Find out about the Boggo Road Gaol’s (Jail) fascinating history on one of their tours. You can hear about the different characters who lived in the prison and how they spent their time there.
My tour departed at 11 am on the dot. It went for an hour and a half. This provided ample time to ask questions and take plenty of photos.
The Brisbane Gaol opened in 1883 and operated for just over one hundred years. It was originally built for women at a time when swearing was considered a criminal offence. You could be thrown in jail for stealing or soliciting (usually from Fortitude Valley).
As the jail was under capacity, they moved the women out and decided Boggo Road would be for men. In 1921, the men were brought in from St Helena Island and these were considered to be the worst offenders. Think murderers, armed robbers and sex offenders.
You can see the cell that Slim Holliday stayed in and hear about his cunning escapades. Some of the other infamous inmates were James Richard Finch and John Andrew Stuart, Ernest Austin, Florence MacDonald and Patrick Kenniff.
Unfortunately, conditions were harsh and almost 1,000 prisoners died.
In the 1980s, there was a lack of security staff and this led to a number of incidents. There were a series of escapes, hunger strikes and riots. The inmates held a roof-top protest during Expo 88 that attracted worldwide media attention. As a result of an independent audit, the jail was deemed to not meet human rights regulations and was shut down permanently.
Due to the historical nature of the venue, avoid touching surfaces and walls. You’ll see the original barbed wire is rusting and lots of peeling paint. Be warned that some of the graffiti is highly offensive, violent and racist.
Did you know the area had the nickname of Boggo due to the swampy land? Annerley Road used to be known to the locals as Boggo Road.
Boggo Road Gaol Tours
The venue provides guided tours, private tours, educational experiences and venue hire and events. The tours include history tour, escapes tour, prisoner tour, office tour and gallows exhibition. Their affiliate operator, Ghost Tours Australia run the popular Ghosts and Gallows tour in the evenings.
The venue is an easy walk from the Dutton Train Station and Bus Depot. You can pop into the nearby Café Eco before or afterwards for a coffee, or grab something to eat.
Boggo Road Gaol tours are an unforgettable experience and one to cross off your bucket list.
Tours are held 7 days a week. Books are essential.
About Boggo Road Gaol (Jail)
Few venues truly make an impact like Boggo Road; the towering cellblocks and imposing walls of the Gaol make a dramatic backdrop for any event. Close to Brisbane’s CBD, historic Number Two Division of Boggo Road Gaol is Queensland’s most unique function venue.
Book your tickets at the Boggo Road Gaol website: https://boggoroadgaol.com/
Address: Boggo Road Gaol, 21 Boggo Road, (Off Annerley Road) Dutton Park, 4102 Queensland, Australia