Explore the History of Port Arthur

February 20, 2017
Port-Arthur-Historic-Site_Blog

Australia is one of the most popular long-haul holiday destinations, and it’s not hard to see why. If you’re planning a personalised Australia holiday, there’s so much to see and do. You can visit wineries, hit the beach, go hiking in the forests, and enjoy some cosmopolitan city living. There really is something for every visitor. If you’re visiting Australia, it’s well worth taking the time to visit the small but perfectly formed island of Tasmania. Easily accessible by boat, Tasmania is a wonderful wilderness, which also boasts a rich history.

Discovering the History of Port Arthur

Port Arthur is one of Tasmania’s most significant historical landmarks. It started life as a timber station in 1830 before becoming one of the country’s most important convict settlements. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Britain sent hundreds of convicts to Australia, and many of them were detained in Tasmania. The site of Port Arthur is now a World Heritage Site, and it is the most visited tourist attraction in Tasmania.

Located approximately 60 km from Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, Port Arthur was famed for its penal colonies in the mid 1800s. To begin with, it became famous for housing the toughest offenders, including those who had committed crimes since arriving in Australia from the UK and those who were causing problems at other facilities across the country. Port Arthur was a symbol of discipline and rigidity, and it had a fearsome reputation. Port Arthur was one of the original examples of separate prison models. It was completed in 1853 and subsequently expanded to cope with demand in 1855. It closed its doors in 1877.

Port Arthur is surrounded by a body of water, which adds to its isolation, and there’s an eerie vibe, even after all these years. Despite its glum past, Port Arthur stands in a beautiful location, and it’s worth visiting just to enjoy the scenic views.

Visiting Port Arthur

If you’re keen to get to grips with Australian history, or you want to know more about the history of the convicts and learn about their stories, Port Arthur is a fascinating destination. There’s an excellent museum, and you can also follow audio tours. If you’re not afraid of the dark, and you fancy a tour with a difference, why not book onto one of the evening ghost tours?

If you’re visiting Tasmania, make time to explore the history of Port Arthur and learn more about its significance in Australia’s history and its modern culture.

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