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Port Arthur Historic Site

Step back into Tasmania’s past as a penal colony and learn about the lives of convicts who were sent to one of the harshest settlements in the British Empire.

The UNESCO-listed Port Arthur was one of the British Empire’s most brutal penal settlements. Located on the stunning Mason Cove, the natural beauty of the landscape stands in stark contrast to the history of convict prisoners who were sent here, condemned to hard labor. See these stunning ruins at your own pace or on a guided or themed tour.

The penal settlement in Port Arthur began as a small timber station in 1830 and rapidly grew to become one the most important colonies in the Southern Hemisphere.

Explore the various buildings, including the mess room, chapel, library and workshops of the eerie Penitentiary. See the Separate Prison, which was reserved for solitary confinement. Walk through the former morgue in the crumbling hospital and down the aisle of the ruined Convict Church, which overlooks the settlement. 

Step between the fallen walls of the Coal Mines Historic Site, Tasmania’s first operational mine, where the worst of offenders were sent to work underground. When the mines were at peak production, up to 600 miners, jailers and their families lived here.

Smell the flowers in the ornamental Government Gardens and meander through the reconstructed private grounds of the Commandant’s House. Step behind the separating masonry walls and into the most senior official’s residence where furnishings and artefacts tell how different daily life as an officer was compared to that of a convict. 

Historic Port Arthur also has a memorial garden for the people who lost their lives in the shooting that took place there.

Admission can be combined with exciting guided tours, including a cruise to the Isle of the Dead Cemetery, where over 1,000 convicts were buried between 1833 and 1877, or to the Point Puer Boys Prison, where inmates were as young as nine years old. Themed evening tours include a Ghost Tour and The Paranormal Investigation.

Port Arthur is a scenic 1.5-hour drive from Hobart. Entrance passes are valid for two days and include all-site admission, a walking tour, a cruise on the MV Marana, entry to historic buildings and for people experiencing mobility difficulties, access the gardens shuttle buggy. Prices differ for adults, children, families and concession cardholders.


Guide to Exploring Port Arthur Historic Site


Top Port Arthur Historic Site Flight & Hotel Packages

Top Port Arthur Historic Site Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 294 Properties near Port Arthur Historic Site
Stewarts Bay Lodge AU$236
Stewarts Bay Lodge

Stewarts Bay Lodge

6955 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur, TAS
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Port Arthur, this beach hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Stewarts Bay State Reserve and Port Arthur Historic Site. Long Bay Conservation Area and Tasman Golf Course are also within 3 miles (5 km).

    NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park AU$126
    NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park

    NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park

    Garden Point Road, Port Arthur, TAS
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in the historical district, this campsite is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Stewarts Bay State Reserve and 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Port Arthur Historic Site. Long Bay Conservation Area and Port Arthur Lavender Farm are also within 3 miles (5 km).

      Port Arthur Motor Inn AU$130
      Port Arthur Motor Inn

      Port Arthur Motor Inn

      29 Safety Cove Road, Port Arthur, TAS
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Port Arthur, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Stewarts Bay State Reserve and Port Arthur Historic Site. Long Bay Conservation Area and Tasman Golf Course are also within 3 miles (5 km).

        Port Arthur Villas AU$149
        Port Arthur Villas

        Port Arthur Villas

        52 Safety Cove Road, Port Arthur, TAS
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Port Arthur motel is located by the ocean, within 2 mi (3 km) of Port Arthur Historic Site and Tasman Golf Course. Isle of the Dead and Point Puer are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Fox and Hounds Inn AU$90
          Fox and Hounds Inn

          Fox and Hounds Inn

          6789 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur, TAS
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Port Arthur, this motel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Long Bay Conservation Area and 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Port Arthur Historic Site. Stewarts Bay State Reserve and Port Arthur Lavender Farm are also within 2 miles (3 km).

            Bay Retreat Port Arthur
            Bay Retreat Port Arthur

            Bay Retreat Port Arthur

            229 Safety Cove Road, Port Arthur, TAS
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Port Arthur, this beach cottage is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) from Tasman Golf Course and 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Port Arthur Historic Site. Safety Cove State Reserve and Isle of the Dead are also within 2 miles (3 km).

              Sea Change Safety Cove AU$220
              Sea Change Safety Cove

              Sea Change Safety Cove

              425 Safety Cove Road, Port Arthur, TAS
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Nestled on the beach, this Port Arthur bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tasman Golf Course and Remarkable Cave. Isle of the Dead and Point Puer are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                The Pear Cottage - Unwind and Recharge or Explore the Tasman Peninsula
                The Pear Cottage - Unwind and Recharge or Explore the Tasman Peninsula

                The Pear Cottage - Unwind and Recharge or Explore the Tasman Peninsula

                190 Stormlea Rd, Highcroft, TAS
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in a rural location, this historic cottage is within 1 mile (2 km) of Tasman National Park and Hardys Hill Nature Reserve. Apex Point Conservation Area and Brother and Sister Conservation Area are also within 3 miles (5 km).