Spend a little time inside, for a fee

Public tours will be held at the Dunedin Prison next month.
Public tours will be held at the Dunedin Prison next month.
Those seeking a stretch behind bars will soon be in luck.

From next month the doors to the 116-year-old Dunedin Prison will be opened to those wanting a tour of the historic property.

The Dunedin Charitable Trust bought the prison for $20,000 in June, after Ngai Tahu deferred its Treaty right to buy the surplus property.

Trustee Sarah Girvan said while dates were not yet finalised, small group tours to see the "bare bones prison" were likely to begin next month for a donation of $10 per person.

Photos by Stephen Jaquiery.
Photos by Stephen Jaquiery.
Donations would go towards the prison's conservation plan - expected to begin in November - and which would "identify our next step in terms of redevelopment".

The trust plans to raise $2.6 million to turn the courtyard into an outdoor dining area, set up a prison tour experience and convert the former warden office into office and venue hire space.

Miss Girvan said tour dates would be finalised later this month.

The Victorian-style courtyard prison was decommissioned in 2007 as it did not meet Department of Corrections security standards and was replaced by the Otago Corrections Facility at Milburn.

At the time of its closure, the prison accommodated about 59 medium-security prisoners and 40 remand prisoners.

- hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz


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