School Visit FAQs

 

Planning your visit

WHEN SHOULD I MAKE A BOOKING?

Bookings should be made at least six weeks in advance to ensure the availability of tours and activities. If you are planning to make or change a booking within the next six weeks, please contact the Education Officer directly.

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN SITE ENTRY?

The basic package for students visiting Port Arthur includes entry to the site for two consecutive days and access to over 30 historic buildings, ruins and gardens, one Guided Education Walk and a 30 minute Harbour Cruise.

 

HOW MANY TOURS AND ACTIVITES SHOULD WE BOOK?

For a one day visit, a recommended itinerary would include the basic package and up to two additional tours/activities. For a two day visit, a recommended itinerary would include the basic package and up to four additional tours/activities. Remember to also include some free time to explore the site! If you’re unsure about which tours and activities to book, please contact our Education Officer who will be able to advise you on the best itinerary for your group.

 

IS THE GHOST TOUR SUITABLE FOR MY GROUP?

We do not recommend the Ghost Tour for children under the age of ten. Please note that between October and April, tours may finish very late, and we advise staying overnight in the local area.

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO PORT ARTHUR FROM HOBART?

The drive from Hobart to Port Arthur takes approximately 90 minutes, however we recommend that you allow for at least two hours for bathroom breaks and scenery stops!

In order to get your visit off to a smooth start, be sure to arrive at the Visitor Centre at least 30 minutes before you are scheduled to begin your tour, so we can check you in. Please call Reservations on 1800 659 101 to let us know if you are running behind time.

 

IS THERE ANYWHERE ELSE WE SHOULD VISIT ON THE TASMAN PENINSULA?

There’s a lot to see on the Peninsula and numerous guided and self-guided options for exploring land and water and seeing native wildlife. If you’re planning on visiting the Coal Mines Historic Site at Saltwater River, please keep in mind that this is an un-staffed site. You can collect visitor guides from the Port Arthur Visitor Centre, and visit the website http://coalmines.org.au/ for more information.

 

ARE THERE CATERING OPTIONS AVAILABLE ON SITE?

We have food outlets at the Visitor Centre and the Museum. Catering must be ordered prior to your visit – please request a group catering menu when you fill out the online booking form, or contact Reservations directly. If you are self-catering please check with Reservations about locations when you arrive.

 

IS THE SITE ACCESSIBLE FOR PEOPLE WITH MOBILITY RESTRICTIONS?

The Historic Site comprises a variety of areas, some of which provide independent access, and others which may require assisted access. Our Guided Walk and Harbour Cruise are both wheelchair accessible. However, our Ghost Tours and our tours to the Isle of the Dead and Point Puer Boys Prison are not recommended for those with mobility restrictions. If someone in your group has mobility restrictions please advise us when filling out the online booking form.

 

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?

The weather at Port Arthur is quite changeable and we operate our tours and activites in most conditions, however in the case of severe weather we may need to cancel offshore tours such as the Isle of the Dead and Point Puer Boys’ Prison. Hats, sunscreen, a warm jumper, and a raincoat, or jacket are always recommended. As the surfaces here can be very uneven, closed-toe shoes, suitable for walking, are also recommended.

 

WHERE CAN WE STORE OUR BAGS?

Lockers are available at the Visitor Centre where items can be left all day, but cost $2 each time they are opened. We recommend leaving any large items on the bus, and carrying packed lunches, notebooks, hats etc in a small bag or backpack.

 

WHAT DO WE DO IF WE FIND AN ARTEFACT?

Port Arthur is an archaeological site as well as a tourist site. As such, any material found on site, is important for telling the story of its past. Often there are artefacts (objects such as broken ceramics, nails, etc.), turning up in the soil and grounds of the site. These MUST NOT BE TOUCHED OR TAKEN. It is tempting to pick it up and hand it in to someone, but in order to assist us in maintaining the site, leaving things where they are is the best way. Once something is removed, our archaeologists have lost some pieces of the puzzle!

 

CONTACTS

Education Officer                                                                                                 Reservations  

Ph: (03) 6251 2389                                                                                                  Ph: 1800 659 101

Email: james.westcott@portarthur.org.au                                                       Email: reservations@portarthur.org.au