Ararat Asylums

Adventure and Outdoors Tours

Take a guided evening ghost tour or paranormal investigation of Ararat’s premier tourist destination, J Ward Lunatic Asylum.

J Ward is the premier tourist venue in Ararat, visited by more than 10,000 people annually (greater than Ararat’s population).

Relive the past by taking a guided ghost tour conducted by Lantern Ghost Tours, an award winning evening ghost tour or an overnight paranormal investigation with an expert paranormal investigation team.

Facilities

History & Heritage

Services

From $24 to $36

Visit Australia’s home to the criminally insane, J Ward Lunatic Asylum. Explore the museum followed by a two hour ghost tour of the home of notorious criminals including Chopper Read, Gary Webb and William Wallace. Explore the governor’s bathroom, hangman’s gallows, original kitchen, showerblock, grave sites, West Wing, J Ward Block, exercise yards and grounds in search of the souls that still linger. Learn of governors whose spirits are still lurking, prisoners buried in the grounds and the many souls trapped within these walls.

Duration: two hours. Venue: mainly indoors. Terrain: moderate walking, some steps,

Paranormal Activity: very high.

Due to the nature of stories, children must be 12 years or older for the J Ward Tour.

Meet at J Ward, Girdlestone Street, Ararat – a two and a half hour drive from Melbourne.

Carpark Family Friendly Non Smoking Public Toilet

$149

Join Ararat Asylums on the ultimate overnight paranormal investigation. Visit Australia’s home to the criminally insane, J Ward Lunatic Asylum. Your night starts with a two hour ghost tour of the home of notorious criminals including Chopper Read, Gary Webb and William Wallace.

Enjoy a casual supper of pizza and soft drink in the original dining room and then follow expert paranormal investigation team as they explore the governor’s bathroom, hangman’s gallows, original kitchen, shower block, grave sites, West Wing, J Ward Block, exercise yards and grounds in search of the souls that still linger.

End the night sleeping in the original, un-renovated gaol cells.

Maximum group size 15 guests. Adults only.

Duration: starts 8:30pm and ends 8:00am. Venue: mainly indoors. Terrain: Moderate walking, some steps.

Paranormal Activity: Very High

Meet at J Ward, Girdlestone Street, Ararat – allow 2.5 hours drive from Melbourne.

Carpark Non Smoking Public Toilet

$20

Take a guided tour of the institution that housed Victoria’s mentally ill for over 140 years. Aradale Asylum was an Australian psychiatric hospital, located in Ararat, a rural city in Victoria, Australia.

Now a ghost ‘town’, Aradale was once known as the Ararat Lunatic Asylum. Aradale and its two sister asylums at Kew and Beechworth were commissioned to accommodate the growing number of ‘lunatics’ in the colony of Victoria. Construction began in 1860 and was opened for patients in 1865. It was closed as an asylum in 1998.

At its height, Aradale had up to 900 patients yearly and is a large complex with up to 70 interesting historic abandoned buildings.

Walk through the cavernous wards and halls of the institution that treated and housed the mentally ill of Victoria for over 140 years.

Venue: indoors and outdoors. Terrain: moderate walking, some steps.

Meet at Aradale Asylum, Heath Street Entrance, Ararat.

Carpark Family Friendly Non Smoking Public Toilet

$15

Take a guided tour explaining the early history of the goldfield times and later, the incarceration of the criminally insane. J Ward is the premier tourist venue in the Victorian town of Ararat, visited by more than 10,000 people annually (greater than Ararat’s population).

Relive its past by taking a guided tour conducted by the Friends of J Ward volunteers. These people are passionate about J Ward’s heritage. J Ward is not just dry history; volunteers tell its story of people who lived, who broke the law, who could not help themselves, who feared, who died.

A normal tour will take 60 to 90 minutes, however most guides will spend much longer than this with anybody who wants to hear more stories or who has questions to ask. It should be noted that the guides do not have access to records or have knowledge of former patients or medical procedures.

Due to limited availability of the volunteer staff admission may not be possible after the tour has started.

Meet at J Ward, Girdlestone Street, Ararat – 2.5 hours drive from Melbourne.

Carpark Family Friendly Non Smoking Public Toilet

From $24 to $34

​Enter the labyrinth of Australia’s only haunted Castle in a unique, after dark experience. Discover the ghost of a boy in the sweet shop whose skeleton was displayed in the torture chamber, the spirit of a forgotten actor and cursed stones transported from a medieval Spanish Castle.

Haunted headstones, children’s attractions that move of their own accord and medieval torture instruments make this a unique experience not to be missed.

Duration: 90 minutes. Venue: indoors and outdoors. Terrain: little walking, some steps. Paranormal Activity: high.

Departs from Kryal Castle 121 Forbes Road, Leigh Creek (Ballarat).

Carpark Family Friendly Non Smoking Public Toilet

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