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Port Arthur
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Port Arthur

Port Arthur is a quaint village best known for the well-preserved penal colony buildings of the nearby Port Arthur Historic Site.

Set on the tip of the Tasman Peninsula, Port Arthur is a great base to explore the historic site and the area's natural attractions including dramatic coastal rock formations and towering cliffs.

The Port Arthur Historic Site was established in 1830 as a timber station and was soon built into a small town to house and punish over a thousand of Tasmania's most notorious convicts. This dark history contrasts with the beauty of the surrounding area. Full of powerful stories of hardship and loss, it's one of Tasmania's most rewarding travel experiences.

You can find more early Australian convict history at the World Heritage-listed Coal Mines Historic Site, 20 km north-west of Port Arthur, where the site reveals the harsh lives of repeat offender convicts who worked underground extracting coal.

Nature also looms large with unique rock formations such as Remarkable Cave and beautiful waterways like Crescent Bay, a secluded curve of striking beauty backed by massive sand dunes.

Port Arthur is about a 1-hr drive (93 km) south-east of Hobart.

Local tips

  • Take an evening Ghost Tour in the Port Arthur Historic Site
  • Walk from Remarkable Cave to Crescent Bay