Port Arthur Historic Site is huge, and there is a lot to see. Your site entry is valid for two consecutive days, and so we recommend staying overnight in the Port Arthur area to ensure you and your students get the most from your stay. Check with our Visitor Centre staff for accommodation options.
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 on site. We recommend leaving food in your transport if you can, or alternatively, ordering lunch from our cafe.
- School Visit Guidelines and Code of Conduct
- Venue and Safety Information for School Excursions
- Public Liability Certificate of Currency 2018-2019
Read more information on preparing for your visit to Port Arthur Historic Site.
Visitor Centre and ticketing office
Open from 9:00am until the conclusion of our nightly Ghost Tours.
Grounds and gardens
Open from 9:00am until dusk.
Houses and buildings
Open between 10:00am and 5:00pm. Some houses close later during the summer months. Check with our Visitor Centre staff when you arrive for information about our free Museum House Talks.
Port Arthur Historic Site is open from 9:00am until 3:00pm on Christmas Day, and offers a selection of tours in the morning and early afternoon.
To find out more, please contact us, or ask one of our Visitor Centre staff.
What to Bring
A few simple preparations before you visit will make sure your time at 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, and 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.
What's OnEvents and Programs
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
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, 1830 restaurant 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.
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.
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.
Port Arthur Historic Site has been a smoke-free site since 2011. There are smoking areas provided outside the Visitor Centre accessible to visitors before they enter the site.
Café & Catering
Food outlets are located in the Visitor Centre and the Asylum. Catering for lunch and dinner can be pre-ordered and arranged to suit your needs. If you are self-catering, check with reservations staff regarding available locations. Please note that we are unable to store food.
We have many classroom lesson plans and resources which to help you plan a successful school visit to the Port Arthur Historic Site.
School VisitsBook a visit
Please send us your booking requests as early as possible, to ensure the availability of tours and activities.
Contact our Education teamContact Us
Want to learn more?
To discuss how to get the most out of your visit to Port Arthur, contact our Education staff.