Port Arthur Historic Site is huge, and there is a lot to see. Your site entry is valid for two consecutive days, so we recommend staying overnight in the Port Arthur area to ensure you and your students get the most from your stay.

 

Opening Hours

The Port Arthur Historic Site is now open seven days a week from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm (closed Christmas Day).

We are lucky that Port Arthur is a large outdoor site spanning over 40 hectares (100 acres) with over 30 buildings and ruins to explore.  We apologise that a few of our smaller historic houses are closed for your safety according to current gathering and social distancing restrictions.  Click here for more information on how we’re helping to keep you and our community safe during the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

What to Bring

A few simple preparations before you visit will make sure your time at the Port Arthur Historic Site is the best it can be.

The Port Arthur Historic Site covers more than 40 hectares (100 acres) of open land. While you will explore a number of intact buildings during your visit, many of our historic ruins are without roofs, and most of your visit will be spent outdoors.

The site’s coastal location means we can experience sudden weather changes, so make sure you’re prepared for sun, rain, wind, cold and warmth!

  • Dress in comfortable, layered clothing
  • Bring a raincoat (umbrellas are of limited use in the wind!)
  • Wear comfortable shoes, suitable for walking
  • Pack sunscreen and a hat
  • Check the weather forecast before your visit and dress for the conditions

All our tours take place in the open air, and are rarely cancelled because of the weather. While our guides will make you as comfortable as possible in all conditions, some locations, such the Isle of the Dead and Point Puer Boys Prison, have limited shelter, so the right clothing and weather protection will help make your experience much more enjoyable.

Sunscreen, hats and wet-weather ponchos can also be purchased in our Gift Shop.

Café & Catering

Food outlets are located in the Visitor Centre. Catering for lunch and dinner can be pre-ordered and arranged to suit your needs, a current copy of the School Catering Options can be found here. Dietary requirements must be provided on the approved School Catering Dietary Requirements form.

If you are bringing your own food for your school group, please arrange your own storage, as we are unable to store it for you.

Lessons Plans

We have many classroom lesson plans and resources which to help you plan a successful school visit to the Port Arthur Historic Site.

School Visits

Book a visit

Please send us your booking requests as early as possible, to ensure the availability of tours and activities. Click here for education activity rates.

Please note also the important information provided below:

Contact our Education team

Contact Us

Want to learn more?
To discuss how to get the most out of your visit to Port Arthur, contact our Education staff.

The Port Arthur Historic Site hosts a range of events and programs all year round including theatre performances, exhibitions, archaeological excavations and conservation works. These events and programs can be a great opportunity to expand on students’ understanding of convict history and the work that goes into protecting heritage values.

We suggest checking our ‘events and programs’ pages to find out what’s on during your visit. Please note that some events, including cruise ship visits, may limit the availability of school group bookings.

Amenities and Accessibility

Mobility

The Port Arthur Historic Site is extensive, and covers a range of terrain. Some areas offer independent wheelchair access, while others may require assisted access.

Our Visitor Centre, café, and the Port Arthur Gallery are all wheelchair accessible via ramps or elevator. Accessible bathroom facilities are also available within the Visitor Centre.

While not all heritage buildings and ruins on the site are wheelchair accessible, a number of buildings can be accessed by visitors who require the use of a wheelchair. Check with our Visitor Services staff for more information.

Our Introductory Tour and Harbour Cruise are both wheelchair accessible. However, the Ghost Tours, Isle of the Dead and Point Puer Boys’ Prison tours include rough or uneven terrain and are not recommended for people with mobility restrictions.

Disabled parking spaces are located adjacent to the Visitor Centre entrance.

Wheelchairs are available for loan from the Visitor Centre.

If someone in your group has mobility restrictions, please advise us of this when filling out the online booking request form.

Courtesy vehicles

Between 10:30am and 3:30pm daily, our courtesy buggies provide a regular drop-off and pick-up service around the site for visitors with limited mobility. Check at the Visitor Centre for more information.

Companion Card

Some people with a disability are accompanied by a companion or carer when they visit venues or events. Port Arthur Historic Site is proud to be affiliated with the Companion Card Program, which offers a second ticket or tour pass at no cost to patrons holding a Companion Card.