Port Arthur is much more than a historic prison. Once a convict settlement that started in 1830, it evolved over the years to become a rehabilitated hub for criminals through education. The town formed a community with both convicts and free settlers. Today, you can take a step back in time and wander the grounds and buildings to Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed Port Arthur.
Learn about the History
Nowadays, Port Arthur is filled with manicured gardens and ancient empty buildings, so it’s hard to imagine it’s violent past. The prison once held over 1,000 convicts in its walls, with each convict or guard, has an incredible story. Join the walking tour that takes your around the entire area, to hear these stories from one of the professional guides there. Study every building and crumbling ruin as you listen to the fascinating history behind them.
Isle of the Dead
For many the past prisoners held at Port Arthur, the only escape by death. The Isle of the Dead became Port Arthur’s cemetery island for those who died inside the prison between 1833 and 1877. Becoming the final resting place for not just convicts, but military and civil officers, as well as women and children who were buried here between 1833 and 1877. Take a cruise and wander through the thousands of graves to learn about the people resting there.
If you enjoy horror movies and continuous jump scares why not travel to Port Arthur during the dark of the night? Here you can wander the grounds which have transformed from calming to creepy. Follow your guide as they tell you’re the scariest stories of Port Arthur as you hear the ground’s ghosts slam doors and scream from afar.
Pirates Bay Lookout
Within Tasmania’s east coast lies the spectacular Pirates Bay Lookout. Sitting on the Eaglehawk Neck, on top the hillside above the Tessellated Pavement, only a short way the Arthur Highway. The lookout promises a jaw-dropping, panorama view of the township, the jagged coastline, and of course the Pirates Bay. A perfect stop during your scenic drive through the winding roads into town. Make sure you pack your camera as this view is perfect for an Instagram op.
Tasman Arch and Devil’s Kitchen
Where rock meets the sea! Although separate attractions, these spots are so close together they act as a combo sight. After thousands of years of erosion by the crashing waves and weather, these rock formations have been moulded into spectacular landmarks. Tasman Arch is a naturally formed bridge once a sea cave that has been worn down into this one arch. Devil’s Kitchen was also a sea cave but has crumbled even more due to the sea salt, now only a cauldron of the sea surrounded by the towering cliff tops. Marvel at these epic attractions from the viewing platforms above.
Port Arthur is well worth the visit. So, ferry to the town and discover these incredible historic buildings and stunning gardens!