Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur

4.5
#1 of 88 in Museums 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 your visit to Port Arthur Historic Site and discover more family-friendly attractions in Port Arthur using our Port Arthur online tour builder .
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Port Arthur Historic Site Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
3,436 reviews
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4.5
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  • My partner and I went here and it was quite an interesting day out. The tours are expensive but I would recommend them otherwise it’s a lot of reading and looking at rooms / buildings that have no mea...  more »
  • A fascinating history of man’s inhumanity in a brutal prison. The grounds are beautiful and a harbour cruise is available. Maps are provided and visitors free to wander or join an organised walk. Staf...  more »
  • It was very interesting to hear about the origins of the Australia we know today. Given what they had to endure it's probably not surprising the Ozzies are getting their own back by charging so much f...  more »
Google
  • I could spend a few days here exploring! The ghost tour and the island tours are also fantastic. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and have great stories to tell. Really good place for the whole family. Take good walking shoes as exploring the site will earn you lots of steps! The visitors centre was still not 100% complete yet, so we went to the blow holes nearby to a highly recommended fish and chip van. This was perhaps the best fish and chips we had during the entire trip.
  • What an experience, the guides were knowledgeable, helpful and courteous, signage and directions excellent and superb value for money. This is one place that is very difficult to put into adequate words. All I can say is that if you come to Tasmania and miss Port Arthur, you have missed a very moving historical experience that will last a lifetime. Once the new visitor center is open (18 Dec 2017) this will complete the interpretative parts currently missing which is totally understandable. Plan for a least 5 hours of wandering around (easy walks) as there is a lot to see and do. It is quite open, so if it is a cold windy rainy day, be prepared. Don't worry about crowds as a cruise ship came in whilst we were there and hardly noticed the jump in numbers. We hired a car from Hobart and drove ourselves. This was a great move as there are lots of stops and post card moments both down and back. Parking was easy and essentially the whole day was very pleasant, VERY moving and well worth every second of the journey. Memories that will be vary hard to forget. Web photos are exactly as it is.
  • Wonderful place to spend the day. Didn’t do any of the special tours, but it does look like a good deal to do them. You can easily spend a whole day here as the site is quite large and lots of history to explore. Also, the cafe food is nice but is a little on the pricey side.
  • Allow at least 4 hours! So much to see. Very well organised and managed place. Came here more than 15 years ago. It has changed quite a lot! Conducted tour and 20 min harbour cruise is a minimum. Lovely lawns and large shady trees. A good way to immerse yourself into life of nearly two centuries ago.
  • A great place for Australians and international visitors alike. If you’ve got an interest in history, this is the place to come in Tasmania. We were lucky and got a beautiful summer’s day to explore the grounds. Included in the entry fee is a boat ride and an introductory tour. The boat ride was great and very informative. There was a guide on the loudspeaker who told us about the history of the grounds as we sailed around the water. He was upbeat and friendly, you’d hardly know he did it several times a day! Myself and my family didn’t take the tour, preferring to explore the grounds on our own terms. This was a good choice for me, as I am a photographer and I was able to slip in between the crowds on the tours to get some great photos. If you’re not so concerned about photography, taking the tour would be your best option. You can do Port Arthur in a day trip from Hobart, which is what we did. If I could do it again, though, I would stay down that way. There were some interesting tours done later on in the day that we missed out on. Your entry pass is valid for two days, also, so if you run out of energy you can simply come back later.

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