The infamous Melbourne Gaol housed and executed some of Australia's most famous criminals until it was decommissioned in 1929. Left virtually unchanged since the 19th century, the Gaol is now a popular tourist attraction and museum. Some 133 criminals were hung here, including Ned Kelly, whose death mask was mysteriously stolen in the 1970s.
The museum tour enables visitors to explore the original buildings and cells, many of which have been filled with information about the prisoners and their execution. Ghost tours are conducted most evenings and paranormal enthusiasts have continually claimed that this gaol is haunted.
This was once the tallest building in the city of Melbourne, although it now hides amongst an ever-rising skyline. It's located on Russell Street, close to the State Library of Victoria and the Melbourne Campus of RMIT University. The free City Circle tram stops outside the Gaol, or it's a two-minute walk from Melbourne Central train station.
The Gaol was originally the site where members of the Aboriginal Koori tribe were executed as part of the Frontier Wars. Up until 1929 it was the execution site for criminals in the state of Victoria; the history of the hangings have been preserved in the form of the death masks that were worn by the prisoners.