The Isle of the Dead holds the stories of many of the people of Port Arthur – in life and death.
Port Arthur’s tiny cemetery island is the final resting place for more than 1000 convicts, military and civil officers, women and children, who were buried here between 1833 and 1877. The Isle of the Dead has two separate burial sections – convicts were laid to rest in mostly unmarked graves at the island’s southern end, while the higher northern end was reserved for free and military burials, marked by headstones. The anonymity of the convicts was somewhat redressed after 1850, when some convict graves were given headstones.
On this tour, you’ll journey to the island aboard the MV Marana, and take a guided walking tour of the island. You’ll hear the personal stories of convicts who were transported here from across the world, the soldiers who gave their lives to guard the prison, the officers, and their families who followed them to the ends of the earth.
Tours depart at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 2:20pm daily, except Christmas Day (note additional tours in peak times).
Tour duration is approximately one hour return.
* tour prices are in addition to normal site entry fees
Tours are subject to availability (note closure dates below).
This tour is conducted outdoors. There are no facilities or shelters on the Isle of the Dead, so come prepared for all weather.
The Isle of the Dead tour is not recommended for people with restricted mobility.
TEMPORARY CLOSURE 31 JULY – 23 AUG 2019
We’re very sorry, the Isle of the Dead cemetery tour will not be available from Wednesday 31st July 2019 to Tuesday 23rd August 2019.
We apologise for any inconvenience however the closure is necessary so that we can continue improvements and extensions to the walkway on the island. The completed walkway will protect the sensitive environment and heritage headstones, as well as improve the tour experience. Click here to find out more.
We anticipate the Isle of the Dead cemetery tour to recommence after 23rd August 2019, however this is subject to weather conditions and may be updated.