Summer Activities

27 December - 27 January

The Port Arthur Historic Site offers many activities for families to enjoy together.

From 12pm to 3pm  drop in to the Education Centre (The Accountant’s House) to play 19th century games or try making your own convict tattoo, making a peg doll, designing a convict love token or learn the art of  letter writing and wax-sealing Victorian-style.

Convict Tattoos
Over 37% of male convicts who were transported were recorded as having at least one tattoo. Discover the hidden meanings behind convict body art and make your own temporary tattoo.

Peg Dolls
A child in the 1800s had to entertain themselves with the materials that were available. Learn about costume and toys for children in the Victorian era and create a peg doll to take home.

Signed & Sealed
Discover the etiquette of 19th century letter-writing and try your hand at writing a letter in copperplate calligraphy. Visitors will also learn how to fold their letter to keep it secret and apply a traditional wax seal.

Convict Love Tokens
Before they were transported across the seas, many convicts made a token for their loved ones to remember them by. Find out more about these personal mementos and make your own copper token to take home.

Having a whale(boat) of a time! 
For two weeks (6-18 January) we will be docking in the Gallery to share seafaring stories of the settlement. On display will be a three-metre model of a whaleboat built by local school students using traditional techniques. Kids will have the chance to learn about the boat-building process and make their own model boat to take home.

Afternoon Performances
From Sunday to Thursday each week there will be three different plays performed in the Penitentiary Precinct. In each performance you will meet true historical characters from Port Arthur and hear more about their lives at the settlement.

Download our full brochure and timetable of activities not to be missed.