Nature-based Tourism:
New Business Opportunities


Eighteen nature-based tourism new business opportunities were released by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources in October 2017. Expressions of Interest for these opportunities closed on 31 January 2018

Old Adelaide Gaol

Boiler room and wood yard

Develop and operate an unusual historic hospitality space within Adelaide’s vibrant riverbank precinct.


  • Partner with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) to undertake the legislative and consultation processes to change permitted uses for the gaol site.
  • Make approved modifications to the Old Adelaide Gaol boiler room and wood yard space.
  • Develop and operate a hospitality, retail or event space within the Old Adelaide Gaol boiler room and wood yard area.

Site objectives

  • Protect and conserve the heritage features of the site.
  • Enable the continued use, enjoyment and appreciation of the site.

Site description

Regional attractions

The riverbank precinct is situated in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD. Bound by the river, generous Park Lands and cultural boulevard of North Terrace, the precinct unlocks a network of active public spaces that are suitable for recreational, cultural, sporting and academic pursuits.

The precinct encompasses 380 ha of land around the River Torrens, from Gilberton in the east through to Bonython Park and Bowden in the north west. Many of Adelaide’s most significant buildings, spaces and activities are located within the precinct, including the Adelaide Botanic Garden and Botanic Park, Adelaide Casino, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Zoo and Art Gallery of South Australia – just to name a few.

The South Australian government has recently invested in a number of world-class infrastructure projects within the riverbank precinct, including the Adelaide Oval and the Royal Adelaide Hospital. These infrastructure projects have created a buzz and further enhanced the offerings along the boulevard of North Terrace.

Local highlights

Old Adelaide Goal is one of Adelaide’s oldest and most fascinating historic sites. It is currently managed by DEWNR and operates as an historic attraction with approximately 22,000 visitors annually.

The boiler room covers 176 m2 and adjoins the wood yard. This site has access to the gaol’s mains water, power and gas.

The wood yard contains several outbuildings, including a guard house, toilets, two large storerooms, a carpenter’s workshop, and an electrical workshop.

Access to the boiler room and wood yard is through the main public entry, however there may be opportunities for modifications (subject to approvals) that would enable out of hours access to these spaces.

Future potential

The establishment of a broader range of activities within the gaol will add value to the riverbank precinct and complement the other heritage sites in the vicinity.

The boiler room’s historic features, old boiler and network of pipes could provide a unique character and aesthetic for development of a hospitality or retail space. Similar modifications have been achieved successfully in many other historic gaols; such as the Charles Street Jail in Boston, Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco and Fremantle Prison in Western Australia.

This site is part of the Adelaide Park Lands and is dedicated for gaol purposes. The redevelopment of the site will require a change of the dedication and change of use under the Adelaide Park Lands Act 2005.

The proposal will need to be consistent with maintaining the environmental, cultural, recreational and social heritage status of the Park Lands for the benefit of the state.

The heritage features of the site are protected under the Heritage Places Act 1993 (SA). Any proposals to alter the site should be compatible with the site's heritage values and will be subject to assessment and approvals.

This expression of interest process will identify a preferred business which will have the opportunity to partner with DEWNR and progress their proposal through these planning requirements. Applicants are advised that these processes may take more than 12 months and that approval of an initial proposal cannot be guaranteed.

The Old Adelaide Gaol is open between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm.


Register your interest in a site inspection before 5pm, 1 December 2017

Enquire now