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News Archive

December 2011

New experience for cruise ship visitors to Port Arthur


The Port Arthur Historic Site welcomed the first visit for the season by a big cruise ship, the Sea Princess, with around 2000 passengers on board, and offered another first, a new tour to the Coal Mines, an offer taken up and enjoyed by many of them.

Major conservation project for Port Arthur's Penitentiary


Port Arthur's Penitentiary is arguably one of Tasmania's, even Australia's, defining images, particularly in terms of tourism and heritage. In the promotion of tourism the Penitentiary is up there with Uluru, the Opera House and Cradle Mountain.

New Isle of the Dead Jetty officially opened


Minister for Heritage, Brian Wightman MP, today officially opened the new jetty on the Isle of the Dead at Port Arthur, facilitating access for around 23,000 visitors who tour the island each year.

Boxing Day festival at Port Arthur a long tradition


Every year on Boxing Day the Port Arthur Historic Site is very pleased to host the Port Arthur Woodchops. It is thought that this is one, and possibly THE longest running, sports carnival in Australia.

A summer of discovery at Port Arthur


The Port Arthur Historic Site has a range of fascinating, hands-on activities on offer this summer that will allow visitors to get up close and personal with some of the untold stories of site's past.

November 2011

Awards for Port Arthur's conservation and sustainability


Fresh from being named Tasmania's Best Major Tourism Attraction at the recent Tasmanian Tourism Awards, the Port Arthur Historic Site has received more plaudits.

'Thrust into the cells beneath'


Recent archaeological excavations and discoveries at the Penitentiary Chapel, Hobart will be the subject of the next Port Arthur Talk, this Wednesday.

Port Arthur back in the winners' circle


The Port Arthur Historic Site was last night named Tasmania's best Major Tourist Attraction in the 2011 Tasmanian Tourism Awards.

New guidebook to Tasmania's World Heritage Convict Sites


A new pocket-sized guidebook to Tasmania's World Heritage-listed Convict Sites is now available.

Port Arthur is now Smoke Free


The Port Arthur Historic Site is now a smoke-free site.

October 2011

Achievements and Challenges for Port Arthur


World Heritage status for its three sites was the highlight of the 2010-2011 financial year for the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA).

Premier to launch book about the lives of women convicts


Premier Lara Giddings will launch a new book which tells of the lives of women incarcerated in the Ross Female Factory.

Isle of the Dead tours operating again


Tours to the Isle of the Dead at the Port Arthur Historic Site are operating again.

Port Arthur in bloom this spring


It's spring time in Tasmania, and at the Port Arthur Historic Site, Government Garden is coming into bloom.

September 2011

Kids go for free at Port Arthur this spring


The Port Arthur Historic Site offering FREE ENTRY for kids accompanied by the family (2 adults and up to six children under 18) on Saturdays from 24 September until 17 December.

Isle of the Dead tours currently closed


The popular Isle of the Dead cemetery tour at the Port Arthur Historic Site will not be available for several weeks while a new jetty is being built.

Special offer for Port Arthur visitors this September


Take the opportunity to get out and about to explore Australia's convict origins with this special offer from the Port Arthur Historic Site.

August 2011

Be part of the school holiday fun at Port Arthur


These school holidays the Education Centre at the Port Arthur Historic Site will be buzzing with engaging activities to keep kids busy, and they enjoy the fun of learning.

Condolences to the People of Norway appreciated


In July, the Chairman of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority,Dr Barry Jones, wrote to the Norwegian Ambassador in Canberra to express our organisation's sympathy and condolences in the aftermath of that nation's tragic massacre.

Cascades Female Factory Historic Site


A new era has begun at the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site in South Hobart, with responsibility for the management having recently been passed to the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) and the appointment of a new site manager.

Winter storms lead to new learning


The storms that lashed the Port Arthur Historic Site in July are likely to lead to new understanding of the impacts of weather events on heritage sites in coastal areas, information that will be shared.

World Heritage nomination processes examined in next Port Arthur Talk


The Australian Convict heritage and the 19th century industrial revolution in Japan may seem very different historical stories. But there are some curious parallels when it comes to developing a case for World Heritage listing.

July 2011

New era begins at Cascades Female Factory


A new era has begun at the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site in South Hobart with the appointment of a new site manager.

Storm damage at Port Arthur Historic Site


On the weekend of 9 and 10 July, direct damage was caused to the historic site at Port Arthur as a result of wild weather and heavy seas.

Buried treasure discovered under Penitentiary Chapel


Convict era artefacts undisturbed for 140 years have been uncovered at Hobart's Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site.

June 2011

How communities recover from terrorism and atrocities in next Port Arthur Talk


PhD candidate and former Port Arthur Historic Site staffer Rosemary Hollow will discuss her research on how three communities - Port Arthur, Bali and Oklahoma City - have recovered from the atrocities committed at each place.

Port Arthur Historic Site project wins Henry Hunter Prize for Architecture


The major conservation project at Port Arthur's Separate Prison has again been recognised with a prestigious award for architecture.

Wild weather at Port Arthur - but the show goes on!


Wild weather has forced cancellation of harbour cruises at Port Arthur today.

Port Arthur celebrating significant cultural gift


The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) is celebrating the gift of a significant collection of records and artefacts belonging to a former Commandant at the penal settlement, James Boyd.

Big orange visitor at Port Arthur


The Port Arthur Historic Site received a visitor that was hard to miss today.

May 2011

June School Holiday activities at Port Arthur


The Port Arthur Historic Site has lots for families to enjoy together. Wander through the old houses and let the kids marvel at the way people used to live or drop by our Education Centre and see what's happening.

New photo shoot for Port Arthur Sites


Perfect weather and soft, warm autumn light contributed to the success of a recent photo shoot at the Port Arthur Historic Sites.

Discover the strange story of Port Arthur's elk


Port Arthur's agricultural heritage generally takes a back seat to its history of crime and punishment. But Port Arthur was a productive agricultural settlement, with crops and livestock. That livestock included, for a few months in 1871, an elk!

Explore the fascinating history of tourism guidebooks and Port Arthur


The fascinating history of tourism guidebooks and Port Arthur as a tourist attraction is explored by Dr Marian Walker in the next Port Arthur Talk.

April 2011

Tony Robinson's Explore Australia on air next week


Late last year, Time Team's Tony 'Baldrick' Robinson visited the Port Arthur Historic Site, and other areas of Tasmania, while making a documentary series on Australian History.

Art exhibition opens at Port Arthur


An exhibition of works by Tasman Peninsula artists has opened at the Port Arthur Historic Site. It is just one of a number of activities offered at the World Heritage-listed site over the Easter week.

Plenty of activities this Easter at Port Arthur


The Port Arthur Historic Site is the place to be this Easter, with plenty of engrossing ways for the whole family to engage with our convict heritage.

Collecting Memories at our World Heritage Convict Sites


Did your grandparents camp at the Coal Mines, or does someone in your family remember playing tennis in front of Port Arthur's penitentiary?

PAHSMA Community Advisory Committee - Call for Nominations


The PAHSMA Board is now calling for nominations from interested individuals or representatives of groups who wish to contribute to the management and conservation of the Port Arthur and Coal Mines Historic Sites.

March 2011

Learn about lime paint finishes at Port Arthur


The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority is offering a rare opportunity to find out more about the use of lime in heritage buildings and in particular the preparation and application of lime wash and distemper.

Strange Fruit mesmerise audiences at Port Arthur


Despite some very ordinary weather in the couple of days prior to the event, Australian performance artists Strange Fruit triumphed over the odds to perform 'Ringing the Changes' at the Port Arthur Historic Site.

Furniture the focus of next Port Arthur Talk


What can the stories of Tasmania's early furniture tell us about our history? Find out in the next Port Arthur Talk, when Robyn Lake discusses Trade trails: the convict cabinetmakers transported to Van Diemen's Land during the Assignment era, 1803-1839.

Sustainability measures making a difference at Port Arthur


Staff at the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority have been working to reduce our overall environmental impact across the organisation, with very positive early results.

Latest Port Arthur eNewsletter out now


The latest issue of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority's Ticket of Leave eNewsletter contains information about some fantastic forthcoming events, including an amazing event presented as part of Ten Days on the Island, and much much more.

Aerial acts of daring beauty at Port Arthur


Over three days, the Port Arthur Historic Site will play host to a glorious outdoor performance entitled "Ringing the Changes" by Australia's internationally celebrated Strange Fruit.

Public archaeology a hit at Port Arthur


The public archaeology Program during January gave many of the Port Arthur Historic Site's visitors a chance to see an archaeological excavation first hand.

Port Arthur's Poplars


Management of significant trees and landscape in our heritage environment has been presenting some fascinating challenges to staff at the Port Arthur Historic Site.

February 2011

A little bit of Holland arrives at Port Arthur


Amsterdam made its first appearance today at the Port Arthur Historic Site. But there wasn't a tulip in sight.

The fate of our muttonbirds the topic of the next Port Arthur Talk


Muttonbirds have, up to now, been known as the most prolific seabird in the Southern Hemisphere. However, eight consecutive years of field research on Wedge Island on the Tasman Peninsula has shown a 66% decline in their breeding population.

January 2011

ABC TV's Collectors at Port Arthur


Gordon Brown from ABC TV's popular Collectors TV show jumped in the pit with archaeologists at Port Arthur today.

Soldiers who became convicts the topic of the next Port Arthur Talk


British soldiers guarded prisoners at settlements like Port Arthur, but soldiers were not immune from conviction and punishment if they transgressed military law. Dr Philip Hilton will share his research into this fascinating area of history.