Port Arthur Historic Site Port Arthur
Where are we going today?
If you love history, then the Port Arthur Historic Site is something every family must visit at some point.
In fact, it's one of the most culturally important convict sites in the entire country! It's located on the Tasman Peninsula, so it will also give you some pretty amazing views too!
There are multiple sites at Port Arthur Historic Site, so when you purchase your admission, you actually get two consecutive days entry, and includes a guided walking tour, which gives you a great introduction to the area, the history and the people.
The history of Port Arthur is fascinating, and very varied. From industrial sites, to ship building, to a penal settlement, and now on the World Heritage List, there is so much to see and do, so make sure you take the two full days!
There is so much to see and do. The Penitentiary was built in 1842, and now is just an imposing ruin. It housed over 480 convicts at one point, and included Watchman's Quarters, a mess room, library, chapel, and workshops. It was gutted by fire in 1897, but was then restored somewhat in the 1960s.
Did you know that solitary confinement was given for those really bad people, so the Separate Prison was built in 1850, where people could sit in silence and contemplate. Can you guess what might have been going through their minds?
There is a cemetery tour, Dockyard, Ghost Tours and even Paranormal Investigation Experiences. During summer there are a host of activities including Twilight walking tours, theatre performances and school holiday activities!
An incredible look into the history of Tasmania, and Australia, and this not-to-be-missed experience in Port Arthur.
How much does it cost?
- Adults$37 for 2 days site entry
- Children$17 for 2 day site entry
When can we go?
9am to dusk. Some buildings 10am - 5pm
All year round
They have great educational resources, and packages for students so you can really tailor your field trip to your students needs. .
There is a cafe at the visitor center, and one in the museum, where you can treat yourself to a snack or lunch! There is also a bistro. .
There are healthy options and light means in both cafes..
Any Top Tips?
Check out the Visitor Centre first, as they can give you all the information you need on the area, and advise the best way to see everything.
Doing our bit
They have preserved this important piece of history incredibly well, and created a site that is truly special to visit. Help them out by keeping it clean and not damaging anything. .
Need a little extra help?
Everywhere in the Visitor Centre is accessible. Some other areas might require access. The Cruises are accessible but the ghost and cemetery tours aren't recommended for those with restrictions in mobility.
Can I get one of those?
The gift shop is in the Visitor Center and open from 9:30am daily, and is filled with hand-made gifts, souvenirs and historic books so you can take home a piece of history with you!.
You have to visit two consecutive days for the full ticket to be valid..
What people are saying?
by Hayden Lavigne
I personally did not like Port Arthur that much. The ghost tour was boring & the tour guide was irritating. The day tour was better & was more informative. The scenery was nice & the grounds were well maintained. It was good to visit it once but I would not come back a second time.
by Landrover Sam
Interesting and compelling history of a cruel and harsh time. Liked The ghost tour, point puer tour and isle of the dead. Thought that interpretative signage could be improved - not enough signs and information for each building. Maybe a tour book with the details could be purchased ?
by Marcel Juffermans
A beautiful spot set on the water in amongst large trees. Rich in history and with many amazing stories on the convict period
by Michael Keats
A very interesting historical site. Learnt a lot about the conditions, and life for the convicts. It also had some fantastic scenery. Well worth a visit.
by Chris Boyadjian
A great day out! We thoroughly enjoyed the Port Arthur Historic Site with the amazing architecture and old buildings. We enjoyed walking around the entire site taking in the amazing views, the history and viewing the buildings. The cruise is a bit useless but the rest of the sure is breathtaking.