J Ward is now open for fully vaccinated visitors. You will be required to present proof of vaccination upon entry. Online bookings are preferred as group sizes are limited.

Take a guided tour of J Ward, Ararat's Old Gaol and Lunatic Asylum. Hear stories of its time as a gaol with murderers and thieves and later as the home for Victoria's criminally insane.

J Ward is 2.5 hours from Melbourne, close to the Grampians and open daily for tours by passionate Friends of J Ward volunteers. More than 10,000 people visit each year.

Tours run at 10am and 1pm each day with  extra tours at 11am and 2pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Victorian public and school holidays (except Christmas Day).

“Such a beautiful old building with a haunting past.”

— JohnG3121, Melbourne, August 2016

“One of the best tours we have been on. It felt really creepy down in the kitchen and Richard's murder stories didn't help ally our fears.”

— JanandAnne, September 2016

“Sensational tour, run by highly knowledgeable and engaging volunteers. Where would we be without volunteers!”