130 Years of Tourism at Port Arthur celebrated

April 9, 2008

Port Arthur has been a magnet for tourists ever since the prison closed in 1877. This long period of the Historic Site’s history will be celebrated by a special exhibition that opens this week.

Almost as soon as the prison gates swung open, steamers full of tourists from Hobart started arriving to see the infamous place. Convict-era homes were converted into hotels, guest houses and inns to accommodate and feed the visitors.

In this exhibition we retrace this period through photographs and ephemera, watching the site evolve from a picturesque, abandoned ruin to a carefully conserved candidate for World Heritage status. The images come from PAHSMA’s own collection, as well as from other Australian collections, both public and private.

This exhibition is presented by the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority as part of the 2008 Tasmanian Heritage Festival, which includes a variety of activities around the State.

The exhibition is displayed in The Asylum, Port Arthur Historic Site from 11 April – 15 May 2008. The display is open from 9am – 5pm daily. Access to the exhibition is included in Site entry fee

 

At the Commandant's House, circa 1885 (PAHSMA Collection)

At the Commandant’s House, circa 1885 (PAHSMA Collection)

'Old Harry', a guide at Port Arthur circa 1911 (PAHSMA Collection)

‘Old Harry’, a guide at Port Arthur circa 1911 (PAHSMA Collection)

Picnickers at Port Arthur, circa 1945 (PAHSMA Collection)

Picnickers at Port Arthur, circa 1945 (PAHSMA Collection)