Tasmania’s award-winning Port Arthur Historic Site will add new features to its visitor attractions this summer.
The Minister for Tourism, Parks and Heritage Ken Bacon announced the changes at today’s Loving it to Death conference at Port Arthur, jointly hosted by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority.
A convict dam and a scenic walking trail highlighting the Port Arthur penal settlement’s water supply will be open to the public in January 2005.
Mr Bacon said the new convict dam and mill race trail attractions would broaden an already extensive visitor experience at Port Arthur.
“They illustrate a fascinating aspect of the settlement’s engineering history and complement the ongoing conservation and reconstruction program at Port Arthur,” he said.
“The new jetty and pathway system at the Point Puer boys’ prison site, as well as the introduction of guided tours to Point Puer, have proved very popular additions at Port Arthur this year.
“The new Convict Study Centre has been a hit with visitors researching their convict heritage and the jetty shelter at Mason Cove has been a welcome innovation.
“There is little wonder Port Arthur continues to be among the winners at the Tasmanian Tourism Awards.”
The Minister for Tourism, Parks and Heritage, Ken Bacon, said the new attractions continued a tradition of introducing top-level visitor experiences at Port Arthur and illustrated why the site won the State’s top tourism award for the fifth consecutive year.
“To be named yet again as Tasmania’s major tourist attraction is a testament to the consistently high standard of visitor services achieved at Port Arthur,” Mr Bacon said.
“It recognises the site’s important contribution to the local community and economy.
“It also confirms the value of the State’s investment in this iconic Tasmanian site.”
Mr Bacon said visitor numbers to Port Arthur have increased 26 per cent in the last two years with a record 253,122 day visitors in 2003-04.
The extremely popular Historic Ghost Tours attracted 58,951 visitors.
Mr Bacon encouraged Tasmanians to enjoy the world-class cultural heritage attractions at Port Arthur by visiting the Family Activity Centre and participating in some of the summer activities including the Summer Plays Program, the Public Archaeology Program and garden tours.