When exploring abandoned places the first thing you notice is the silence.
The overwhelming and sometimes eerie silence of Abandoned Places is both calming and unsettling. Places that used to be bustling with people, laughter, tears and joy, voices and whispers, are now quiet, save for the sound of the winds rushing through their broken walls. (Hover over image to see location)Larundel Mental Asylum has been closed and sold to developers. Originally it sat on massive grounds, dotted with many outbuildings. These have now been pulled down, and replaced with private housing. Pentridge Prison has also become a housing estate, with just a small intact section left, that they run ghost tours through. Greenvale Sanitorium has been demolished, also for housing land. Gone are the Preston tram sheds, the Kodak factory and Brunswick Brickworks. Box Hill Brickworks is still there, but closed up and deemed too dangerous to enter.
All the big lunatic asylums built in Victorian times have been shut down and patients relocated. Aradale at Ararat, Mayday Hills at Beechworth and Willsmere in Kew.
Aradale was purchased by NMIT, Mayday Hills by Latrobe University, the old Melbourne Hospital in Brunswick by RMIT. The plan was to have students and teaching rooms there, however apart from using small areas as offices, the buildings remain empty. One benefit of their occupation is that the buildings, being tenanted, are free from graffiti and vandalism. (Willsmere was purchased by Jennings Builders and turned into high priced apartments)
Geelong Gaol (1853-1991) was a maximum security prison and one of nine in Victoria built to panopitcon design, based on Pentonville Prison in England. It was built by prisoners who slept on high security barges during construction. The Rotary Club of Geelong now operates it as a public service project. Its open on weekends, public holidays and school holidays. The gaol remains intact and features a gallows exhibit.
Beechworth Gaol (186-2004) also based on the panopitcon design, was a medium security prison. It is now run as a privately owned business and self guided tours are available daily.
Loftus Tram Sheds and Goulburn Boys Orphanage
are were both well worth a visit and offer easy access. Sadly Loftus Tram Sheds burnt to the ground about three months after I visited. Goulburm Boys Orphanage had a couple of small fires and then one major one late 2016. The roof is now gone and plans are underway to demolish it.
How I wish we had some of the overseas buildings here on Australian soil, here, we seem to tear them down to the ground so quickly there are fewer and fewer places to explore.