Visiting with Children

Here are some more great ideas to help you plan and enjoy a special family day at Port Arthur any day of the year.

 Activities for the Kids

Grab a kid’s activity book

Discover the hidden stories of Port Arthur through the ‘Hidden Stories’ Activity Book. This activity book is a great way for children to explore the site and learn about Port Arthur’s history as they search for answers, complete puzzles and collect stamps.

The activity book is free of charge and suitable for ages 7-12. Ask for a copy at the ticketing desk when you arrive at the Port Arthur Visitor Centre.


Visit the Semaphores

Above the Commandant’s and Accountant’s houses are replica semaphores. Semaphores were operated by convicts to communicate messages from Port Arthur to Hobart. See the model semaphore in the Asylum Museum to find out how these messages were sent.


 Go for a short bushwalk

Take 30 minutes to follow the Convict Water Supply trail learning the history of the settlement’s water supply, mill’s water wheel, the recent stories of the land and network of transport routes.

Travel further walking along the Stewart’s Bay track which starts from beyond the Dockyard. Find the beaches where women and children bathed away from the prying eyes of the penal settlement’s inhabitants.


Get to know a real convict

Playing the Lottery of Life in our Convict Gallery provides an opportunity for visitors to follow the life of one of the Port Arthur Penal Settlement’s convicts. Every visitor receives a playing card depicting one Port Arthur Convict. As you move through the gallery, you will discover clues about the identity and life story of that person. Then see how they might have spent their time at Port Arthur, with our displays of the various activities and occupations undertaken by convicts.

Interpretation, lottery of life, convict history, Australian convict history

Discover the Museum and Convict Study Centre

Children and adults alike will be fascinated by the hundreds of original artefacts on display in the Museum housed in the Asylum complex.  Nearby in the Farm Overseers Cottage, visitors can search the Convict Study Centre database for their own links to Port Arthur’s 19th century inhabitants.


Explore the Museum Houses

Visiting the furnished Museum Houses can provide wonderful opportunities for children to compare today’s technology and architecture with that from the 19th and 20th centuries.


Visit the Dockyard

The Dockyard is a short walk along the waterfront. Through an imposing sculptural piece and intriguing soundscapes children are able to enter the world of the men who worked in one of Port Arthur’s main convict era industries.

 Things to Know

Be prepared

Parents of very young children are encouraged to pack a pram, as exploring the Site’s wide open spaces can be very tiring for youngsters. Prams are also available for hire at the Visitor Centre.

Taking children on Ghost Tours

The suitability of Ghost Tours for children generally depends on the age and ‘stage’ of your children. Ghost Tours are popular with older children however if your child is very young, very active or tends to suffer with nightmares, then Ghost Tours may not be suitable. If your child is disruptive to the tour, your guide will request that you leave the tour.

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