Exciting new visitor experiences across all three of Tasmania’s Port Arthur Historic Sites will be presented to international travel agents and wholesalers at Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) in Perth over the next week.
The Port Arthur Historic Sites are Australia’s essential convict history experiences. Much more than a history lesson, seeing these places for yourself can be emotional, inspiring and entertaining.
Port Arthur is justifiably famous as the place in Australia most associated with our convict heritage; however few people realise that we actually now manage three World Heritage listed convict sites in Southern Tasmania – Port Arthur and the Coal Mines, both on the Tasman Peninsula, and the Cascades Female Factory in South Hobart, each of which offers its own experiences and insights into the amazing stories of our history.
A range of exciting and exclusive new visitor experiences across these sites will help bring Australia’s early convict history to life, offering insight into Australia’s heritage and national character. It’s a unique opportunity to hear the stories of the men and women who were confined here, and to gain an understanding the contributions they made to the founding of modern Australia.
Port Arthur Historic Site – Tasman Peninsula
Australia’s iconic convict heritage destination, Port Arthur was described as a machine for grinding rogues into honest men. It was a bold experiment in the punishment and reform of criminals.
Located a 90-minute drive (95km) south-east of Hobart, visitors can experience Port Arthur through fascinating guided tours, interactive displays, historic buildings, ruins and museum houses, cruise on the harbour, discover the stories of the Isle of the Dead and visit Point Puer, the site of the first purpose-built children’s prison anywhere in the British Empire. The nightly Ghost Tour offers an atmospheric insight into Port Arthur’s past.
New Product: Private small group dining at the Visiting Magistrates House
At Port Arthur there is a brilliant new venue for small group fine dining where groups can combine a meal of fresh Tasmanian produce with a presentation on local history, family research, archaeology or the story of Port Arthur’s conservation.
New Product: Paranormal Investigation Experience at Port Arthur
In our brand new, late night adults-only Paranormal Investigation Experience, in which a small group of adventurous visitors goes out into several of the most allegedly haunted buildings at Port Arthur with a range of sensitive equipment and tries to find physical evidence of paranormal activity. It’s a great product for the would-be ghost hunter, and for anyone interested in seeing the amazing Port Arthur in a way that very few others will ever do.
Coal Mines Historic Site – Tasman Peninsula
A rare example of a convict operated mine, the Coal Mines site today is a peaceful bushland setting where visitors can explore the ruins of houses, barracks, offices and the cells of individuals once incarcerated here. A half-hour drive from Port Arthur (or an hour-and-a-half from Hobart), this was where the ‘worst of the worst’ convicts were sent for punishment.
New Product: Convict to Coalface tour – Port Arthur to the Coal Mines
This new group guided tour that takes people to the Coal Mines Historic Site and gives them an insight into what happened at this little-known place. Available on demand, it includes transport and morning or afternoon tea in a bushland setting and can be tailored to suit a variety of touring itineraries.
Cascades Female Factory Historic Site – South Hobart
The Cascades Female Factory in South Hobart is Australia’s most significant site associated with female convicts. It is located in the shadow of Mount Wellington, a short distance from the Hobart city centre.
The site was a self-contained, purpose-built institution intended to reform female convicts. The inmates provided laundry and needlework services, offsetting some of the Colony’s penal costs. Visitors to the site are able to connect with the stories of female convicts and their children – stories that are often tragic but also inspire hope and resilience.
New Product: Her Story At the Cascades Female Factory
Her Story is a new 45 minute dramatic walking tour that tells, in a very experiential and first-hand way, the story of Australia’s convict women. It operates daily at 11am.
The Port Arthur, Coal Mines and Cascades Female Factory Historic Sites are all World Heritage listed and offer essential, must-see experiences for any visitor to Tasmania. All three sites are managed by the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority.
The Port Arthur Historic Site attracts between 35,000-40,000 international visitors annually and offers printed visitor guides in French, German, Japanese and Simplified Chinese, as well as English.