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“Very Interesting” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Napier Prison Tours

Napier Prison Tours
55 Coote Road, Napier 4143, New Zealand
+64 6-835 9933
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Ranked #23 of 36 Activities in Napier
Type: Museums, Sightseeing Tours
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Attraction details
Owner description: 3 different types of self guided tours available from 9am - 5pm daily while visiting the oldest prison in NZ. Choose from the historic tour, the ghost tour or the children's tour. 16 languages of historic tour available too! Visit the hanging yard with gallows, take a mug shot, stand in the stocks, while listening to stories of victims, villains and heroes. Walk the corridors which survived the devastating 1931 Napier Earthquake and see the effects it had on the interior of the prison. Visit solitary confinement, the graveyard and hear why those who were hanged here were buried standing up. The home of former prisoners like Mr. Big, The Eye-Eater, and others this is a visit you will remember! We were the season finale of Ghost Hunters International 2011/12 programme on the SYFI Channel. Film location of multiple TV programmes like Redemption Hill a 10 part Brat Camp.
Shardlow, null, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Very Interesting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We got the information and directions from the local tourist centre. Like other reviewers we were not aware that it was up a very steep hill, some people may find this somewhat difficult if deciding to walk. We did it on a very hot day and by the time we got there it was a toss up whether we wanted Napier Prison or Napier Hospital. But the lovely girl behind the counter took pity on us and supplied us with 2 ice cold mugs of water bless her, which revived us nicely.

As for the tour itself, we did the historical option and thoroughly enjoyed it. The audio presentation was very good and it was quite fascinating to see some of the damage done in the 1931 earthquake. It seems somewhat run down now and I am sure much more could be made of it, but at the end of the day we enjoyed it so we were happy.

Visited February 2013
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82 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“NZ prison history comes a knocking”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

I visited the prison with my partner and teenage daughter, from a kiwi perspective I found it a fascinating tour learning about our early penal system.Yes the place is run down, but that is part of the tour, this is the way it was when the prisoners were living there! So be aware even the toilets are what the prisoners used!
I enjoyed the audio tour as it allowed me to go at my own pace.

Only tip I would give is if there is a group of you only pay for one audio the volume is loud enough for you to all hear, would have saved a few dollars.

Visited January 2013
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Sydney, Australia
1 review
“Exhausting Tour”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Asking at the tourist center, where the prison was; she marked it on a map and said it was an easy 10min walk. Have I news for her. Yes it was fairly easy walk to the end of the street, but turning into the road where the prison was, presented a bit of a problem, as it is a fairly steep climb to the prison, in fact it was almost percindicular up a mountain side. Inquiring at the prison I was informed No public transport is available to & from the Prison!!!! I think that is something that need rectifying.
Apart from that I enjoyed the tour

Visited January 2013
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Buckingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Go if you dare ;)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We visited the prison today and found it well worth the time and money!
It is a excellent part of history of Napier, especially the scary stories which are told about the ghosts which roam the place... this really freaked me out when walking around ekkk!!!
I was surprised to find that many of the staff members live in the cells, I don't think I could brave being woken up by strange noises!
Recommend this historical place to everyone, the staff are so welcoming and friendly too!

Can't wait to visit again in winter to do the night tour!!!

Visited January 2013
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Tully, Australia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Considering that the prison is an icon of the disrtict more money could have been put into trying to save the prison, refurbish/restore the site instead of letting it fall apart, I found that the lighting is very poor, very dark in some areas of the prison, a little confused though didn't really know who the staff was, there was rooms there being accomodated by what I presumed where backpackers or was this staff? there was no one to give a tour rather than be handed a self tour hand held audio hand piece. Price is to answered for ($20 pp) one should think that the money would go into fixing the place up though I can't help but think where does the money go. There is NO Wheelchair access therfore if your in a wheelchair forget the visit, Parking is shocking, the turn off into the entrance is shocking also, signage is very poor not very well advertised for the tourist.

Visited January 2013
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