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“NZ prison history comes a knocking”

Napier Prison Tours
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Tongariro Self-Guided Audio Tour
Ranked #15 of 30 Tours in Napier
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Attraction details
Owner description: Listen to a 50 minute self-guided audio tour while inspecting the vacant prison cells and deserted exercise yard. You will learn the history of the oldest prison in New Zealand and experience what doing time was all about. Feel the oppressive atmosphere of the hanging garden, the solitary confinement and the death row cells. Hear the tales of the Australasia’s richest drug baron; escape attempts, the Eye eater, hangman’s gallows and much more. Audio guide tours allow you to take your time and read extra information along the way. Family entertainment is guaranteed with plenty of photo opportunities including mug shots and an opportunity to create life-long memories through our Souvenir Shop Napier Prison has also been featured on Ghost Hunters International where unexplainable activities were investigated. is also one totally haunted attraction. We invite you to experience your own Ghost Hunt learning from our paranormal experts how to use the ghost equipment, take great photographs and recognize paranormal activity. We provide our guests ample time to use our "Ghost Hunting" devices.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“NZ prison history comes a knocking”
4 of 5 bubbles 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
Thank nzgirl65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
“Exhausting Tour”
3 of 5 bubbles 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
Thank June P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buckingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Go if you dare ;)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 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
1 Thank redhotrockchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tully, Australia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Worth the penalty”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2013

We visited the prison as a family of five on a hot January day. The $50 for a family felt a bit much in the beginning but we very quickly got caught by the atmosphere of the place. It offers three types of audio tours (historical, ghostly, children) and between our family we heard all three of them. An interesting and eerie place that gives historical insights as well as a bit of a scare - if you believe in ghosts. In the end the majority of us was sure that we would NOT stay for a night. The prison could easily get an excellent if the visual documentation was a bit better - and always in sync with the audio tour.

Visited January 2013
Thank Axel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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