Places to visit in Tasmania
Sarah Island
4.5
About
Now strictly a tourist attraction, this island was used as a penal colony from January 1822-1833.
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Top ways to experience Sarah Island and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles51 reviews
Excellent
40
Very good
6
Average
5
Poor
0
Terrible
0

happykoabug
Honolulu, HI169 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Our guide was excellent as she is one of the actor from the play "the ship that never was". She make the tour interesting and engaging. The tour was a bit rushed but the had 2 groups to handle in a limited timeframe. I love seeing the old dock make of Huon pines.
Written 18 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

food_lover
Sydney, Australia114 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
Part of our Gordon River cruise, our guide was very well practiced with her story of life on Sarah Island during the eleven years of hell on earth the British government liked to dish out to her citizens.. While our guide was excellent, I felt the tour too fast paced as we rushed from one site to another and before you know it you are back on the cruise boat.
Written 2 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susannah H
St Kilda, Australia17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Family
Fantastic Scottish bloke as our guide, absolutely spectacular tour. Incredibly informative, and very engaging (my 15 year old tells me our guide should be a high school teacher! I actually think he would be a great tv presenter!!). Thanks a lot - a great part of the Gordon River experience.
Written 12 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dan L
Bunbury, Australia7,494 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
We visited Sarah Island as part of our cruise itinerary. Little more than ruins remain as a reminder of one of the most sadistic penal colonies in Australia from 1822 - 1833. Our excellent guide took us through the settlement from establishment to the final closure. We thought the treatment of convicts at Port Arthur was brutal, on Sarah Island a compliment of deranged sadists were in charge. And yet, the Island is also remembered for the skill of its shipbuilders, both convicts, ex-convicts and civilians. These is outstanding information signage at each point on the tour, it supplemented the complex picture painted by our guide.
Written 22 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elaine
24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Part of the Gordon River cruise - well worth hiring a guide who gives a wonderful and entertaining commentary on the history of the island. Well researched and delivered.
Written 4 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ian M
Mildura, Australia714 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
As part of our Gordon River Cruise we had some time on Sarah Island. Our guide was really good explaining all the convict relics It is a fascinating place and really worth the visit.
Written 7 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

H.F. Callaghan
Cabramurra, Australia225 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Couples
You wouldn’t beleive what went on here in the 1820’s. You need to go and get the full experience. Be amazed at how many people this little island housed.
Written 2 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PamelaSS888
Canberra, Australia1,267 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
The World Heritage Cruise includes a stop at Sarah Island, in the middle of Macquarie Island for a guided half hour walking tour. Sarah Island was established as a convict settlement in 1821 as it was so remote and difficult to escape from. The ruins of many early buildings can still be seen on the tour as well as many of the torture sites the convict island was famous for. Convicts were put to work building boats from Huon pine trees with more than 100 vessels built during the existence of the penal settlement. You can still see the timber shipbuilding yards now underwater around the island. Some 156 escape attempts were recorded and in 1834, ten convicts stole an incomplete ship and made it all the way to Chile in South America. Sarah Island penal station was closed down in 1833 but in 1847 it was again used as a probation station. It was then used by timber cutters as a base until the 1940s. Today it is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and Macquarie Harbour Historic Site. Well worth a visit but as part of the World Heritage day cruise.
Written 22 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CodyMav
Gold Coast, Australia27,709 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
The Gordon river cruises will stop here for a guided tour of this convict site.

Mostly ruins, its a fascinating tale of the convict struggles. Quite enjoyable
Written 17 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

phil L
Melbourne, Australia48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
I visited the Island as part of a cruise. We were entertained by a knowledgeable guide with great stories to tell. The visit gave me an insight to the brutality of the English penal system. Perhaps Manus and Nauru aren't much better!
Written 18 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Sarah Island (Tasmania) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor