No trip to Tasmania is complete without seeing the Port Arthur Historic Site. From 1830 until 1877, Port Arthur was the place where convicts who reoffended after arriving in the colony were imprisoned. A key element of the colonial system of convict discipline, Port Arthur was located in a remote, harsh area that offered no chance of escape.
Port Arthur was a complete community, home to military personnel and free settlers, an industrial complex producing a huge range of resources and materials, and a working farm.
Today this World Heritage Site is one of Australia’s most visited heritage attractions. Spread over landscaped gardens, parkland and natural bush, the site has more than 30 historic buildings and ruins. An informative 45-minute guided Introductory Walking Tour and 25-minute Harbour Cruise are complimentary with your site entry pass.
As you walk within the site, the powerful, personal stories of convicts, soldiers, free settlers and their families will reveal themselves to you and stay with you long after you have departed.
Less famous than Port Arthur, but no less dramatic, the Coal Mines Historic Site, located about a half-hour drive from Port Arthur, was the site of Tasmania’s first operational mine. Today, it offers visitors the chance to discover among the uncrowded ruins and scenic vistas a different perspective on Tasmania’s convict history.