Port Arthur occupies an idyllic position on the tip of the Tasman Peninsula where a rich history meets nature reserves, pristine beaches and tranquil bays. Sightseeing revolves around a 19th-century former convict settlement, but also features intricate cave systems and fascinating wildlife.
Things to do in Port Arthur
Discover unique Australian history at the well-preserved Port Arthur Historic Site, home to over 30 buildings from the former penal colony. Learn about the hardships and dark tales of imprisoned convicts living here during the 19th century while exploring the colony and on-site museum. You can also hop aboard a cruise to the Isle of the Dead for a guided tour of the convict cemetery or visit at night for an enthralling ghost tour.
Head over to the Coal Mines Historic Site to walk through former convict worksites, homes and prisons while learning about their everyday lives. Don’t forget about Point Puer Boys Prison, the first British reformatory established in Australia for juvenile male convicts.
If you’d rather get lost in nature, visit Remarkable Cave, where you can admire interesting rock formations jutting out into Basket Bay. Walk up to Maingon Lookout for sweeping coastal vistas before visiting Crescent Bay, a stunning expanse of windswept sand dunes and azure waters.
Want to meet the local wildlife? Drive 40 minutes to Tasman National Park, where you can explore over 100 square kilometres of rare native plants and animals, such as Australian fur seals and little penguins. If you’re up for a challenge, take on one of the walking trails through the national park, which reveals a rugged coastline and the iconic Tasman Arch.
Getting around Port Arthur
Port Arthur is best experienced on a self-drive holiday with your own vehicle to get around. It’s about 1.5 hours’ drive from Hobart, which can be reached from most Australian cities on a number of domestic airlines.