"CONVICT SETTLEMENT" Top 5 Page for this destination Port Arthur by balhannah

Port Arthur Travel Guide: 58 reviews and 166 photos


Probably some of you didn't know that Port Arthur is a small town!

Port Arthur - Tasmania was once a home to over 12,500 convicts and provided the severest form of punishment for difficult prisoners in Australia between 1830 and 1853.

Port Arthur had some of the strictest security measures of the British penal system AND convicts had no wish to end up in this prison!

Punishment at Port Arthur came in many forms.

There was physical punishment........
psychological punishment. .........
Hard corporal punishment, such as whippings.........
Silent System" ........ prisoners were hooded and made to stay silent, this was supposed to allow time for the prisoner to reflect upon the actions which had brought him there.

It is hard to imagine that by the 1850s Port Arthur was a remarkably self-sufficient settlement and that the convicts were involved in industries as ship building, growing vegetables, making shoes and boots, manufacturing clothing, making bricks and cutting and processing timber. It is easy to forget that this was one of the largest convict colonies in Australia and that, as such, it provided all the facilities of a large village.

Another event, that we all wish never happened in 1996.


It is a wonderful "open air museum " and is Tasmania's top tourist attraction.

Located approximately 60 km south east of Hobart and easy to reach by car or on a tour.

The scenic drive from Hobart, via the Tasman Highway to Sorell and the Arthur Highway to Port Arthur, takes around 90 minutes and covers approx. 96 km.

Transport from Hobart to the site is also available via bus or ferry, and various companies offer day tours from Hobart.

I have seen Port Arthur when it was all ruins many years ago. I must say I really enjoyed seeing it this way.
Sometimes, in my opinion, it is nicer in ruins than being restored.

Well, now I have seen it in the restored form as well, it still is nice and interesting, and I consider myself priveliged to have seen it "before" and "after!"


Pros and Cons
  • Pros:5* Open Air Museum - A must visit!
  • In a nutshell:Do you want to go back in time? I don't think so!
  • Last visit to Port Arthur: Jan 2007
  • Intro Updated Sep 24, 2015
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Reviews (14)

Comments (2)

  • Oct 21, 2010 at 10:48 PM

    The parsonage, one of the most haunted places in Port Arthur. There have been rumors of ghost sight seeings. historicaltravelguide.com/po...

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Nice looking ruins -- but you're right, I wouldn't want to go back in time in this former convict colony! Amazing that even young boys were imprisoned for stealing toys.


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