Visitor Information & Services

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 Opening Hours

Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre is open from 9.00am until the close of Historic Ghost Tours at night.

 

Port Arthur Historic Site grounds and gardens

The Port Arthur Historic Site, gardens and ruins are open from 9.00am until dusk.

 

Houses and buildings

Museum houses and buildings are open between 10.00am and 5.00pm

Some houses remain open later during the summer months. Please check with our Visitor Services staff for more information.

 

Convict Study Centre

Visitors to Port Arthur Historic Site can search the database of Port Arthur convicts and free people for names of those who came through Port Arthur at the Convict Study Centre, located in the Asylum.   The Study Centre is open between 9.00am and 5.00pm.

Tasmanian Visitor Information Network

 

Inside the Visitor Centre you will find the Tasmanian Visitor Information Network desk (TVIN) for Port Arthur and Tasman Region. The TVIN’s are nationally accredited Visitor Information Centres located around the state, and are identifiable by the yellow i symbol.

A range of brochures from local and statewide operators is available, as well as more general Tasmanian travel publications.

Contact the desk for

  • Free information and itinerary planning;
  • Maps and directional information;
  • Information and booking services for accommodation and tours;
  • Information on attractions, events, retail outlets and local services;
  • Information on road conditions and transport options;
  • Unbiased local knowledge

 

Information staff can also advise you on the travelling app “appngo”, to help as you travel around the state. Download this free app for information on:

  • Accommodation
  • Attractions
  • Restaurants
  • Tours
  • Transport
  • Hire
  • Facilities
  • Services

For more information on the TVIN’s, see the website www.startwithi.com.au , and when you are in Port Arthur, don’t hesitate to ask us – we’re here to help you find our treasures.

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Facilities

  • Toilets
    Toilet facilities are available throughout the Port Arthur Historic Site, including wheelchair-accessible facilities.
  • Telephones
    Public pay phones are available at the Visitor Centre.
  • ATM
    An automatic teller machine (ATM) is located in the Visitor Centre. EFTPOS, including cash out facility, is also available.
  • Foreign exchange
    The Port Arthur Historic Site accepts foreign currency (USD/NZ$/Sterling/Yen/Euro), travellers’ cheques (must be in $AUD) and all major credit cards. Please enquire at our Visitor Service Desk.
  • China UnionPay
    Payment is now accepted by China UnionPay at all sales points, including the ticketing desk, gift shop, cafes and bistro.
  • Lockers
    Lockers are available at the Visitors Centre for a small hire fee

 

Smoke Free Site

Port Arthur Historic Site is a smoke free site.  Smoking is only permitted at the designated smoking area in the Visitors Centre Carpark.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to visit the Port Arthur Historic Site?

Our Entry Passes page has details of our current admission prices.

 

How long does it take to get to Port Arthur Historic Site?

The drive from Hobart to Port Arthur takes approximately 1.5 hours. However, it can take substantially longer if you take time to enjoy the scenery and stop to view the attractions along the way. More information about how to get to Port Arthur.

 

How big is Port Arthur Historic Site?

The site encompasses a total of more than 100 hectares. About 40 hectares of the Site is accessible to the public, including more than 30 buildings, ruins and restored period houses.

Whole site aerial

 

How much time does it take to see the Site?

We recommend that you allow at least half a day. Your Site Entry Pass is valid for 2 days. Most visitors stay overnight in the Port Arthur region to explore and fully experience the Port Arthur Historic Site, including the Ghost Tour.  More information on suggested itineraries can be found here.

 

What is the weather like at Port Arthur?

Tasmania enjoys a temperate climate with refreshingly cool southern air. Average temperatures range from 13 to 22 degrees Celsius. Check the local weather forecasts.

 

What should I wear?

Sturdy shoes are recommended for safety and comfort. We also recommend a windcheater or light jacket in summer and warmer clothing in winter. In case of rain, umbrellas and raincoats are available for sale in the Gift Shop.

 

Can I use my mobile phone at Port Arthur Historic Site?

Mobile phone service at Port Arthur is currently limited to Telstra customers. Other networks do not yet provide coverage in the area.

 

Will staff tell us about the massacre?

Our staff are always keen to help visitors with inquiries, but this is one area about which they prefer not to be asked. Many of our staff lost close friends, colleagues and family members on that day, and understandably find it difficult and painful to talk about. Rather than ask, please read the plaque at the Memorial Garden or pick up a brochure at the Visitor Centre. Please read Sunday 28 April 1996 for more information.

 

Why don’t staff dress up in costume?

Many visitors have enjoyed this style of presentation at other sites and say that they would like to see it at Port Arthur Historic Site. But Port Arthur is not a theme park. It is a real place with a dark and difficult history. Dressing staff up in convict and other costumes would turn the experiences of those who were imprisoned here into light entertainment, which is not consistent with our commitment to authenticity and integrity.

 

Why don’t you rebuild the roof on the Church?

We do not undertake reconstructions unless we believe that the space or building cannot be understood in any other way. The Government Gardens were reconstructed because otherwise it was not possible for visitors to easily understand it as a garden, rather than the paddock that it had become over the years. The Church however, even in its ruinous condition, is clearly still a church and the roof is not necessary for visitors to understand its former function.