Fannie Bay Gaol
Fannie Bay Gaol
4
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
About
Fannie Bay Gaol was opened in 1883 and was once Darwin's main prison for almost 100 years. Now an important historical site and also a popular tourist attraction.
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  • GriffnLeanne
    Morrinsville, New Zealand96 contributions
    Take your air phones & download audio tour
    This is a free attraction where you can pay a donation. You are greeted and given instructions to download the audio tour which brought the Gaol to life for a visitor. I think we spent about 1 - 1 1/2 hours there in the end listening to the audio tour, history and personal stories. Take your air phones!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 19, 2023
  • Annette P
    Melbourne, Australia180 contributions
    Audio Tour is a must
    Download the Audio Tours Darwin (Museum and Art Gallery N.T) make sure you take your headphones. The museum is a donation ($5.00) it has toilets and a drinking fountain. There are 14 stories that take you into every area of the Gaol and give you such an insight into the inmates and staff that worked there from its opening to closing, the world wars and cyclone Tracy. Allow yourself at least 2 hours. Well worth a visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 22, 2023
  • GoPlaces65513432831
    Melbourne, Australia2 contributions
    Definitely do the audio tour for an insight into life at the jail
    Loved the free audio tour and the insight which it provided to daily life in Fanny Bay jail. Definitely an enhanced experience over just reading the printed guide and wondering around. The lady at the entrance has a genuine love of the jail and it’s history. Her enthusiasm was infectious which added to the experience.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 9, 2023
  • Lotte K
    2 contributions
    Impressive visit
    What an impressive visit me and my friend had. The stories that are being told in the audio tour were so interesting. The lady at reception was so kind and helpful. She showed us around and gave us some interesting facts on top of the tour. A must visit if you go to Darwin. You can really imagine how it must have been in that time!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 31, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
379 reviews
Excellent
105
Very good
178
Average
81
Poor
11
Terrible
4

Lorraine L
Tarwin Lower, Australia3,012 contributions
Jul 2021
I was interested to see the gaol but as an atrraction I think it is lacking. You can visit the buildings and there is information on the walls but all the cells are empty as is the infirmary and other units. We have visited many gaols in our time so I think we expect a bit of dramatics in the presentation. The yards are well maintained and I believe they are now open 7 days a week.
Written July 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bel T
Broome, Australia418 contributions
Jan 2020
The gaol was quite an interesting place to visit. It was free, or you could provide a donation. The lady at the entrance was really nice and helpful and told us the best way to walk around the place. A bit to read, you can go through all the old cells they even have gallows where prisoners were hung! There were a few plovers there when we visited (which we were warned about) so watch your head!
Written January 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nattles
Melbourne, Australia132 contributions
May 2021 • Family
Came her with hubby and 7 year old daughter, hubby wasn’t really interested, I was. Very found it to be a good insight to what life would have been like as a prisoner during those times. Plenty of signboards with information and stories available to read, would highly recommend a visit
Written June 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GriffnLeanne
Morrinsville, New Zealand96 contributions
Jun 2023 • Couples
This is a free attraction where you can pay a donation. You are greeted and given instructions to download the audio tour which brought the Gaol to life for a visitor. I think we spent about 1 - 1 1/2 hours there in the end listening to the audio tour, history and personal stories. Take your air phones!
Written June 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KB
Gold Coast, Australia152 contributions
Jan 2021
Visited Fannie Bay Gaol on a whim on our last day in Darwin as we had a few hours to kill while waiting for a flight. This was a surprisingly good place to visit. The Gaol site is much bigger than what I thought, and the Guide on site (Norm) was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. We had a good chat to him about the history of the Gaol and some of its stories. Highly recommend visiting.
Written January 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LisaD
Coppabella, Australia795 contributions
Aug 2022
I had read the reviews before going so knew there wasn't going to be much (if anything) there.
Like many other people I've been to many old goals in Australia and sadly this is the worst (for lack of a better word). Not for the fact it's been damaged by a Cyclone but the fact it has little to nothing in it. 2 of the buildings are great, very informative and have props.

It would be nice to see a cell block done up with the hammocks they talk about and some mannequins/dummies. One on a hammock, one locked in the cell, that kind of thing, make the place come alive a bit. And same with the dining hall & solitary.

The prisoners Graffiti/art which was on the walls is now just visible in photos taken, instead of being able to see the real deal (like Boggo Rd in Brisbane ). it's unfortunately gone. I didn't read the info about the graffiti so perhaps it was damaged by the cyclone, but even if they put fake stuff on to give it a real feel would be good.

If it's not affordable, may I suggest:-
Have a local school make them, this way they are learning about the goal in the process and contributing.
Or an aged care facility who might have access to sewing things who can do up the costumes. Even perhaps help set up their contributions at the goal.
Anything would be better than nothing.
The Infirmary was my favourite building., due to the information and the props.

I had this on my list of things to do in Darwin before flying out, so I did take my time. But you could easily do it in 45 minutes or under and that includes reading everything.'
The lady at the front counter was very nice and there are toilets at the goal.
Be sure to grab a map at the front on your way in.
Good way to fill time if you need to.
Written August 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mitchell-Family-01
Australia1,388 contributions
May 2022
My family and I visited Fannie Bay Gaol after friends recommended it to us. This was Darwin's first gaol and has a lot of history attached to it. The best thing is that it is free!
Well worth a visit!
Written May 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lotte K
2 contributions
Aug 2023 • Friends
What an impressive visit me and my friend had. The stories that are being told in the audio tour were so interesting. The lady at reception was so kind and helpful. She showed us around and gave us some interesting facts on top of the tour. A must visit if you go to Darwin. You can really imagine how it must have been in that time!
Written August 31, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GoPlaces65513432831
Melbourne, Australia2 contributions
Jul 2023 • Couples
Loved the free audio tour and the insight which it provided to daily life in Fanny Bay jail. Definitely an enhanced experience over just reading the printed guide and wondering around. The lady at the entrance has a genuine love of the jail and it’s history. Her enthusiasm was infectious which added to the experience.
Written August 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kazandmillieb
Wollongong, Australia121 contributions
Mar 2021
Took my two small children here for a look. The girl at the front was friendly and asked my daughter to look out for the name of the cat that used to live in the gaol. Was very hot on the day we went, but was an ok tour anyway.
Written March 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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