Trial Bay Gaol

Arakoon National Park

Affected by closures, check current alerts 


If you’re looking to hire a venue with a historic twist, look no further than Trial Bay Gaol in Arakoon National Park. Set against a backdrop of historic ruins, you and your guests will enjoy a glimpse into Australian history while enjoying your event.

Venue is suitable for
Wedding ceremonies and wedding reception
Maximum people: 500
Amenities block, picnic tables, barbecue facilities, boat ramp, drinking water, toilets

$500 for a wedding ceremony held between 9–5pm. For wedding reception fees, please contact the Trial Bay Gaol Visitor Centre.

Available for non-exclusive hire daily from 9am to 5pm (6pm during daylight savings). Available for exclusive hire daily from 4.30pm – 10pm. Venue not available for hire during school holidays.
Venue available for exclusive hire

Please submit a completed application form at least 6 months prior to your the event. Initial assessment of the event application, site plan and supporting documentation may take 2-3 weeks.

To make a booking or for more information contact the Trial Bay Gaol Visitor Centre.

Other Information
  • Filming and photography shoots on application
  • This venue is suitable for movie screenings and theatrical performances. Please contact the NPWS Events Team on 02 9585 6570 to discuss your requirements.

You and your guests can step back in time while enjoying your event at Trial Bay Gaol, soaking up the history and the amazing coastal views that surround the gaol.

Opened in 1886, after 13 years of construction, it must have been a strange feeling building a prison in such a beautiful setting. The prison labourers were there to construct a breakwater to make Trial Bay a safe harbour between Sydney and Brisbane. Unfortunately the scheme failed, but you and your guests still be able to see the remains of the breakwater from the guard tower lookout. During World War I, the gaol became an internment camp for people of German descent who were feared to be enemy sympathisers.

Today, this picturesque historic ruin stands as a testament to those who lived and died here, with a museum and memorial for visitors to get a better idea of life in those days. The historic, scenic surroundings make Trial Bay Gaol an ideal venue.

For directions, safety and practical information, see venue info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see

Park info

See more info on the venue

Venue info

All the practical information you need to know about Trial Bay Gaol.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Vehicle access

    Vehicles can enter the venue to unload, but this must be pre-arranged.

    Road quality

    • Sealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • All weather


    Parking is available at Trial Bay Gaol, including designated bus parking.


    • We recommend you organise commercial catering as there are no cooking or reheating facilities at this venue.
    • A raised timber stage is available for use if you're hiring the venue for a wedding reception



    • Flush toilets

    Picnic tables

    Barbecue facilities

    • Wood barbecues (bring your own firewood)
    • Gas/electric barbecues (coin-operated)

    Boat ramp

    Drinking water

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Beach safety

    Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

    Fire safety

    During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).


    Disability access level - hard


    Food and drink

    • Commercial catering is permitted and recommended
    • Alcohol must be served and supplied by a company that holds a liquor licence
    • We encourage plastic-free events. Where possible, please use biodegradable plates, cups and cutlery (paper, corn starch, bamboo).

    Plant materials

    Flower arrangements containing no seed material. A florist can arrange this for you on request.

    Structures, staging, furniture and amusements

    • Weighted free-standing decorative items such as bridal arches, red carpet and columns.
    • Tables, chairs and weighted marquees are permitted for wedding receptions only.

    Commercial filming and photography

    Commercial photography and video requires a small scale photography license

    Power, lighting and amplified sounds

    • 3 single speaker portable PA system or music player with an amplifier no greater than 70 watts
    • Volume must be kept at a level that does not interfere with neighbours or the public
    • Amplified sounds must cease by 10pm
    • Lighting may be approved on application


    Balloons, plant materials and animals are not permitted, including:

    • Decorations consisting of flowers or plant materials containing seeds, vines or exotic plants.
    • Throwing paper confetti, rice or petals or streamers

    Candles and open flames are not permitted.

    Horse-drawn carriages are not permitted at this venue.


    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.


    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.