Port Arthur Historic Site (Port Arthur)

#5 in Best Things To Do in Tasmania
Port Arthur Historic Site (Port Arthur) picture
Lee Torrens/Getty Images

Key Info

6973 Arthur Highway

Details

Museums, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

For a dose of Australian history, make your way to the Port Arthur Historic Site. Built in 1830 as a timber station and penal settlement for Britain's criminals, the property expanded over the years to accommodate more than 3,500 convicts across nearly 250 acres. Today, it's one of 11 locales that make up the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Australian Convict Sites and welcomes visitors daily.

History buffs rave about this Port Arthur attraction, saying it's one of Australia's most well-preserved landmarks. Many also praise the site's "beautiful" location by Carnarvon Bay and recommend saving time for the property's 25-minute harbor cruise, which is included in your entrance fee. To further immerse yourself, some recommend going on an evening ghost tour.

The Port Arthur Historic Site is open from 9 a.m. until sunset daily. Standard tickets cost 39 Australian dollars (about $31) for adults, AU$17 (less than $13.50) for kids ages 7 to 17, and AU$99 (roughly $78) for families with one or two adults and up to six children. Entry is free for kids 6 and younger and travelers who hike the Three Capes Track. Passes are valid for two consecutive days and include a 40-minute guided walking tour, a harbor cruise and access to more than 30 historic buildings. Specialty tours of the cemetery and Point Puer Boys' Prison, as well as ghost tours cost extra. You can also pay AU$6 for an audio guide. All ticketholders have access to a coffee shop, restrooms and two gift shops, plus a free parking lot. If you don't have a car, you can take Tassielink Transit's No. 750 or 751 bus to the site. You'll find the Port Arthur Historic Site approximately 60 miles southeast of Hobart. Find out more by visiting the property's website.

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More Best Things To Do in Tasmania

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Freycinet National Park (Coles Bay)

Occupying a peninsula just south of Coles Bay, Freycinet National Park is a prime spot for bird-watching, camping and scenic drives. The park also features white-sand beaches surrounded by pink granite peaks that are just as popular with photographers as they are with swimmers, kayakers and snorkelers. If you'd rather hike while exploring this protected area, you'll find multiple trails for short, half-day and overnight hikes on-site.

Visitors rave about this national park's scenery, adding that locales like Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach are so breathtaking that you could spend several hours admiring your surroundings. If you're short on time or new to hiking, travelers recommend trekking the Wineglass Bay Lookout path; for a more challenging hike, several suggest taking the path to Mount Amos. Reviewers also rave about the sunsets at Honeymoon Bay and Cape Tourville's lighthouse.

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