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Escape from Pentridge Prison with its spine-tingling new tours

Some of the prison’s most closely guarded secrets are coming to life.

Do you dare venture down Pentridge Prison's dark corridors?

Fancy a look inside one of Melbourne’s deepest, darkest secrets where some of the state’s worst cases of humanity met their fate?

Pentridge Prison is now doing something it didn’t do for many since its opening in 1851 – open its doors.

In partnership with the National Trust of Victoria and experiential design company, Art Processors, the new Pentridge Prison Tours takes draws on immersive and interactive audio visual technology to bring first-hand accounts of what life was like within its walls to visitors from around the world.

It may even be Australia’s equivalent of San Francisco’s famous Alcatraz, albeit in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg.

Tickets to Pentridge Prison’s new tours go on sale on 23 February 2023 for tours beginning from 01 March.

Stories from the prison's dark past will be brought to life using technology.

On entry, visitors pass through the bluestone walls and into the Warder’s Residence before emerging into the prison’s airing yard, where multimedia presentations and hauntingly recreated audio will tell stories from the men who spent so many years of their lives locked within.

Guests can expect some uncomfortable truths to emerge during their visit, including harrowing stories of its treatment of Indigenous prisoners and tales from its early days around the time of the Eureka Stockade and the Gold Rush era through to its forced closure in 1997.

Incorporating visual installations and cinematic soundscapes, visitors will hear from former inmate, Uncle Jack Charles, with 90-minute tours available of both B Division and H Division, the latter recognised as the ‘dark heart’ of Pentridge.

Visitors will also be able to navigate the prison using their smartphones.

National Trust Victoria CEO, Simon Ambrose, said he cannot wait to open Pentridge Prison to the public to share stories of what went on within its walls.

“Art Processors have been fantastic and instrumental in bringing these powerful stories to life in their rawest, most truthful form,” Ambrose said.

“They have managed to intertwine evocative and emotional audio experience with moments of silence to highlight the gravitas and significance of each inmates’ personal narrative.

“The National Trust, Victoria believes that for too long, these stories have been shrouded in mystery and although the past is confronting, it is crucial that we do not forget the realities of those who were incarcerated, and we respectfully learn and share their truths.”


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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 24 January 2023

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