Port Arthur Historic Site is open every day of the year
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.
Getting HereView Directions
Port Arthur Historic Site is located on a beautiful harbour at the southern tip of the Tasman Peninsula, almost 100 km south-east of Hobart.
Port Arthur Historic Site is a 90-minute drive from Hobart, and the journey offers some of the best sightseeing in Tasmania. The Arthur Highway winds through lush farmland and forest, inviting beaches, and the Tasman Peninsula’s famously scenic coastline. Allow enough time to stop along the way and explore places like the Tesselated Pavement at Eaglehawk Neck, and dramatic coastal sites such as the Blowhole, Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen and Pirate’s Bay Lookout.
Fill your car with fuel before you begin your journey. Most service stations on the Peninsula close before 6:00pm. The closest petrol station to Port Arthur Historic Site is less than a km away however hours do vary throughout the year.
Check hire car restrictions. Some car rental companies have limitations on where you can drive. The Arthur Highway is a sealed road, but many smaller roads on the Tasman Peninsula are unsealed or rough, so check your route, and your hire agreement, before you begin.
Watch for wildlife. Native wildlife is abundant on the Tasman Peninsula, and most marsupial species are active at dawn and dusk. Take special care when driving at these times, when wildlife is often encountered along the roadside.
Need more information? Check the Discover Tasmania website for tips on self-drive touring, places to visit, and hire car information in Tasmania.
Tassielink Transit operates regular public coach services between Hobart and Port Arthur. Check the Tassielink website for timetable information, fares and bookings.
A number of operators also offer coach tours in the Port Arthur region – visit Discover Tasmania to find out more.
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
Port Arthur Historic Site hosts a great range of events and programs all year round – from school holiday and family activities, to live theatre performances, exhibitions, concerts and archaeological displays and activities.
Visiting with Children
Discover the hidden stories of Port Arthur through the ‘Hidden Stories’ Activity Book. This activity book is a great way for children to explore the site and learn about Port Arthur’s history as they search for answers, complete puzzles and collect stamps.
The activity book is free of charge and suitable for ages 7-12. Ask for a copy at the ticketing desk when you arrive at the Port Arthur Visitor Centre.
Parents of very young children are encouraged to pack a pram, as exploring the Site’s wide open spaces can be very tiring for youngsters. Prams are also available for hire at the Visitor Centre.
Taking children on Ghost Tours
The suitability of Ghost Tours for children generally depends on the age and ‘stage’ of your children. Ghost Tours are popular with older children however if your child is very young, very active or tends to suffer with nightmares, then Ghost Tours may not be suitable. If your child is disruptive to the tour, your guide will request that you leave the tour.
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 10:00am 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.
While most of our tours are conducted only in English, our introductory guided walking tour is also conducted in Mandarin every day.
Printed visitor guides are available from the Visitor Centre when you arrive and can also be downloaded in the following languages:
Port Arthur Historic Site is proud to have achieved China Ready and Accredited status
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.
Port Arthur Gallery
After purchasing your site entry ticket, visit the Port Arthur Gallery on the lower level of the Visitor Centre, to start your exploration of Port Arthur Historic Site.
Learn about Port Arthur’s extraordinary evolution from a humble timber yard, to one of the country’s most feared penal settlements, to its life today as a World Heritage-listed historic site and one of Australia’s best-loved tourist destinations.
Take your time to explore the gallery’s interactive displays and exhibits and gain an understanding of the site’s history and the people who created it.
Port Arthur Historic Site offers dining options to suit everyone – from quick and delicious sandwiches made fresh in our cafe, to the tempting menu in the 1830 restaurant.
1830 Restaurant and Bar
With sweeping views of the Penitentiary, gardens and grounds, the 1830 restaurant is a perfect place to enjoy a long, relaxed meal with friends. Our menu uses fresh seasonal produce sourced from local growers and producers, and you can choose your favourite from our range of fine Tasmanian wines, craft beers, whiskeys and spirits
The 1830 Restaurant and Bar is open every evening through the Easter Break from 4pm with meals served from 6pm. After daylight savings on 2 April we will open earlier for meals at 5pm.
Bookings are recommended. Contact us to make a reservation.
View the 1830 menu here.
Port Arthur Café
Our expanded café on the upper level of the Visitor Centre, offers you a range of options to satisfy your appetite during your visit. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee and sweet treats, thirst quenching cold drinks, beers, wines and spirits, and fresh, delicious food, all made on site using local ingredients. If you’re in a hurry to explore, pick up a pack of tasty sandwiches for a picnic in the grounds, or if it’s time for a reviving break, choose something cooked to order in our kitchens and relax inside or on our deck as you soak up views of the site.
Museum Coffee Shop
The Museum Coffee Shop located in the Asylum is open daily from 9:00am until 5:00pm and is the perfect place to drop in after your introductory tour. Enjoyable in all weather conditions with both indoor and outdoor dining space you can enjoy a good coffee, homemade cakes, delicious snacks and light meals.
Visiting Magistrates House
Visitors during the day can also enjoy a wine or beer, tea or coffee and light refreshments including Devonshire Tea in the restored nineteenth century home, which was once occupied by some of the settlement’s most important dignitaries.
Our gift shop is located inside the Visitor Centre, just across from the ticketing desk.
Make sure to leave a little retail therapy time before or after you explore the site, and take something home to remember your Port Arthur experience. Choose from our range of quality Tasmanian products, gifts and souvenirs, postcards, books and DVDs, clothing, jewellery and artwork.
Photography and Filming (drones)
The Port Arthur Historic Sites are among Australia’s most popular and scenic heritage attractions. These are places of exceptional beauty, and our visitors are welcome to take photographs and make audio and video recordings at the sites for their own use and to share with family and friends #portarthurtassie.
Any commercial production requires written approval and is subject to PAHSMA’s Filming and Photography Guidelines, which are incorporated in the application form. A commercial production refers to photographs or recordings undertaken professionally or for a financial consideration, either on consignment for another party, or with a view to selling or hiring the imagery obtained, or for promotion of a product or service. This permission must be obtained prior to any photography or filming taking place.
For more information, please contact us.
The use of Remotely-Piloted Aircraft (UAV or ‘drones’)
For the safety and preservation of our heritage buildings, wildlife and guests recreational use of a RPA is NOT permitted at Port Arthur Historic Site.
The commercial use of a RPA may be considered with the provision of evidence of Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) certification and the associated Public Liability insurance along with the completed Filming and Photography Application at least 10 business days prior to filming.
As per CASA regulations any RPA’s used within the vicinity of Port Arthur Historic Site (including Point Puer) must not exceed 45 metres altitude.
Brooke Street Pier
The Port Arthur Historic Sites Booking and Information Centre is our retail outlet in Hobart, located on the waterfront at Brooke Street Pier.
Call into the centre for information and bookings for our three World-Heritage listed convict sites – Port Arthur Historic Site, Coal Mines Historic Site, and the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site. Pick up a visitor guide, purchase your tickets in advance, book tours, and ask our staff for tips on planning your visit.
Our team can also offer you information and advice on exploring the Tasman Peninsula, before or after your visit to Port Arthur.
Explore the Region
The Tasman Peninsula was an ideal place to build a prison. Deep, cold ocean, thick forest and 300-metre high sea cliffs made Port Arthur a natural prison from which escape must have seemed impossible.
Today Port Arthur is one of Tasmania’s most beautiful and sought after holiday destinations.
The Tasman Peninsula offers a huge variety of sightseeing options. Visit the Coal Mines Historic Site for a further insight into the area’s convict past. Explore the Tasman National Park, embark upon the Three Capes Track, or choose a short coastal walk to see Australia’s highest sea cliffs and natural rock formations like Remarkable Cave, The Devil’s Kitchen, the Tessellated Pavement and Tasman Arch.
Join a cruise to see the peninsula from the water and encounter wonderful marine life, or take a helicopter flight over the Three Capes Track.
Visit our local producers to taste delicacies ranging from artisan gin and vodka to lavender ice cream or join a guided tour or take yourself on a road trip to visit the Peninsula’s towns, beaches and attractions.
Visitor Information and Bookings
Your site entry ticket is valid for two consecutive days – so why not take the opportunity to stay a little longer in the Port Arthur area and really explore. There are plenty of accommodation choices close by – from charming, convict-era cottages to sleek contemporary apartments, motels, hotels and cabins.
Inside the Visitor Centre you will find the Tasmanian Visitor Information Network desk for Port Arthur and Tasman Region. Offering a range of brochures and travel publications as well as:
- 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;
- Local knowledge
For more information on the Tasmanian Visitor Information Network go to www.startwithi.com.au.