Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur Historic Site is the pre-eminent symbol and most outstanding example of Australia's convict system.

Port Arthur exerted great cultural influence within Tasmania and throughout Australia as the focal point of a large-scale penal and industrial enterprise which encompassed the entire Tasman Peninsula and Southern Tasmania.

In its peak Port Arthur was the second largest penal system settlement in Australia and was often referred to as 'hell on earth'.

Today, PAHS encompasses over 40 hectares and features more than 30 restored buildings, ruins and period furnished homes from the convict era, all of which evoke an understanding and empathy for Australia's rich convict heritage. Various interpretive measures such as signs, displays, audio and other activities ensure visitors to the site have both an interesting and fun experience.

A number of additional activities are also available on-site including guided tours, Historic Ghost Tours at night, harbour cruises, the Visitor Centre and Interpretation Gallery, Sea plane flights and tours to the Isle of the Dead - a convict burial ground.

The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) has responsibility for the site and to maintain the delicate balance between conservation and tourism operations.

Port Arthur Historic Site
Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur Historic Site is the most outstanding example of Australia's convict heritage. While it had, and still has, a reputation as a place of harsh and unrelenting punishment, in reality the regime was far more complex. Offering also the opportunity for convicts to lead useful lives after release, it taught the men trades and basic literacy. Today, the site encompasses over 40 hectares and features more than 30 restored buildings, ruins and period furnished homes from the convict era. Signs, displays, audiotours, guided tours and other activities ensure visitors have both an interesting and enjoyable experience. While the collection of historic artefacts is small, it contains some outstanding and rare examples of the material culture of the convict system. Highlights include convict clothing, books from the various prison libraries and the products of convict craftsmanship. There is also a large collection of archaeological material excavated over the past 30 years.

Address: 
Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur, TAS
Tel: 
0362512330
Hours: 
8.30am-11pm daily
Admission: 
Adults $19.80, Children $9, Family $43, Concessions available
Facilities: 
Wheelchair access, shop, café, a la carte restaurant, guided tours, harbour cruises, education programs, resource centre, meeting facilities, visitor centre and interpretaion gallery.
Collection: 
Range of convict artefacts - convict database.
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