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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  • Tessa S
    Oxford, United Kingdom182 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 Zealand41 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, Australia178 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, Australia91 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
  • Olivia Hocroft
    Wollongong, Australia76 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historical and beautiful
    There has been a large amount of buildings destroyed which is a little dissapointing. But what is left is gorgeous! THe cruise included is a nice quick trip and a lovely way to see the remains from the water. The seperate gaol was by far the best part, really enjoyed that. Having access to an isolation cell was such an interesting experience. The inclusion of an area for the 1996 shootings was really beautiful and felt very peaceful. Just be aware, if it rains... you're getting saturated.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 November 2023
  • Liketachat
    Hervey Bay, Australia116 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    NO ESCAPING THIS TOUR (Escapes Tour)
    Rob was our guide and he was well versed on the History of Port Arthur. He had many funny tales of the men that tried to escape the Penal Colony. It was a fast paced tour that could have been a little slower to allow some reading of the signage but, in all, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 November 2023
  • Angela T
    129 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Port Arthur self drive
    Visited Port Arthur in dec and the drive up was beautiful and there’s a few stops on the way you can eat and drink and take photos at. The Museum was busy but you still had plenty of room to get around. Massive cafe on site too and a shop full of gifts. The site itself is beautiful and looked after very well. Did the little boat cruise too which was fun and deffo recommend the scallop pie. Went to the little market there and even bought a bottle of gin. I would recommend getting on one of the tours here with a guide and learn a bit more of the history behind this place.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 December 2023
  • Ldorian
    Canberra, Australia36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Port Arthur Day Trip
    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.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 2 January 2024
  • Aussie_2012
    Melbourne, Australia896 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A full day of history
    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
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 10 January 2024
  • Jarrod B
    Gundagai, Australia90 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don’t expect what this isn’t
    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.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 15 January 2024
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Adrenalinetravellers
80 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
My partner and I visited the Port Arthur Historical Site in Jan 2020. Given the great reviews, we had high expectations of the activity which unfortunately, were not met. We did the 40 min Introductory Tour and the 25 min Harbour Cruise (which were included in the basic tickets) as well as the 1.5 h Ghost Tour.

Our guide for the Introductory Tour was very entertaining and provided a good introduction to the site. We would have preferred a longer tour covering more ground as we mainly stayed at the pasture and didn't visit any of the buildings during the tour.

The Harbour Cruise was a pleasant ride out on the water in an enclosed cabin (with standing room on the sides for those who prefer fresh air). There was commentary during the ride but it was rather forgettable. The cruise made a stop at the cemetery to let off and pick up those on the Isle of the Dead tour.

After the Harbour Cruise, my partner and I walked around the grounds on our own. There were signs and posters in the different buildings explaining the history of the area and the inmates, but the entire experience was lacking... intrigue. We feel that the visit could be vastly improved if an audio tour was included, similar to that provided at Alcatraz in San Francisco.

We went on the Ghost Tour at dusk as we were scaredy cats and did not feel up to meeting the supernatural in pitch darkness. We were glad of the decision as the Historical Site was eerie even before the sun had set completely. The walk was lit by lantern lights and the guide did her utmost to keep the group as frightened as possible by sharing horror stories and spooky occurrences in the area. However, pay close attention and you'll notice some factors that don't add up. Also, the group was rather large at over 20 pax, and that detracted from the overall experience given that there is safety in numbers (not that my partner and I are complaining).

All in all, we thought that our visit to the Port Arthur Historical Site was just average, but given the other review, it seems like we are in the minority. We hope that the company will take our feedback for an audio tour into consideration for a more in-depth experience.
Written 14 February 2020
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.
Dear Adrenalinetravellers Thank you for your review and we are sorry the experience did not match your expectations and that of other reviews. The introductory tour is intended as an introduction to the site and how and why it is laid out, with the grounds being a great vantage point and allowing room for the groups without overlapping with other visitors. Group sizes do fluctuate throughout the year, both day and night, with summer being a peak time. To ensure people get to experience a ghost tour, but without having them run up until midnight, we cap numbers at 32 per tour. There is a Paranormal Investigations Experience which is a smaller size and different format that allows participants to more deeply explore some of the more haunted spaces on site. Port Arthur did offer audio tours, however the technology has now been superseded and we now in the process of programming some free and more easily accessible audio tours for our visitors. Again, thank you for your feedback and we do hope to welcome you back to the site in the future. Kind regards the Port Arthur team
Written 19 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LyndaB B
Paradise Point, Australia102 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
You will need a few hours to cover all these outdoor exhibits. There is a free introduction walking tour and boat trip included in the entry price. These can be booked for you by the friendly staff at reception when purchasing your ticket. Comfortable shoes are recommended. The cafe has a well priced choice of hot meals, salads, sandwiches, wraps, coffee etc. Don’t miss the restored Governor’s House with its beautiful views. I found the silent prison confronting.
Written 14 February 2020
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.

Frans_12255060
Broadbeach, Australia418 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021 • Couples
We booked the standard site entry, which provided a 40 minute introductory tour plus a twenty minute boat trip in the bay.
The introductory tour provided context and interest, with an overview of the site and its history, allowing you to subsequently explore at your leisure those buildings of greatest attraction. The buildings are tastefully displayed, with unobtrusive strengthening where needed, plus lots of interesting plaques with bios of past inhabitants.
The boat trip provides great views of the entire site from the water, plus some more historical details.
Everything was smoothly organised, and the site is deserving of around 3 hours of discovery
Written 14 February 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.

cocoroyal
Gold Coast, Australia146 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family

We booked in for dinner at 1830 and then to do the Ghost Tour of the Historic Site 9.15 pm Tour .

Our guide Chris was absolutely wonderful in giving us knowledgeable and fascinating stories of the site .

He engaged with the group in a fun way , and we feel our children aged 10 and 12 yrs old were entertained and took lots of memorable stories away .

We would definitely recommend this tour , on your visit to Port Arthur .

Keep up the good work Chris , delivering such intriguing stories of sighted Ghosts and convicts who were placed at Port Arthur .
Written 1 February 2020
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.
Thank you for visiting the site and we are so pleased you enjoyed your After Dark experience. Your kind words will be passed onto Chris and the guiding team. Regards the Port Arthur team
Written 13 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Peter D
Hervey Bay, Australia1,477 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
We visited here in early January, and it was extremely busy. Nevertheless the tour provided us with plenty of background information to the penal settlement. The tour guide explained the history, and when that concluded, we were then able to wander around the settlement at our pace. I had expected the guide would lead us from one site to another, but they basically don’t move to far from the initial starting point. In the end it didn’t matter to us. We saw everything, and had a map to reference different sites. The cost of the entry ticket also included a ferry ride to the Island of the Dead (convict cemetery). Overall a good day, and a fascinating insight into convict life in the early days. Perhaps outside of school holidays, it would not be as busy as it was the day we went.
Written 5 February 2020
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.
Thank you for visiting Port Arthur and taking the time to leave a review. Summer holidays are a peak visitor time, however it is also when we offer extras such as family activities and performances by the Penitentiary to ensure there is plenty for our visitors to see and do. Port Arthur is open every day of the year, so we do hope to welcome you back during a different season to experience what the site has to offer then. Kind regards the Port Arthur team
Written 13 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

stuartd308
Adelaide, Australia72 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021 • Solo
The drive to Port Arthur is beautiful, the entry and shop great (we went out of school holidays so not busy) and the site itself stunning. Took the guided tour and guide was great - a bit longer would be good, the building stunning if you enjoy history and garden 110%

Didn’t do the boat trip as told not worth it (free with entry).

If you are into the colonial history and beautiful gardens I would recommend the 2 day pass
Written 11 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.

Lauren L
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
We did the Escape from Port Arthur tour today and it was fantastic!

Jet, our guide, was so knowledgable and interactive with the group. He shared stories that were fun and engaging, and answered any questions we had.

The tour group was small, and allowed us to really get into the experience. I am so glad that we did this!

Because Jet was amazing, we managed to swap our ghost tour to his tour, and it was just as good! He did promise us that if we joined him on his tour, we could be the head lantern holders, and he did not disappoint.

Once again, that tour was great as well. He took into consideration that I was terrified and looked after the group, telling stories and providing a few jump scares along the way.

We also did the Isle of the Dead tour, which was interesting as well.

Overall, a fantastic day at PA!!!
Thank you Jet!!!!!
- Lauren & Ty
Written 7 January 2020
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.
Dear laurenl755 Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback on your experience of our Escape from Port Arthur Tour with our guide Jet. I will be sure to pass on your feedback to Jet and our Guiding Manager. I'm sure it will make him smile. Thank you for recommending us and we hope to welcome you back again or at one of our other sites such as the Cascades Female Factory in South Hobart some time soon. Kindest Regards, The Port Arthur Team
Written 16 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Liz
Melbourne, Australia5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
We loved our time here (much to our surprise) with the expectation of a usual mundane museum experience we were very pleasantly surprised! The grounds are beautifully maintained, the information dotted around the site is captivating whilst being informative, and every guide we came across was passionate about the site. Special mention for our walking tour guide ‘Jet’ who was incredible! He was very knowledgeable, whilst being respectfully humorous and transporting us through his stories, back to the era. Extra bits that were impressive with this site: your ticket lasts two days, so you can go back if there’s other sections you want to do (an adult ticket is $40, worth every penny!) and upon buying tickets you get given a playing card with a character so you can learn about a specific persons journey at Port Arthur! Would highly recommend!!
Written 3 January 2020
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.

Renee F
Sydney, Australia65 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
We have only used one of our two day pass but this place is amazing. Firstly the size..it’s huge so make sure you have good walking shoes. If you can’t walk long distances then wheelchairs are available (from what I could see), also bring warm clothing or at least a jacket, even on a hot day as it’s Tassie and the weather can change quickly. The ticket is great value! Don’t skip the introduction tour! We had Jet do our intro and he was awesome 👏 very informative, engaging and told a fantastic story ( painted us a picture for our minds). Jet is clearly excellent at his job and loves the history of Port Arthur. The staff in general were all informative and helpful. The grounds OMG they are beautifully presented and cared for. I take my hat off to all involved as this place is huge and must be a labour of love to care and maintain it to this standard. I can’t wait for day two.
Written 25 February 2020
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.

Jennefer N
Canberra, Australia291 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Friends
Included in the ghost tour price of $90 is a 2 course meal at the restaurant 1839.The meal was large fresh and absolutely divine and then for the ghost tour which was a 90 min walking tour at night.
Our guide was witty and kept us entertained with stories of the past as we visited the iconic buildings on site.The sky was clear and full of stars.Well worth a visit.
Written 7 August 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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