The Ned Kelly Experience: Hang out with Australia's most famous con at Old Melbourne Gaol

Wed, May 12, 2010

. Posted by: Sophie

From the beautiful beaches of St. Kilda to wine tasting tours in Mornington Ride, there is no shortage of things to do in Melbourne.

However, if you fancy trying something a little bit different during your stay, head to the Old Melbourne Gaol for your chance to come face-to-face with Ned Kelly- Australia’s most notorious fugitive!

Background

Hallway of Old Melbourne Gaol Melbourne 300x224 The Ned Kelly Experience: Hang out with Australia's most famous con at Old Melbourne GaolKelly was Australia’s most wanted man in the 1870s, robbing banks, rustling cattle throughout much of Victoria and New South Wales and killing anyone that tried to cross him along the way.

Eventually Kelly was captured in the infamous shootout of Glenrowan after more than 2 years on the run.

After his capture, Kelly was imprisoned in the Old Melbourne Gaol and it was here that he stood trial for the murder of a Victorian policeman and spent his final days before being hung in 1880.

Old Melbourne Gaol

Ned Kelly Death mask in Old Melbourne Gaol Melbourne 225x300 The Ned Kelly Experience: Hang out with Australia's most famous con at Old Melbourne GaolAt the Old Melbourne Gaol you can re-trace Kelly’s final steps from the cell in which he spent his final days to the dock in which he stood trial- you even see the gallows in which he was hung.

If this wasn’t eerie enough, the corridors are also lined with the heads of some of those that met their end at the hands of the hangman’s noose prior to the closure of the prison!

There are also has plenty of artifacts and displays along the way to keep your interest levels up including Kelly’s famous revolver and death mask.

Ned Kelly Trail

If the Old Melbourne Gaol & Justice Experience wets your appetite for Ned Kelly you might want to give the Ned Kelly trail a go.

Glenrowan Town the site where Ned Kelly was finally captured 300x225 The Ned Kelly Experience: Hang out with Australia's most famous con at Old Melbourne GaolThe tour takes in all of Kelly’s old hangouts throughout Victoria from his family home in Beveridge (a 69 km scenic drive north along the Hume freeway) to Powers Lookout- the place where Kelly and his mentor, Harry Power, famously hid himself away from the police.

You’ll need a car to get around but it’s a great way to explore the beautiful Australian landscape in which the country’s most famous outlaw operated in more than 125 years ago.

Check out thekellytrail.com for more details on the tour and suggested routes.

Other sites of interest include the State Library of Victoria in x which contains Kelly’s infamous body armour and the archeological remains of the Glenrowan Inn in Glenrowan where Kelly was finally caught.

Kelly’s Legacy

Ned Kellys armour 225x300 The Ned Kelly Experience: Hang out with Australia's most famous con at Old Melbourne GaolIt is a little known fact that prior to Kelly’s execution the Victoria state police received a petition with more than 30,000 signatures pleading for the outlaw’s life to be spared.

In the years since he’s attracted something of a cult following and is often portrayed as a loveable rogue and Robin Hood like figure.

Interest in Kelly has seen him be the subject of two Hollywood blockbusters and Johnny Cash’s song of the same name. A recent painting of everyone’s most loved villain sold auction sold for $4.8 million- the highest amount ever paid for a piece of Australian art work!

Don’t miss out on one of Australia’s most famous icons- book your Melbourne hostel now and get yourself prepared for a brush with the law!

In the meantime, here’s a clip of the 2003 version of Ned Kelly starring Heath Ledger (R.I.P.) to help get you in the mood….

Like this? Read our top 10 things to do in Melbourne, a guide to Melbourne’s seaside suburb: St Kilda and Australia’s Great Ocean Road.

Thanks to paddynapper, andrewcparnell, mrpbps & pds for the flickr images.

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