Pentridge Prison, National Trust

Family Day Out, Date Night or Staycation: Spend it at Pentridge

Pentridge Coburg, is a vibrant and one-of-a-kind urban village that breathes new life into its historic location. Once the site of Australia’s longest-running and harshest prison, the precinct now offers bespoke lively restaurants, bars, cafés and boutique fashion retailers you won’t find anywhere else.

To truly understand the history of this significant location, a Pentridge Prison Tour is a must. Led by National Trust Guides, these tours allow visitors to experience the complex history and untold stories of Australia’s most infamous prison. And with tours available for all ages, everyone is catered for.

With easy underground parking and direct public transport access, Pentridge is the perfect spot for a family day out, a date night with your special someone or a unique staycation

Family Day Out

Begin your day with a morning filled with intrigue on the Prison Break Explorers Tour. The tour is a fun and interactive dive into the secrets of Pentridge Prison great escapes, perfect for families seeking adventure. For those a little older, B-Division takes visitors through the changing face of the prison throughout its 160 years in operation. Please note that some paternal guidance is encouraged for B-Division tours.

After your tour, head across to BrewDog located in the former E-Division for a delightful lunch in their open-air courtyard. BrewDog’s menu caters for the whole family and is even pet-friendly! Or if you fancy a picnic, head to Richie’s IGA and pick up some goodies to enjoy in the sprawling grounds of Pentridge. There is plenty of outdoor seating in the precinct as well as a playground where the little ones can play safely.

The afternoon is a perfect time to sit back, relax and catch a movie at the state-of-the-art Palace Cinemas Pentridge. And before heading home, cap off the day with a sweet treat from Cielo Gelateria.

Date Night

In need of ideas for a date night with your special someone? Make Thursday’s date night for a unique experience at Pentridge and we promise it will be a night to remember.

Start with dinner at the award-winning North&Common, an elevated bistro-style restaurant known for its exceptional menu. Then continue the evening with a Pentridge Prison Night Tour. This tour takes you inside H-Division, known as ‘hell division’, to hear the chilling tales of former inmates and guards. Just $89 per person includes a two-course dinner and the tour.

If you’re not yet ready to go home after your tour, finish the night with a late night beverage at the sophisticated Olive Wine Bar which offers an outstanding wine list, signature cocktails and craft spirits.

Weekend Staycation

For an extra-ordinary overnight staycation, book a stay at the swanky Adina Apartment Hotel.  Deliberately designed to contrast and complement the 170-year-old heritage site-turned-modern-lifestyle-precinct, it is a hotel destination unlike any other.

Or for a unique experience, book into The Interlude – Urban Retreat for a stay in the most glamorous of prison cells as well as taking in its relaxation pool and reflection garden.

After check-in and a stroll to take in the precinct, head to Brew Dog or The Yard for a casual lunch. Both offer exceptional menus in a casual but vibrant atmosphere within the historic bluestone walls.

After lunch, spend the afternoon taking in the history of this infamous site on a Pentridge Prison Tour. Learn about the time spent inside by some of Australia’s most notorious criminals and hear of the lived experiences of thousands of people over several generations. The National Trust runs tours exploring H Division, known as ‘hell-division by its maximum security inmates, and B Division which uncovers the changing regime of punishment and incarceration over the course of the prison’s 160 years in operation.

For those looking for a darker experience, Night Tours operate from Thursday to Saturday, so you can spend the afternoon at Palace Cinemas and be ready to delve into the dark history of Pentridge after the sun goes down.

Vacation is thirsty work, so pre-drinks at Olivine Wine Bar are a must. Set within the prison’s former B Division, the impressive 100-seat wine bar sees former heritage cells reimagined into plush and moody intimate booths and a walk-in cellar door.

Drinks set the tone for a delightful dinner at North & Common. Recently ‘hatted’, the seasonal menu promises to hero local Victorian produce, with a thoughtful wine list to match.

Cap off the evening with a late-night flick at Palace Cinemas Pentridge, which boasts 15 ciniemas and luxurious reclining chairs and a fully licensed menu (yes, you can take your drink in!).

Wake up feeling refreshed the next morning and take a stroll through the precinct and down to the picturesque Coburg Lake Reserve. This once bluestone quarry worked by prisoners from Pentridge Prison now features walking and bike paths and nature play all set in a beautiful heritage setting overlooking Coburg Lake.

Head back to Pentridge for brunch at The Boot Factory – where well-behaved prisoners worked making shoes and boots for the prison guards. It’s now a family-owned cosy café, featuring sustainable produce from local suppliers and brews the best coffee in Coburg.

If time permits, explore another division with a final Pentridge Prison Tour to fully immerse yourself in the history of this most significant site.

Start planning your visit

From historic and immersive tours, to sophisticated wine bars and neighbourhood dining experiences there is no shortage of things on offer at Pentridge, Melbourne’s newest dining and entertainment precinct. Whether is a family day out, a date night or a staycation, make sure a visit to Pentridge and a Pentridge Prison Tour is on your itinerary.

Want to experience more of Victoria’s most significant and historical places? Become a National Trust member today and unlock year-round easy and affordable adventures for the whole family. A National Trust Membership grants you access to a world of history, culture, and natural beauty, along with exclusive benefits like free entry to National Trust properties, events, and publications.