Convicts and Crime Brisbane Tour
Explore the history of Brisbane through the lens of crime and vice, from Captain Logan’s punishing treadmill to the corruption of the Fitzgerald Inquiry. Our team of historians and archaeologists will bring to life stories of floggings, murders, riots, and good old-fashioned depravity that simmer beneath Brisbane’s sleepy backwater image.
- Discover Brisbane’s dark underbelly and hear real-life tales of murder and betrayal
- Learn about the brutal convict roots of Brisbane, and the crime and punishment that shaped the city
- Hear about key figures like Captain Logan and the infamous Patrick Mayne
- See convict-built landmarks such as the heritage-listed Commissariat Store and Old Windmill
Tour style:Local culture, Walking
Inclusions:Local English-speaking guide
Exclusions:Food and beverages (available for purchase), hotel pick-up and drop-off
Group size:Maximum 12
- Duration:2.5 hours
- Meeting point:King George Square, opposite Brisbane City Hall, under the TV screen. Please note that on Saturdays, this tour begins at 10.00 AM.
- Start time: 6.00 PM
- Finish point:Brisbane CBD
Additional information :
- Voucher exchange details:Please present your voucher to the local guide at the beginning of the tour.
- Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Please note that on Saturdays, this tour departs at 10.00 AM. Weekday departures are at 6.00 PM. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
- Dress standard: Please dress smart casual with comfortable footwear for walking
- Child policy: Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children below the age of 6 are not permitted on this tour.
- Language: English
Welcome to Brisbane’s underbelly.
Before Melbourne existed, Brisbane had been conceived for the key purpose of receiving the convict rejects of Sydney — the ‘worst of the worst’. Your Brisbane tour will walk you through the city’s penal roots and dive into the more sinister history of the Sunshine State. You’ll navigate laneways and squares and major ‘hidden’ sites covering two centuries of Brisbane’s criminal history.
Along your Brisbane walking tour, you’ll discover who the notorious Captain Patrick Logan was. This young, brilliant, and sadistic commandant of the Moreton Bay penal colony is said to have been killed by Aboriginal Australians who were angry over him entering their lands. Rumour has it that escaped convicts buried him alive — bashed and head first, to face the gates of hell where they felt he belonged.
We’ll navigate the archaeological and architectural remains of the harshest penal outpost known in Australia and the relics left behind, from the old Windmill and the Commissariat Store to roadways and embankments. You’ll take a trip back in time to the Brisbane of the earliest encampment and the nascent city that grew surrounding the commandant’s cottage, military barracks, and the subsequent Frog’s Hollow, which housed the capital’s brothels and gambling dens for over a century
Find out where the early city farming plots were and learn about the initial ‘first contacts’ with Aboriginal people — which soon turned brutal as the foreign concepts of empire and colony led to natives being pushed from their lands, harsh punishments, and murderous altercations.
See where the public gallows and women’s prison stood and hear the story of Dundalli, seen by many as an Aboriginal resistance figure, and by the then-authorities as a cold killer
Hear the story of Brisbane’s infamous Mayne family and where the original butcher shop of Patrick Mayne is located as we take in the secrets of the Brisbane Arcade. Get an insider’s perspective of the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the illegal casinos, brothels, and police corruption it sought to put an end to.
And you thought Brisbane was just surf and sunshine…
For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 18 people.
If you are happy with the services provided by your local guides a tip — though not compulsory — is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid Urban Adventures destinations. Please consider this when budgeting for your extra expenses on this tour.
Note: This tour is managed by Brisbane Urban Adventures