Port Arthur & The South

A History Lesson

Port Arthur Historic Site, a well-presented bastion of Australia's convict history, is located a mere 90 minute drive along the Convict Trail Touring Route from Hobart. Port Arthur was originally established as a timber station in the 1830's, but was converted into a working peneitentiary because of its geographical isolation and its gruelling labour conditions.

The Port Arthur Historical Site itself covers roughly 100 hectares, with 40 of those being accessible to the public. This land is home to over 30 buildings, ruins and restored homes, and seeks to recreate the diverse narratives of thousands of convicts and civilians who lived in the settlement at various times during its difficult history. Throughout its most lucrative time, Port Arthur was almost completely self-sufficient and driven on the labour of its inmates. Various ruins of hospitals, dockyards, mills and schools help to recreate its chequered past as Australia's most infamous penal settlement.

The Huon Valley region south of Hobart is known for its scenic beauty and is one of Australia's biggest apple producers. It is also the gateway to the beautiful Bruny Island. Divided into North and South Bruny Island by a narrow isthmus, it is an island of contrasts, and is home to gentle pastoral land and rugged sea cliffs. There are quiet beaches and roaring surf breaks, farmland and wildlife reserves - in fact, Bruny Island is almost a microcosm of Tasmania itself.

Insiders' Tips

  1. Dinner with the Devil: The Tasman National Park features some amazing natural formations, including the Tessellated Pavement, The Blowhole and the Devils Kitchen.
  2. A Sweet Temptation: Just outside the town of Port Arthur you'll find Federation Chocolates - Yum!
  3. Do It After Dark if you Dare: The Port Arthur Historic Site, home of a colonial prion colony is at its haunting best after dark. Take the Historic Ghost tour if you dare.

For More Information

For maps, days tours and accommodation options, visit the Port Arthur & The South chapter in our Tasmania online brochure. Click here.

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