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Port Arthur Cruises

The settlement of Port Arthur shines a light on Australia’s history as a penal colony, being one of the continent’s most notorious gaols. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Port Arthur sits at the southern tip of Tasmania and was once used to house criminals from all over the map during the 19th century. You can take a walking tour through its eerie ruins, dormitories and museums to learn more about daily life here. Travel back in time to learn about how Port Arthur served as a centre of industry, with residents making bricks, shoes, and ships, and reflect on the lives spent here.

Port Arthur


Although it may have a somewhat dark history, there are certainly pockets of beauty to be found at Port Arthur. For example, the site’s gardens are lush and elegant, particularly the Government Garden with its foxgloves and lilies.

The ‘Separate Prison’ is one area of particular intrigue, used to house prisoners punished by solitary confinement. It’s laid out in a cross shape of four wings, each lined with small cells for those unlucky enough to be placed here.

Many historic houses have been restored to accurate period detail, so you can see the cottages where convicts lived upon release. The original fittings and décor remain in many of these colony’s cottages, giving fascinating insight into typical daily life in Tasmania during the 1800s.

There’s also a Convict Church built from stone and wood, constructed during the 1830s. A place of tranquillity and reflection to this day, it overlooks the settlement and was capable of holding over a thousand visitors at once.

In addition to the Port Arthur Historic Sites, you can get out and explore the surroundings of Tasman National Park with its marine life, fur seals, parrots and caves. The park also hosts two of Tasmania’s most iconic natural attractions, the Blow Hole and the Tasman Arch!

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