We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

J Ward Museum Complex

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Girdlestone Street, Ararat, Victoria 3377, Australia
Phone Number: (03) 5352 3357
Improve this listing

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 85 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 60
  • 20
    Very good
  • 1
  • 4
  • 0
A Brilliant Tour!

The Friends of J Ward helped my group of 6 after another local tour company cancelled our pre-booked tour on the day with no notice. We were so lucky to be able to do the J Ward... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 weeks ago
Gus T
Add Photo Write a Review

85 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Rate and write a review
Roll over, then click to rate
  Click to rate
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The Friends of J Ward helped my group of 6 after another local tour company cancelled our pre-booked tour on the day with no notice. We were so lucky to be able to do the J Ward tour instead, it was simply brilliant, one I would do again in a heartbeat. Our guide Doug was knowledgable, enthusiastic and made the... More 

Thank Gus T
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2015

This is a really interesting tour. It takes about One and a half hours and then you are welcome to wander through again by yourself which would give more time to read plaques etc that have lots of information. Our tour guide John was fantastic. He was very knowledgeable entertaining, had a real passion for the place with some very... More 

1 Thank Col133
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2015

Excellent and would have liked to been able to spend more time here. So much locally to see and do. Tour of J Ward is a must.

Thank Heather W
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2015

The whole lot. Great history. Great guides. Excellent items of great interest inside the Museum. Enjoyed a lovely lunch, then a great tour. Can't help feeling sorry for those poor inmates.

Thank MikeandJennyP
Murray Bridge, South Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2015

Our tour guide was John, who was well informed and funny. The tour was very interesting too and moved at a good pace. Definitely recommended.

Thank Shane R
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2015

I enjoyed this very much.. awesome history and our tour guide was amazing.. had so much information..!! Was pretty cool to walk through all the old cells etc.. I recommend this to anyone going to Ararat..

Thank lauz1313
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
63 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2015

Having vaguely heard of J Ward but having absolutely no idea what it was about, it came of something as a shock to realise that it was operating as a prison for the criminally insane up until the 1990s. Yes 1990s. Starting life as a goal (necessary because of the gold rush) once the gold rush ended 25 years later,... More 

2 Thank JulieJohnIzzy
Level Contributor
66 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2015

We were the only 2 people on an 11am tour on a very cold and freezing morning. John our guide was friendly and very informative. Take warm clothes at it is a cold place to wander around. We were disappointed we couldn't continue with a tour at the old hospital. This has tours only on Wednesdays and Sundays. Neither suitable... More 

2 Thank PicklesTasmania
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
176 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2015

It's an interesting place with a unique story - a former prison for the criminally insane. The buildings are old and and the walls are thick - it definitely felt like a prison. I found the written material on the boards fascinating. On the other hand, I found our guide (a former guard in the prison) far too jolly and... More 

Thank Stourton1582
Mildura, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2015

Loved our tour guide. He was a little, quietly spoken chap who had worked in the J Ward for years. He had known alot of the patients and the reasons they were there. It has a sad and disturbing history but we are better for knowing it. The place is run by volunteers and they have done an amazing job.... More 

Thank Barb E

Travelers who viewed J Ward Museum Complex also viewed


Been to J Ward Museum Complex? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from J Ward Museum Complex staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?