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Port ArthurAustralia

Discover the dark history of this former colonial outpost on the Tasman Peninsula, where eerie penal ruins contrast with the coastline’s superb natural beauty.

Some of Tasmania’s most nightmarish tales originated in Port Arthur, a quaint village with a forbidding past perched on the tip of the Tasman Peninsula. Explore the town to find preserved relics from Australia’s brutal convict history, including the crumbling ruins of a sandstone prison, coal mines and an evocative museum. Discover the town’s dramatic coastline when you visit its geological wonders and oceanfront vistas.

The town’s key attraction is the Port Arthur Historic Site, a significant World Heritage site comprising of over 30 buildings and ruins across 100 acres (40 hectares) of landscaped estate. Established in 1830, the penal colony earned a reputation for hellish conditions over its 47 years of operation. Learn the dark tales of life as a convict as you explore solitary-confinement cells and restored period homes. Go on a cruise to the burial grounds at the Isle of the Dead, check out the Point Puer Boys Prison or return in the evening for a Ghost Tour. The museum offers an in-depth insight into the convict experience.

Port Arthur is situated amid some of Tasmania’s most striking coastal landscapes. Visit fascinating sites, such as Remarkable Cave or Crescent Bay. This sweeping arch of sand has a backdrop of immense dunes and can be reached via a pleasant walking trail from the cave. Another popular hike links two geological wonders on the coast, the Totem Pole and the Candlestick. Go on a cruise to see these fascinating “sea stacks” from the waters surrounding Cape Hauy. Snap photographs from the viewing platform at the Maingon Bay Lookout.

Outside of the township, experience more local history at the Coal Mines Historic Site. Stroll around the trails and find a series of convict relics and scenic viewpoints. Breathe in the sweet floral aroma at the Port Arthur Lavender Farm and pick up fantastic homemade lavender products.

Port Arthur is located on the southern edge of the Tasman Peninsula and is approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Hobart. The town has a range of accommodations, including holiday cottages. Add the town to your road-trip itinerary or join a tour of the magnificent peninsula.

Top hotels in Port Arthur

Stewarts Bay Lodge
Stewarts Bay Lodge
3.5 out of 5
6955 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur, TAS
The price is £128 per night from 26 Oct to 27 Oct

Situated in Port Arthur, this beach hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Stewarts Bay State Reserve and Port Arthur Historic Site. Long Bay Conservation Area and ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (697 reviews)

"very nice location, simple things need an upgrade, better quality towels, and more of them, the lack of quality light in the bathrooms, as well as a more modern kitchenette."…"

Reviewed on 28 Jun 2020

Stewarts Bay Lodge
NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park
NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park
3.5 out of 5
Garden Point Road, Port Arthur, TAS
The price is £68 per night from 25 Oct to 26 Oct

Situated in the historical district, this campsite is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Stewarts Bay State Reserve and 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Port Arthur Historic Site. Long ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (329 reviews)

"Lovely spot, staff were lovely. Everything was clean and well kept."…"

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2020

NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park
Port Arthur Villas
Port Arthur Villas
4 out of 5
52 Safety Cove Road, Port Arthur, TAS
The price is £81 per night from 10 Nov to 11 Nov

This family-friendly Port Arthur motel is located by the ocean, within 2 mi (3 km) of Port Arthur Historic Site and Tasman Golf Course. Isle of the Dead and ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (223 reviews)

"The villa was clean and tidy. It was really comfortable and had all the amenities needed for cooking. The host was really friendly and help us with the booking of the Port Arthur Site visit."…"

Reviewed on 2 Feb 2020

Port Arthur Villas
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Port Arthur

NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park
NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park
3.5 out of 5
Garden Point Road, Port Arthur, TAS
The price is £68 per night from 25 Oct to 26 Oct

Situated in the historical district, this campsite is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Stewarts Bay State Reserve and 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Port Arthur Historic Site. Long ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (329 reviews)

"Lovely spot, staff were lovely. Everything was clean and well kept."…"

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2020

NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park
Bay Retreat Port Arthur
Bay Retreat Port Arthur
3.5 out of 5
229 Safety Cove Road, Port Arthur, TAS

Situated in Port Arthur, this beach cottage is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) from Tasman Golf Course and 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Port Arthur Historic Site. Safety Cove State ...

4.3/5Excellent! (12 reviews)

"Beautiful view Great barbecue Close to Port Arthur Historical site Washing machine and dryer Good heating"…"

Reviewed on 20 Jan 2020

Bay Retreat Port Arthur
Classic Cottages Port Arthur
Classic Cottages Port Arthur
3.5 out of 5
6 Andersons Road, Port Arthur, TAS

Situated in Port Arthur, this cottage is within 6 mi (10 km) of Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasmanian Devil Unzoo and Tasman Golf Course.

4.2/5Very Good! (204 reviews)

"We loved our stay, the cottage was full of character. The wood heater made it very cosy and the location is brilliant."…"

Reviewed on 16 Mar 2019

Classic Cottages Port Arthur
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Port Arthur

Port Arthur Historic Site
Image for Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur Historic Site

5/5(10 reviews)

Step back into Tasmania’s past as a penal colony and learn about the lives of convicts who were sent to one of the harshest settlements in the British Empire.

Isle of the Dead
Image for Isle of the Dead

Isle of the Dead

5/5(1 review)

You can find out about the history of Port Arthur with a stop at Isle of the Dead. Wander the area's waterfront or simply enjoy one of its top-notch restaurants.

Fortescue Bay
Image for Fortescue Bay

Fortescue Bay

5/5(1 review)

Enjoy an outing to Fortescue Bay during your stay in Fortescue. Amble around this relaxing area's waterfront and enjoy its top-notch restaurants.

Eaglehawk Neck
Image for Eaglehawk Neck

Eaglehawk Neck

4.5/5(8 reviews)

You can browse the exhibits at Eaglehawk Neck, a museum with a story of its own, during your holiday in Eaglehawk Neck. Stroll along the waterfront in this relaxing area or visit its top-notch restaurants.

Tasman National Park
Image for Tasman National Park

Tasman National Park

5/5(4 reviews)

Peer over soaring dolerite cliffs to see the rugged capes and sea stacks that notch the coast of the Tasman Peninsula or take on one of the challenging coastal hikes.

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo
Image for Tasmanian Devil Unzoo

Tasmanian Devil Unzoo

Why not visit the animals who call Tasmanian Devil Unzoo home during your holiday in Taranna? Amble around this relaxing area's waterfront and enjoy its top-notch restaurants.

Top things to do in Port Arthur

Entry Pass to the Port Arthur Historic Site
Image for Entry Pass to the Port Arthur Historic Site

Entry Pass to the Port Arthur Historic Site

£23
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Tasman Island Wilderness Cruise, Port Arthur
Image for Tasman Island Wilderness Cruise, Port Arthur

Tasman Island Wilderness Cruise, Port Arthur

£51
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Full-Day Tasmania Convict Trail Tour
Image for Full-Day Tasmania Convict Trail Tour

Full-Day Tasmania Convict Trail Tour

£108
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Full-Day Richmond, Tasman Peninsula & Port Arthur Adventure from Hobart
Image for Full-Day Richmond, Tasman Peninsula & Port Arthur Adventure from Hobart

Full-Day Richmond, Tasman Peninsula & Port Arthur Adventure from Hobart

£72
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Full-Day Small-Group Port Arthur Experience
Image for Full-Day Small-Group Port Arthur Experience

Full-Day Small-Group Port Arthur Experience

£90
Per adult
Port Arthur Shore Excursion: Tour of the Tasman Peninsula
Image for Port Arthur Shore Excursion: Tour of the Tasman Peninsula

Port Arthur Shore Excursion: Tour of the Tasman Peninsula

£50
Per adult

Reviews of Port Arthur

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Top Destination

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Cities near Port Arthur

Photo by 4WD Swagman

Taranna

Tasman Peninsula featuring rocky coastline, landscape views and a sunset

Koonya

Photo by Nicole Vargas

Cape Raoul

Tasman Peninsula featuring a bay or harbour, general coastal views and a pebble beach

Fortescue