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Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula Sights

Port Arthur Historic Site

  • Arthur Hwy. Map It
  • Port Arthur
  • Museum Village
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 01/15/2014

Fodor's Review

This property, formerly the grounds of the Port Arthur Penal Settlement, is now a lovely—and quite large—historical park with a fascinating convict past central to Tasmania's history. Be prepared to do some walking between widely scattered sites. Begin at the excellent visitor center, which introduces you to the experience by "sentencing, transporting, and assigning" you before you set foot in the colony. Most of the original buildings were damaged by bushfires in 1895 and 1897, shortly after the settlement was abandoned, but you can still see the beautiful church, round guardhouse, commandant's residence, model prison, hospital, and government cottages.

The old lunatic asylum is now an excellent museum, with a scale model of the Port Arthur settlement, a video history, and a collection of tools, leg irons, and chains. Along with a walking tour of the grounds and entrance to the museum, admission includes a harbor cruise, of which there are eight scheduled daily in summer.

There's a separate twice-daily cruise to and tour of the Isle of the Dead, which sits in the middle of the bay. It's estimated that 1,769 convicts and 180 others are buried here, mostly in communal pits. Ghost tours (reservations are essential) leave the visitor center at dusk and last about 90 minutes.

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Sight Information


Arthur Hwy., Port Arthur, Tasmania, 7182, Australia

Map It


03-6251–2300; 1800-659101

Sight Details:

  • A$35; Isle of the Dead Tour only A$15; Ghost Tour $25; After Dark pass A$69 (which also includes a 2-course dinner).
  • Daily 8:30–dusk

Updated 01/15/2014


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