Port Arthur Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by The_Downunder_Mob
  • MAIN PENITENTIARY BUILDING AT PORT ARTHUR
    MAIN PENITENTIARY BUILDING AT PORT...
    by DennyP
  • CHURCH (DESICRATED) PORT ARTHUR..
    CHURCH (DESICRATED) PORT ARTHUR..
    by DennyP

Port Arthur Things to Do

  • The Isle of the Dead - Port Arthur

    The Isle of the Dead, originally called Opossum Island, was chosen for the graveyard of Port Arthur by the Rev. John Manton in 1833. Of the 100 people buried there most were convicts. Convicts were forbidden headstones and were buried in the lower southeast part of the island. Officials, soldiers and their families were given the dignity of a...

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  • Port Arthur penal settlement

    The Port Arthur penal settlement started in 1830 as timber camp but soon became important in the penal system. In the first years the bush was cleared and ship building, smithing, brick making and other trades were established. In the 1840's, with a convict population of over 1100 a huge flour mill was built. This later became the penitentiary. A...

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  • Pirates Bay Blowhole

    An area of dramatic geological landscapes, this area is another gem which can only be found in Tasmania. We've seen other blowholes, this one may not be that great but nevertheless the significance of the formations and the diverse resources around it are memorable.As described in the PArks and Wildlife of Tasmania website, "The variety of rock...

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  • Isle of the Dead

    Within the Port Arthur Historic Site is a small island, known as the Isle of the Dead. This place is also known to some as Opossum Island, but was renamed when the island was converted into a burial ground for the convicts that passed away in Port Arthur. This little island is home to the final resting place of over 1000 people. It is an...

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  • Isle of the Dead

    The Isle of the Dead, originally called Opossum Island, was chosen for the graveyard of Port Arthur by the Rev. John Manton in 1833. Of the 100 people buried there most were convicts. Convicts were forbidden headstones and were buried in the lower southeast part of the island. Officials, soldiers and their families were given the dignity of a...

    more
  • Port Arthur Penal Settlement

    The Port Arthur penal settlement started in 1830 as timber camp but soon became important in the penal system. In the first years the bush was cleared and ship building, smithing, brick making and other trades were established. In the 1840's, with a convict population of over 1100 a huge flour mill was built. This later became the penitentiary. A...

    more
  • LOTTERY OF LIFE

    The Lottery of Life is an Interpretation Gallery at the visitor's centre. On paying your entrance fee, you are given a playing card, mine happened to be the ten of hearts.In the gallery, you wander around the excellent displays until you find a cut out of "your convict" with your playing card attached to him! On the convict are the details of why...

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  • HOSPITAL & ASYLUM AT PORT ARTHUR

    More 'modern' than the Hospital, the Asylum was capable of housing 100 mentally ill patients at a time. Built to a cruciform shape, the wings were occupied by dormitories around a central mess hall. The building was flanked by two 'L' shaped buildings comprising a Keepers' quarters and a bakehouse, and towards the rear was a long wooden building...

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  • THE 'CHURCH'

    I think this is one of the most beautiful buildings at Port Arthur, it probably is one of the most photographed!Built in 1836/37 by convict builders in a gothic style, it is set on a hill overlooking the convict settlement. Quite large, it was never consecrated due to its usage by a number of different denominations. Attendance of the weekly Sunday...

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  • HARBOUR CRUISE - PORT ARTHUR

    The 20 minute harbour cruise aboard a catamaran is included in the admission price, and should not be missed! We enjoyed this informative cruise, as it was on here that we learnt about the boys prison of Point Puer.............The juvenile convicts, were as young as nine, arrested for stealing toys and sent out to Australia. The boys were separated...

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  • The PENITENTIARY AT PORT ARTHUR

    This is probably the biggest and most imposing ruin on the site.The Penitentiary (1843) was originally used as a flour mill and granary.It wasn't until 1857, that it was converted into a penitentiary capable of housing over 480 convicts in both dormitory-style accommodation and separate apartments. It also contained a messroom, library and Catholic...

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  • Cottages & Gardens at Port Arthur

    Port Arthur not only has historic buildings, but it has Cottage gardens, and lovely maintained grounds with magnificent Oak Trees, Elms and Conifers.The paths are the original ones that were walked upon by the ladies and officers who resided at Port Arthur, out of view of the convicts behind the fences and garden beds of the Government Gardens.The...

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Port Arthur Hotels

Port Arthur Restaurants

  • I Didn't See Any Mussels! :)

    After our day at the Port Arthur Historic Site, we were staying at the Comfort Inn right near it - there didn't seem to be many restaurants around, but I remembered passing a place not long before we got there that looked quite nice. I think I found it appealing partly because my favourite color is yellow and it was a lovely yellow house! Just...

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  • Seafood with the Convicts

    After a long day of touring the Prison system in Port Arthur a good meal is needed. After looking in town not much was there. We decided to drive north that evening and in only a few minutes found this gem. A very down to earth, friendly place, with some ambiance. We found this resturaunt to be just what we needed. I had the fish and chips here....

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  • Port Arthur Hotels

    11 Hotels in Port Arthur

Port Arthur Transportation

  • Isle of the Dead or Point Puer Ferry

    When you arrive at Port Arthur, you will need to make a decision on how long you are planning to spend here, and which activities you wish to participate in. If you choose and of the three excursions which include a boat ride, you will head down to the ferry pier where this boat will be waiting for you.The three excursions which will incur a ferry...

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  • Getting to Port Arthur

    Port Arthur is on the Tasman Peninsula, about 60 miles/100 km south-east of Hobart.Driving is probably the best way to get there if you can rent a car. Allow at least 1.5 hours to enjoy the drive, longer if you want to check out some of the sites along the way (well worth the trouble!). The drive along the Tasman and Arthur Highways forms part of...

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  • Hobart International Airport (HBA)

    The closest commercial airport to Port Arthur is Hobart International Airport. (HBA) is one of the smallest airports to service a high volume of air traffic passengers, but is very easy to navigate. It is serviced by the major Australian carriers, Qantas, Virgin Blue, Jetstar, and minor Australian air carrier TasAir. In additional, recently it...

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Port Arthur Local Customs

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    by balhannah Written Oct 9, 2009

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    On the way to Tasman's Arch etc., is the holiday village of Doo town.
    Most of the home owners have named their homes Doo?????.

    The 1st home named was DOO LITTLE, since then there has been ......
    GUNADOO... DOODLE DOO... LOVE ME DO........DO US....... DOO ME........ DOO NIX..... XANADU........ RUM DOO........WE DOO..........JUST DO IT........DIDGERI DOO........ MUCH A DO........THISTLE DOO........THIS WILL DOO........DOO COME IN......... SHE'LL DOO.........HUMPTY DOO.......... MAL'S DOOG HOUSE............ DOO DROP INN...........NICKLE DOO........... POODLE DOO.........DOO NOTHING............... DOO WRITE............to name a few, with probably more since we were there last.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Port Arthur Warnings and Dangers

  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo

    by ATXtraveler Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you are heading to Port Arthur, let me please give you a word of warning prior to going. A tragedy of epic proportions occurred at the Port Arthur facility on April 28th, 1996. Please do not bring this up with the tour guides, as they will likely not respond favorably. Many of the current tour guides were working at the facility when this tragedy occurred, and therefore have friends and family that died in this incident. Out of respect for them, please find out more information on this through some other medium, and respect the tour guides request not to talk about it.

    If you would like to learn more about the incident, please refer to the page listed below:

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Port Arthur Tourist Traps

  • Bickers72's Profile Photo

    by Bickers72 Written Jan 5, 2010

    The Tasmanian Devil park just down the road from Port Arthur at Taranna http://www.tasmaniandevilpark.com/index.html. Overpriced. Understocked
    We recently visited here. There are only about 10 devils in residence. The place is small with only a few exhibits and not worth the $28 entry fee for what you get to see. Our feeding time show was two old age devils who got to fight over two scraps of meat. Maybe find a better spot to see the Devils while you are in Tassie

    Unique Suggestions: Snap a photo of a devil at least.

    Fun Alternatives: Have a meal at the "Mussel Boys" restaurant nearby. Great food

    Related to:
    • Zoo

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Port Arthur What to Pack

  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo

    by ATXtraveler Written Apr 20, 2008

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: August can get a bit chilly in Tasmania, so in particular when you are visiting Port Arthur where most of the activities are outdoors, warm clothing is a requirement. There is not much separating Port Arthur from Antarctica, so bring a nice warm coat, and possibly even some gloves on your August trip!

    Also, because of the proximity to the Southern extremes, it will likely get windy, so some sort of ear and face protection is also welcome. Have a great trip!

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Port Arthur Off The Beaten Path

  • Sorell & Midway Point

    Located 26ks from Hobart, this is a service town for the surrounding grain, dairy, and sheep farming district. In 1874, the causeway was completed. Its situated on a large expanse of water called the Pittwater, looked good for water sports. There seemed to be a lot of holiday homes near the water. One good attraction to see, is the Sorell Fruit...

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  • St. John the Baptist Church @ BUCKLAND

    Buckland is a small town located quite close to Port Arthur.St John the Baptist Church is a stopping off point because of the history of its East window. We stopped and went inside and had a look, and the stained glass windows are lovely.The Church was built in 1846, and the East window may have been originally designed for Battle Abbey in England,...

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  • REMARKABLE CAVE NEAR PORT ARTHUR

    The cave is tunnel carved through therock face by erosion from the Southern Ocean. A walkway of about 100 steps will take you to a viewing platform. It is called Remarkable Cave because at low tide, it looks like a map of Tasmania. I just drew a line on my photo so that you can see what I mean. Located at the end of Safety Cove Road, it is 12kms...

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Port Arthur Sports & Outdoors

  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo

    by ATXtraveler Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you really want to get your fitness in while touring the Port Arthur facility, then your best bet is to walk in the old prison's insane asylum fitness yards. Similar to a maximum security facility's isolation, this particular location had individual yards for prisoners to get their hour of exercise in every day. Although just rubble now, you can see how small these individual courtyards once were.

    Enjoy your walk!

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