Easter Sunday is always one of the busiest days of any year at the Port Arthur Historic Site. This year, around 350 cars and 650 of their enthusiast owners from the Street Rod Rally swelled the numbers to record breaking levels.
The logistics were staggering. More than 350 pre-ordered picnic baskets were prepared. Several hundred additional parking spaces were provided along with parking attendants and a lot of cups of coffee. For the first time ever, Navigators’ MV Marana was joined on the harbour cruise run by her sister vessel MV Excella, to cope with the large crowd.
Port Arthur Director of Tourism Maria Stacey said that 2,378 visitors came through the doors on the day, although the number of people on site was considerably higher.
“That is the number of people who purchased day-passes on Sunday,” said Maria. “Because our tickets are valid for two days, we had a lot of visitors who came on Saturday return on Sunday. There was also a healthy level of interest among the local community, with many turning out to have a look at the cars. Then if we added the 235 people who came for the Historic Ghost Tours in the evening, I estimate we’d have topped 3,000 people for the day – making it our busiest day ever at Port Arthur.”
Despite the large numbers of visitors, the day ran smoothly. Maria says this is in no small part to the level of planning she and her colleagues had been involved in during preceding months and she paid tribute to her Tourism Operations team in Visitor Services, Food and Beverage and Guiding, as well as the Navigators crews.
“Everyone pulled together and it all worked brilliantly”, she said. Maria also praised the rally organisers. “They were so helpful and efficient – a pleasure to work with.”