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Convict history
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Convict History

Tasmania's convict history tells a tale of crime, punishment, hardship and survival in some of the harshest, yet most beautiful places on earth.

Over 70,000 men, women and children were transported to Van Diemens Land in the early 1800s and many of the places and features they built are still standing today.

There's evidence of Australia's convict past no matter where you go, making Tasmania the perfect place to learn about Australia's early history and experience it first-hand. In fact, five of Australia's eleven UNESCO World Heritage-listed convict sites are found in Tasmania.

The Port Arthur Historic Site is Australia's most famous penal settlement, while the nearby Coal Mines Historic Site was Tasmania's first mine, operated by over 500 convicts. Today, mining ruins and relics can be explored among the surrounding bushland.

In Hobart, the Cascades Female Factory tells of the thousands of female convicts transported to Tasmania.

On Maria Island, off Tasmania's east coast, the buildings of the Darlington Probation Station date back to the 1820s and are set in a beautiful natural environment.

And in the north, the stately Brickendon Convict Village and Woolmers Estate are extraordinary testaments to the hard work of convicts assigned to private landowners.

Other convict highlights include Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour and the convict built bridge in Richmond.

As well as these, there are lots more convict sites across the state – in fact, a visit to just about any of our earlier towns will reveal the hard labour and skilled craftsmanship of Tasmania's convicts.

With Tasmania's convict sites offering some of the best-kept records of convict history anywhere in the world, what better place to trace your own convict genealogy?