Port Arthur help needed please

Jan 23rd, 2009, 06:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 818
Port Arthur help needed please

Hello. We will be arriving at Hobart airport from Sydney at 11.30 am. I was planning to visit Port Arthur straight from the airport then carry on to Hobart where we only have one night. I thought we could spend a couple of hours in PA but I have browsed through their web site and am now unsure whether this is do-able. Can anyone advise me? I am quite knowledgeable about the history of the place having read several books and am not interested in guided tours. Is it possible just to walk around independently? Is it necessary to book tickets in advance? Is there lots to see in Hobart which we will miss if we go to PA?
Thanks for your help, as always.
carrom is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2009, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
You could get a Bronze Pass and just browse through the site on your own for a couple of hours, but I wouldn't necessarily "advise" it. You'd be spending more time getting there and back to Hobart (90 minutes each way) than walking around the site. There's so much to see and do at Port Arthur that I would recommend a visit of no fewer than 3 - 4 hours (and preferably more).
When we went a few years ago, it was during April school holidays, but we did not need to book our admission tickets in advance. The only thing we booked in advance was the ghost tour.
longhorn55 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2009, 01:08 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 748
Perhaps skip Port Arthur ( because it really needs a full day including surrounds) and go to Richmond instead and get a"little bit" of similiar history by doing a tour of the gaol there and checking out the convict built buildings etc. Richmond is a lovely village just 10 minutes from the Hobart airport and a short detour en route from the airport to Hobart. Certainly in time for lunch at the Richmond Bakery which makes the best scallop pies in Australia ( if they are in season) also other nice little things too. Hobart is worth time investigating too and the wharf area/Salamanca/Battery Point is best to do that. Also if it is a fine day with no cloud up on Mt Wellington that is well worth driving up to just for the view of the southern part of Tasmania. I don't know where else you are going but there is historic places all over Tasmania so you won't be missing all that much by bypassing PA if your time is too short.
LizzyF is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2009, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,095
When we visited Port Arthur a few years back, our $25 admission tickets included a 45 minute guided tour and a 20 minute boat ride. We spent the rest of the time wandering the grounds on our own. We spent a total of three hours at Port Arthur and barely scratched the surface, but it was enough for us. We didn't book ahead, we just bought our tickets when we got there.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 12:44 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 818
Thank-you all. Richmond sounds like a good idea Lizzy. I do have mixed feelings about PA having just read "For the term of his natural life" as well as "Fatal Shore" a few years' back. I find the theme park aspect a little disconcerting....We are going on to Cradle Mountain and then Freycinet. We could always try to go to PA on the way back to the airport from Freycinet as we have an evening flight. We'll aim for the scallop pies on arrival!
carrom is offline  

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