Trial Bay Gaol

Take a journey back in time…


Make time for a glimpse into Australian history, exploring the historic ruins of Trial Bay Gaol. You can step back in time and take a guided tour of Trial Bay Gaol, soaking up the history and the amazing coastal views that surround it.

The gaol opened in 1886, after 13 years of construction. It must have been a strange feeling building a prison in such a beautiful setting. The prison labourers were there to construct a breakwater to make Trial Bay a safe harbour between Sydney and Brisbane. Unfortunately, the scheme failed, however, you’ll still be able to see the remains of the breakwater from the guard tower lookout. During World War I the gaol became an internment camp for people of German descent who were feared to be enemy sympathisers.

Trial Bay Gaol is open from 9am to 4:30pm.

Prices for Entry:

Adult $11 | Concession $8 | Family $30

Check out the Trial Bay Goal Fact Sheet here for help in planning your day trip.


Sculpture in the Gaol: 2 – 10 July 2022


Sculpture in the Gaol transforms the heritage-listed Trial Bay Gaol at Arakoon, South West Rocks, every year into a stunning artistic landscape, with an array of sculptures displayed in the historic precinct.

The sculpture competition regularly attracts high calibre entries regionally and from around the country and celebrates with a gala opening day featuring live entertainment, demonstrations, displays, refreshments and of course the sculptures themselves.

For more information on this years event head to their Facebook Page or


Guided Tours Available


Explore Trial Bay Gaol by twilight with National Parks and Wildlife Services. Discover what life was like for prisoners and hear their stories as you watch the sun set in beautiful Arakoon National Park. Your guide will share some great stories about the villains and heroes who lived here, and the fate that met gaol escapees. You’ll climb the steep steps to the lookout tower and gaze over the bay and its wildlife at dusk. Delight in the gaol’s ruined colonial architecture set against the stunning natural backdrop at this golden hour.


Friday 4 March, 4 November and 2 December 2022, 6.30pm to 8pm.
Friday 1 April and 30 September 2022, 5.30pm to 7pm.
Tuesday 12 April, 19 April, Thursday 7 April, 14 April, 21 April, Friday 6 May, 3 June, 1 July, 5 August and 2 September 2022, 4.30pm to 6pm.

Price: Adult $20 per person. Child (4 to 16 years) $10 per person. Family $50 for 2 adults and 2 children.

Bookings are required. Phone 1300 072 757 for more information or book online here.

Banner Image: Image courtesy of Destination NSW

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