum Complex

J Ward Museum Complex

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Due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout Australia and the resulting restrictions imposed by the Federal and State governments, J Ward Museum Complex has been temporarily closed until further notice. We will keep you up to date any developments and please stay safe.

The J Ward Museum Complex houses artefacts and information dedicated to informing visitors about the history of criminals who were imprisoned here.

In 1859, J Ward Prison was opened as a goldfields prison. When the gold boom subsided in 1880, the prison was transformed into a maximum security facility which housed Victoria’s criminally insane.

J Ward Museum Complex Tickets & Aradale Lunatic Asylum Ghost Tours, Ararat

In the years that followed, the prison took care of some of the most savage criminals in Victoria. The prison was shut down in 1991, and is today a museum that brings to life the dark history of its past.

At the J Ward Museum Complex, visitors get the chance to tour the original structures that housed the goldfield prisoners as well as see some of the preserved items from that era.

The best way to take a peek into history is to take a guided tour of the museum. Guided Tours of J Ward are conducted every day of the year except Christmas Day. The tours take approximately 1 to 1.5 hours and visitors are welcome to stay a little longer after the tour to ask the guides any questions they may have.

The guided tours of the J Ward Museum are run daily at the following times: 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm. Extra tours are slotted in at 12pm and 3pm on Sundays and during public and school holidays (except Christmas Day).

Visitors can also tour the Aradale Lunatic Asylum which is an institution which housed mentally ill prisoners for over 140 years. Take an after-dark tour through the cell blocks, administration, chapel, kitchen, infirmaries, surgery theatres and morgues. You will be led by a professional guide who will give you all the chilling details of this eerie asylum. Click the link below to book a tour of the Aradale Lunatic Asylum.

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J Ward Tour times
Daily: 10am, 11am, 1pm & 2pm

Aradale Asylum night tours available. Click the link below.

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What are the J Ward Museum Complex entry prices?
Adults: $15
Concession: $13
Children under 16: $5
Children under 5: Free

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