Opened in 1883, Fannie Bay Gaol has housed all manner of prisoners throughout history. Operating as Darwin’s principal gaol until 1979 and executing the Northern Territory's last hanging in 1952, the gaol presents a grim attraction but one that is vital to understanding the city’s past.
With nearly 100 years of history, the museum now showcases a bygone way of life and gives an insight into the Northern Territory’s judicial developments throughout the last century. Not for the light-hearted, a Fannie Bay Gaol tour presents a somewhat macabre but historically significant tourism experience.
Located just north of the city overlooking Darwin’s Fannie Bay, Her Majesty’s Gaol & Labour Prison (now Fannie Bay Gaol) can be found nestled amongst exclusive residential buildings. A far cry from the remote outpost and dreaded site of incarceration it once was, this relic of the past now gives visitors a realistic look at the harsh life of prisoners in the Top End from the late 19th century to 1979.
Walking through the gaol, visitors come face to face with the harsh and oppressive manner of prison life with access granted to the cells, infirmary and gallows. The walls are now filled with information panels that depict the penal, legal, medical and social history of Darwin and beyond.
You should allow an hour for a self-guided visit, and if you’ve got questions there’s Fannie Bay Gaol tours available.
Fannie Bay Gaol is only open from 10 am till 2 pm Wednesday to Sunday, however, if you’re travelling with a tour group, access outside of these hours is often granted. Take a look at our Darwin holiday packages and explore Fannie Bay Gaol tours.
Our team is always happy to help if you have any questions about us or our tours. Fill out our form and we will get back to you soon.