Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur

4.5
#1 of 40 in Historic Sites in Tasmania
There are few better places to learn about Australia's penal-colony heritage than the Port Arthur Historic Site on the southeastern coast of Tasmania. Once a prison for Britain's hardest criminals, the complex's remains now serve as an open-air museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite the prison's grim purpose, it offers a scenic setting on the water surrounded by densely forested hills. Take a walking tour to learn about the prison's history, dine at Felon's Bistro, and then conduct a paranormal investigation with ghost-hunting equipment late at night. Arrange to visit Port Arthur Historic Site and other attractions in Port Arthur using our Port Arthur tourist route planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
3,175 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 16, 2017
    This is a must for those who love history or want to better understand Australia's history! Port Arthur Historic Site seeks to preserve the convict heritage of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) through...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    So much beauty yet so much sorrow has filled this place. You need a full day to experience everything, though I did it in half a day and got through the majority. What the convicts went through 100-20...  more »
  • August 13, 2017
    I can't begin to describe how amazing this place is. Being an Aussie and seeing how convicts survived all those years ago is mind blowing. Port Arthur is a must see for all Aussies, it's so well prese...  more »
Google
  • This fantastic historic site would be worth visiting for many, but the fact that it's in such a beautiful place makes it worth visiting for everyone. It's well worth signing up for the tour which includes a harbor cruise (with some great views). There's a beautiful forested coastal trail between the site and the nearby resort whose restaurant would be a good alternative spot for lunch. Note for land travelers: It's worth looking up the cruise ship schedules and avoiding the Penitentiary on those days as it will be crowded.
  • Some of the bad reviews on here must be a joke. The site has a huge historic value to not only Tasmania or Australia but the world. It is no different to other historic places around the world. Whether it be Rome, Jerusalem or Egypt. The importance of this site is extremely significant. If you cannot appreciate the history or the pain and suffering that has taken place here, I am not sure why you would even bother making the trip and then leave a negative review. It is a jewel not only in Tasmania's crown but Australia's. The scenery is amazing, the site is extremely haunting if you actually read up or learn about the events that have taken place here. Overall it is fascinating and spectacular. You just have to grant it the respect it deserves and actually try and understand what this site meant to the past occupants.
  • Wow. Very very cool if you're into history. With the basic ticketing- you get the intro 40m tour, harbor cruise and access to all buildings. At $37 each, that was the best choice for us. The staff are excellent -- shout out to Jim the guide. He is super knowledgeable about a lot and willing to answer any questions. The grounds are perfectly well kept, stunning and the air feels fresher. *there is construction next to the visitor center and it's very loud There's like 3 cafes ranging from Devonshire tea and scones to hot (great) food. All things are expensive. Mad hours could be spent here easily. Lots of seating, but also lots of wallaby droppings on the grass! The harbor cruise is lovely although I didn't hear a word because I was deep in conversation (sorry!) Must visit
  • Excellent tours of what's left of some of Australia's most important history. Definitely worth spending the whole day here to have a look around, anything less and you would have to rush and wouldn't see everything. Beautiful gardens for a picnic lunch and great views from most of the ruins. Certainly one of the most spectacular sights in Australia.
  • We never tire of this place. Histiric with very interesting history and stories. Love the garden. No keen on design of new restaurant development under way. Great for photos.

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