Skip to main content Skip to footer

Iconic Australian gaol listed for the first time

Berrima Correctional Centre 5

With 60 prison cells and a watch tower, the old Berrima Gaol site is expected to receive widespread interest

Colliers has been appointed to sell an unrivalled piece of Australian convict history with the former Berrima Correctional Centre coming to market.

Located in the heart of the Southern Highlands near the town of Bowral, the Argyle Street property sits on an enormous 1.9 hectare plot of land and provides a truly unique offering.

Listed as a NSW State Heritage Item, the gaol consists of 60 cells, a watch tower, guard offices and commercial space, while there are also two historic cottages, a tennis court, industrial shed and commercial kitchen on the site.

The Colliers Investment Services team of Nick Estephen, Thomas Mosca and Frank Oliveri is marketing the property on behalf of the NSW Government.

"Being the first time ever offered and presenting one of the rarest opportunities in the history of the commercial property market, we expect interest from parties across the commercial, retail, hotel, lifestyle and recreation sectors, seeking to repurpose this spectacular property to deliver social, economic and cultural outcomes and benefits for the local community,” Mr Estephen said.

The property is currently zoned for SP1 Special Activities (Correctional Centre) and any alternative use or re-purposing of the site will need to be approved via planning proposal or rezoning development application.

Interest in this unique site is likely to be significant given the ongoing migration of Sydney residents to the Southern Highlands escalating local property demand. In addition to the strong residential market, tourism activity is expected to return with a vengeance as Sydney and the broader New South Wales region emerges from lockdown.

“Berrima is widely recognised today as the best-preserved example of a Georgian Village on the Australian mainland. The town was established in the 1830s during a time of great exploration and expansion in New South Wales,” Mr Mosca added.

The Old Berrima Gaol was built between 1835 and 1839 of local sandstone at the cost of £5,400. Convicted London joiner and carpenter James Gough, who gained a conditional pardon in 1821, was awarded the construction of the gaol in partnership with John Richards in 1834, with much of the construction done by convicts in irons.

During World War I it was used as a prisoner internment camp by the Australian Army. Between 1944 and 1949 the building was reconstructed by prison labour using the original sandstone at a cost of £18,000, with only the entrance and outer walls of the old gaol left standing.

The centre was operational between 1839 and 2011 with several breaks in between and was reopened in 2016 to support the NSW prison population, housing 75 minimum security prisoners. It was decommissioned in 2020 and is no longer required for use, hence the sale.

Around 80 minutes south of Sydney, it is located close to cafes, parks, rivers and Australia’s oldest continually licensed Inn, The Surveyor General Inn.

Berrima Correctional Centre is being offered for sale by Expression of Interest, closing Friday, 26th November 2021 at 3:00pm (AEDT).


Related Experts

Nick Estephen

Associate Director | Investment Services

Sydney South West

View expert

Thomas Mosca

Associate Director, Sydney Metro Sales & Leasing | Investment Services

Sydney South West

Thomas Mosca is one of South West Sydney's most notable commercial property agents; having been involved with some of the area’s major real estate transactions. Thomas's understanding and commitment to the emerging Western Sydney market is continually growing and expanding. His drive and passion will ensure he remains at the forefront of this growing market. With unmatched commercial insight and deep industry connections, Thomas is the key person to discuss Liverpool’s commercial property and Western Sydney Airport landholding opportunities. 

View expert

Frank Oliveri

Director In Charge | Sydney West & Sydney South West

Sydney West

Frank is the Director in Charge of Colliers Sydney West & Sydney South West offices and the National Director, Investment Services.

Frank served 17 years as a councillor on Fairfield City Council, he was also a Director of WSROC (Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils) for 4 years and served on the executive
of the Local Government Association of NSW.


Frank was previously appointed as a representative of the Liverpool City Council Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel between 2008 and 2010. Frank was also appointed by the NSW Government to the Board of the Greater Western Sydney Economic Development Board, Small Business Development Corporation, Regional Development Australian (Greater Sydney) and the Board of the Property Services Advisory Council.

Frank showcases extensive experience with business and various Government agencies across NSW at a local, state and federal level.

View expert