Port Arthur Historic Site
Port Arthur Historic Site
4.5
Historic SitesHistoric Walking AreasHistory Museums
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site, just 90 minutes’ drive southeast of Hobart, is a national award-winning major tourist attraction. Spanning over 40 hectares with more than 30 historic buildings to explore, Port Arthur brings Australia’s early convict history to life with interactive experiences, guided tours, harbour cruises, dramatisations and the spine-chilling Ghost Tour after dark. Every ticket to Port Arthur includes a self-guided audio experience, complimentary site talks at key locations, a harbour cruise and access to the site for two consecutive days. Additional tours are available for anyone seeking a more in-depth look around the convict ruins and their stories with the Convict Tour, Commandant's tour, Escape from Port Arthur Tour and the Isle of the Dead Cemetery Tour. Dine in 1830 Restaurant & Bar as the sun sets over the sandstone ruins before joining a lantern-lit ghost tour for a very different experience of the historic site.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • What We Found Travelling
    Sydney, Australia3,290 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Eerily Peaceful
    First thing I noticed about this place is how eerily peaceful it is throughout its expansive grounds. Definitely worth a visit. The $47 entry ticket includes a 20 minute guided ferry trip around the harbour. Tip: this site is an all day event, hence, don’t do what we did & arrive at 2PM because they kick everyone off the site at 5PM.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 17 March 2023
  • Libby W
    Adelaide, Australia256 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Make sure to catch the various talks or, better still, book the commdandant's tour.
    Loved our time visiting over two days. We booked the Commandant's tour and this provided a really helpful overview of the whole place and what there was to see. We managed to catch some of the site talks which were informative and interesting as well. All up, a well managed facility that provides for a quality experience.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 17 March 2023
  • Anventure
    Atlanta, Georgia131 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    All day visit would fly by
    A 2.5 hour visit flew by. Incredible, painful history shared in an engaging and beautiful manner. I downloaded the podcast but found myself more into the live talks offered at various locations at posted time. Such a respectful and beautiful historical site. The cafe and grounds are just amazing. I was there on a soggy day but hardly noticed it because I was so interested and immersed in the experience.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 28 March 2023
  • AbsolutelyDubrovnik
    Seattle, Washington989 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Superb historic site to visit
    We were lucky to tour Port Arthur today ( as a part of an organized tour ). The tour was beautifully organized and timed perfectly to maximize our time. We arrived and proceeded immediately to start a guided walking tour of the site - great information, humor and sound. Following the tour we had a few minutes to explore the area before proceeding to a lovely and informative harbor tour where we looked at various island- and shoreline- based aspects of Port Arthur. After lunch we explored areas we hadn’t covered in the walking tour but had heard about. As Port Arthur is 1 1/2 hrs from Hobart the smooth and beautifully coordinated visit was greatly appreciated due to timing constraints. We would highly recommend this fascinating and very educational historic site.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 April 2023
  • Fiona C
    Melbourne, Australia106 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Port Arthur Historic Site - You Just Have To
    A great day out from Hobart. Very pretty drive to the site, suggest you prebook. A short cruise around the bay is included. It’s well worth it. Allow enough time to walk around the grounds and see all the buildings and gardens. Information boards and tour guides make it all the more meaningful. The history of the site is tragic, but what a beautiful setting. On entering it is worth watching the short video. And select a card on arrival, you will be selecting a person who was part of the Port Arthur convict settlement - which makes the visit all the more memorable. Whatever your age, this is a great day out.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 9 April 2023
  • Hvnahoot
    Saint Thomas, Canada277 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very interesting historic site.
    We actually did this tour in April 2019 and I forgot to post…. Did a one day excursion to Port Arthur during our Celebrity cruise. Really enjoying the beautiful landscape of the island as we travelled by bus to the historic site. Were really surprised to learn that there are also over 300 wineries on this island. The tour of the site was very interesting and one could only imagine what it was like for the prisoners to build the ‘city’ in which they resided. Our tour also included a boat tour where we were surprised to see the island where the children prisoners resided!! Would recommend this tour!
    Visited July 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 June 2023
  • Tessa S
    Oxford, United Kingdom172 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Port Arthur - beautiful setting masking something very different.
    Port Arthur is set up to manage a huge number of visitors and the car parks, sites, boat trip ( included in the ticket price) can absorb large numbers. Port Arthur is huge - accessed via the main entrance, gift shop, restaurant. I would suggest going early in the day before queues develop. Enormously interesting - genteel society enjoyed by the Governor and his officers contrasts vividly with the privations and hideous conditions endured by the convicts, particularly those suffering with their mental health. Port Arthur housed up to 1200 people, men and women at one time. Many were identified as hard core convicts who had escaped from elsewhere and Port Arthur identified as the central prison instead of a scattering of regional prisons. It is remote, very difficult to escape from. Port Arthur is beautiful, very well maintained- reminded me of the Lake District in the UK, trees running down to the waters edge. The boat trip round the harbour is very informative and was enhanced by the fact that there were a flotilla of dolphins. It’s a big site, much of it unshaded so plan for this. Leave plenty of time, there is masses to see with clear guidance round the site and notice boards with lots to read. If you are staying in Hobart then well worth the 60 mile journey. It helps makes sense of Tasmania and the role convicts played in defining and developing society.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 9 September 2023
  • Quentinn R
    Wellington, New Zealand31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Prison Reforms and Enlightenment
    Worth a visit, especially on a sunny day. Amazing history and not necessarily what you’d expect for the period. Recommend paying a little extra for one of the many guided tours, and if self driving taking the time to visit some of the local lookouts/sight seeing locations
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 27 September 2023
  • sallybowl
    Wallan, Australia155 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must visit while in Tassie
    Sunny 21 degrees and what a magnificent day it was. Admittedly my 10 year old daughter had had enough by the hour and at no one else’s fault but my own my phone was on 10% battery so we failed to have any self guided voice over tour. None the less, we walked through the sites which I was amazed and thoroughly enjoyed the break with boat trip to listen about the island for children and the island of the dead. If you enjoy photography, this is your place
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 October 2023
  • Sue
    Adelaide, Australia24 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Port Arthur
    Gorgeous drive to Port Arthur. Fantastic ammenities - Large cafe offering great choices. Port Arthur was incredible, included with your ticket is a boat cruise, very informative. Gardens are meticulously maintained. Definitely recommend a day trip for anyone traveling to Hobart.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 October 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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PUMBRIDGE
London, UK2,076 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Lively, sobering but essential history tour. The 100-acre site is a magnificent experience.
We booked our cruise etc independently, and that worked well. It felt like we were in control, rather than going on a fully prepared organised outing.
The guides are remarkably knowledgeable; Rob, in particular. He could seal in an inspired stream of witty consciousness for two hours without anyone’s attention flagging.
There’s so much to see, so just do it!
Written 17 February 2024
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.

kerrie J
Melbourne, Australia22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Previous visit was 1977 so decided to visit again. Glad we did.

We found our time at Port Arthur historic site to be most informative and moving. It provided an insight into the harshness of the time for the convicts, but also reminded us of those lost back in 1996, a day that impacted our nation in so many ways. (The change in gun laws that resulted from this was a most positive outcome.) Talks at various points were useful.

Special thanks to Tom J, the people mover driver, who kept rescuing us and going above and beyond to help us out!
Written 12 February 2024
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.

Jacqueline A
6 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
The buildings under conservation was impressive. Some handy tips would be to have large water tank to cater for free water for large crowds from cruise ships every two weeks.
The memorial garden could have translation for be quiet, and have a more cultural appropriate sentiment, or make a podcast translated to explain the memorial garden - or include subtitles in the visitor gallery initial video.
The staff in the Pt Arthur coffee van outside were rude and rolled their eyes while taking orders, so that was off putting. Would be great to have outdoor toilets scattered across the sites too.
Written 3 February 2024
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.

Cruiser29936078723
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
I took my 88 yr old father, wheelchairs were difficult to push through gravel stones, the shuttle bus service was very few and scarce,
One of the female employees was very frustrated saying more than once how she was busy with a cruiseliner that was there
We were paying customers and ships visiting should not take priority, put more buses on in these time, waiting at each stop for about half a hr was annoying as we were limited to what we could see due to time restraints.
Staff response was sorry you just have to start to walk down, my father cannot walk.
We were eventually picked up and taken to boat dock.
This is not recommended for seniors that can't walk far.
Written 25 January 2024
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.

lizcha
Seattle56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
We were very impressed by everything at Port Arthur. The site has been thoughtfully restored, so you get a sense of what life was like for prisoners and staff, while leaving it still in ruins. That's a tricky balance to pull off! The information presented both in the gallery and around the site is interesting and informative. We took Jet's Escape from Port Arthur tour, which was fascinating. Jet is a gifted storyteller and I ended up feeling invested in the lives of the men who tried (and tried and tried) to escape (successfully?)
Written 22 January 2024
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.

Daniel H
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
A beautiful place considering the atrocities that occurred there. Very friendly and knowledgeable guides available to inform and entertain. You’re also able to listen to a recorded explanation from a guide that has worked there over 30 years and explains in detail all the buildings and history.
The ghost tour was fun but not as good as it used to be. Would love to hear more stories of the people there and not as many stories of encounters that people have had. Sad we couldn’t go to the surgeon’s house.
Written 21 January 2024
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.

Jarrod B
Gundagai, Australia91 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
I think people expect this place to be like sovereign hill in Victoria(which it is not) . It offers a snapshot of what the convicts and pioneers were up against in the era very accurately. You’ve gotta want to appreciate the history of it. As for paying homage to the victims of the terrible events in 1996, I honestly think they missed something , I wanted to read more about the victims , learn who they were etc. the front kiosk is impressive and very modern you can get good food there and the gift shop is extensive aswell. It cost us (a family of 5 - 2 adults 3 kids under 14) $115 for entry and a quick lap on a boat of death island. Fair price in my eyes as the ammenities are clean and the grounds well kept.
Written 16 January 2024
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.

Aussie_2012
Melbourne, Australia921 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Get here early for two reasons - one, to get a car park cause you could be parking a distance away if arriving late. But two, this place needs a full day to really appreciate and understand the history of this place.
It is done very well and because the place is quite large and spread out over a large property you don’t feel like there are many people around yet there is especially during peak season.
The visitor centre is large and has a large ticketing area, large cafe, gift shop, smallish exhibit and all other normal facilities.
The site itself has many buildings, many of which you can go in. There is a massive amount of information on display so you will really walk away from your time spent having a good understanding of what Port Arthur was about, not just about the convicts but those who lived there, worked there and those who were post-convict prison time.
Spend the extra money also to go out to the Island of the Dead. It is short tour but again gives you a fascinating insight into the lives out there. Well done Mark who was our tour guide on the island.
Must see place here in Tasmania and very educational
Written 10 January 2024
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.

DeVine S
36 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Bryn's tour was not adaptive enough. Standing on the middle of grass waving towards buildings made the talk boring. Other tour guides took their groups into the buildings which made the talks more relevant. The interpretive signage is inadequate. The tours would be made more interesting if guides and staff dressed in period costume. The cafe is all pre-packed food which did not look appealing. Ticked of the bucket list. Would not return for a second look.
Written 3 January 2024
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.

Ldorian
Canberra, Australia14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Exploring the Port Arthur historical site is essential when in the area!

The insightful guided talks/tours, available throughout the day, offer a deeper understanding of the historical events at the settlement.

There is a considerable amount of walking involved, I would advise to wear suitable shoes and allocate ample time to fully experience everything the site has to offer.
Written 2 January 2024
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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