Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur

4.5
#1 of 89 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
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
3,530 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Biggest issue here is to allow enough time, as right near Port Arthur is the Lavender place and just up the road there are natural features ie the blow hole, devils kitchen etc (see separate reviews),...  more »
  • We loved walking around the historic site and learning of the history. Although we couldn't participate we thought it was great that a cruise and guided walking tour was included in your entry price. ...  more »
  • What else can you say about the most famous historic site in Oz. A must see for all. a short cruise of the bay is included in the price. Nicely laid out with many picnic and rest places. The building ...  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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