top of page
Search

Exploring the Past at Port Arthur Historic Site and the Tasman Peninsula

Updated: Jan 9

The Port Arthur Historic Site, located on the Tasman Peninsula in lutruwita/Tasmania, stands as a testament to Australia's complex convict history. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, just a 90-minute drive from Oceana B&B, is celebrated for its rich historical significance and compelling stories that unfold across its expansive grounds.

Port Arthur Waterfront View

IMAGE CREDIT: AHMED ALL RAZI


The Essence of Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur Prison

IMAGE CREDIT: OCEANA B&B


Established in 1830, the site is an integral part of the UNESCO Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property, showcasing over 30 historic buildings and ruins spread across 100 acres. A visit to Port Arthur is a journey through time, where you can explore the evocative remnants of Australia's early convict history. The entry ticket grants two-day access, including a self-guided audio experience, site talks by expert guides, a harbour cruise, access to the Port Arthur Gallery, house museums, and the beautifully maintained gardens​.​​​​​


Captivating Tours and Experiences

Port Arthur Bay

IMAGE CREDIT: AHMED ALL RAZI


Port Arthur offers a variety of tours to enrich your visit:

  • Isle of the Dead Cemetery Tour: A guided tour to the final resting place of many convicts, soldiers, and free settlers, offering insight into their stories​.

  • Commandant's Tour: A unique opportunity to delve deeper into the colony's history, showcasing significant buildings and sharing insights into the lives of those who lived and worked at Port Arthur​​​.

  • Escape from Port Arthur Tour: Hear tales of daring convict escape attempts​​​​.

  • Ghost Tour: A lantern-lit journey after dusk revealing the hidden side of Port Arthur​​.

  • Convict Tour: An accessible guided tour providing an overview of the site's history.


Unique Attractions Within the Site

Beautiful Historic Site Port Arthur

IMAGE CREDIT: OCEANA B&B


The Port Arthur Historic Site is filled with unique attractions:

  • The Penitentiary: Partially in ruins, it provides a glimpse into convict life​.

  • The Convict Church: A roofless gothic-style church built by prisoners, rich in history​​.

  • The Separate Prison: Showcasing the psychological punishment faced by convicts in solitary confinement​​.

  • The Asylum: Once housing inmates labelled as ‘lunatics’, now a museum of historic artefacts​​.

  • Scorpion Rock Lookout: Offers a panoramic view of the Port Arthur Historic Site​.


Remembering the Port Arthur Massacre

Memorial of 1996 Port Arthur Massacre

IMAGE CREDIT: OCEANA B&B


The site also includes a memorial to the victims of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, a poignant reminder of the site’s more recent history and its impact on Australian society​​.


Accessibility and Facilities

The site is accessible to all, with facilities catering to people with access needs. It offers various amenities like a café, restaurant, gift shop, and boating facilities, ensuring a comfortable visit for everyone​​.


Reaching Port Arthur

Port Arthur Accommodation

IMAGE CREDIT: AHMED ALL RAZI


From Hobart, Port Arthur can be reached by a scenic 90-minute drive. This journey takes you through the rugged beauty of the Tasman Peninsula, contrasting its dark history as a former prison site with its status as a world-renowned tourist destination​​.


In conclusion, the Port Arthur Historic Site and the Tasman Peninsula offer a deep dive into Australia's convict history, set against a backdrop of stunning natural beauty. This destination is a must-visit for anyone interested in exploring the layered past of Tasmania and appreciating its transformation into a site of global historical importance.


18 views0 comments
bottom of page