Welcome to Port Arthur


Despite its redemption as a major tourist site (the ruins here are undeniably amazing), Port Arthur remains a sombre place. Don’t expect to remain unaffected by what you see: there’s a sadness here that’s palpable, and a Gothic pall of woe that can cloud your senses on even the sunniest of days. Compounding this, in April 1996 a young gunman fired bullets indiscriminately at the community, murdering 35 people and injuring 37 more. After burning down a guesthouse, he was finally captured and remains imprisoned north of Hobart.

After a major upgrade and redevelopment, the main visitor centre and restaurant at the site reopened in late 2017.


Top experiences in Port Arthur

Travel guides

Starting at $38.99

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Port Arthur activities

$97.68 Cultural & Theme Tours

Port Arthur Tour from Hobart

Departing Hobart we travel across the Tasman Bridge and into the Coal River Valley, an award winning wine producing area surrounding the historic town of Richmond (Oct-Apr). Enjoy an orientation drive through this quaint historic town with a short photo stop at the famous convict built Richmond Bridge. We continue onto the Tasman Peninsula, an area abound with natural bushland, native wildlife and amazing coastal scenery. At our stop in the Tasman National Park, you’ll be in awe of the wonderful views at Pirates Bay lookout. Great photo opportunity! Arriving at Port Arthur we have approximately 5 hours to soak up the atmosphere of this World Heritage Site. Visit the interpretation centre and follow the harrowing life of a convict. Join a guided walking tour to learn about the many restored buildings and ruins, including the Penitentiary, Commandant’s House and the Church. Enjoy a cruise on Carnarvon Bay around the Isle of the Dead then back to the Historic Site for free time to purchase your own lunch and explore at your own pace. Click on "View Additional Info" for the hotel pickup list

$19.61 Cultural & Theme Tours

Port Arthur Ghost Tour

When the gates to Port Arthur Historic Site close to the general public, enter a haunted world on your lamp-lit, after-hours tour of one of Tasmania's most famous World Heritage Sites.With its ruins and remote location, spooky Port Arthur is tailor-made for ghost tours. The ghoulish stories you’ll hear date from 1870 to much more recent times -- more than 2,000 paranormal experiences have been encountered in almost 25 years of ghost tours held at Port Arthur. Chances are, you might be next to come face-to-face with a ghost at this poignant and tragic site!With only the light of lanterns to guide you -- and the shadows of eerie ruins looming at every step -- it’s easy to feel the presence of souls long gone. Hear tales of disembodied voices, ghostly footsteps and apparitions as you visit approximately half the historic site, taking in the 19th-century penal settlement buildings and grounds.At the end of the tour, safely returned to the bright lights of the visitor center, you’ll receive a Certificate of Bravery and Courage as a reminder of your spine-chilling tour of one of Australia’s most haunted sites.

$111.01 Shore Excursions

Hobart Shore Excursion: Port Arthur Shuttle

When your cruise ship docks in Hobart, meet your guide at the port where you will depart for your day trip taking a leisurely drive south along the Tasman Peninsula to Port Arthur, enjoying the spectacular scenery and learning about Tasmania’s historical past and the horrific fires of January 2012, along the way. At the Port Arthur Historic Site you will experience a fascinating, 40 minute guided walking tour—a great introduction to Port Arthur, its people and its past. The tour is led by an experienced tour guide and provides an introduction to the most significant parts of Port Arthur, giving you a great foundation to continue exploring at your leisure.Your admission fee includes a fully narrated 25 minute harbor cruise on board the MV Marana. The MV Marana will take you past the Dockyard, the Isle of the Dead Cemetery and the Point Puer Boys’ Prison. The on-board guide will provide commentary, introducing you to the maritime history of Port Arthur. You can also enjoy a warm drink, a bite to eat or even a local wine or beer, on board, as you take in the view.Golf buggies are available for anyone not too steady on their feet. Refreshments are available in the restaurant situated at the main entrance (at own expense).The shuttle bus will depart Port Arthur in time to return to the Cruise Ship, prior to departure time.

$28.86 Cultural & Theme Tours

Port Arthur Historic Site 2-Day Pass

With more than 30 buildings spread over 100 acres (40 hectares), there’s lots to explore at Australia’s most intact convict site, and this 2-day pass gives you the flexibility to discover as much of the Port Arthur grounds as you can during this time! You can do and see the following activities and attractions in whatever order you'd like, but it's recommended that you start with the 40-minute introductory tour to get your bearings and learn the stories behind the Port Arthur penal colony and the convicts incarcerated there. Then board the MV Marana for a 25-minute cruise on Port Arthur’s harbour. Listen to onboard commentary while you enjoy views of the Isle of the Dead Cemetery, Point Puer Boys' Prison, the Dockyards and Tasman National Park. To help you explore the colony in a fun and informative way, you’ll be issued a 'stack of stories playing card' at the ticketing counter. The card will bring out your inner detective as you follow the life story of a character from Port Arthur discover they came to be at the penal settlement. Learn about the convict's individual journey to Port Arthur, as well as what life was like in 19th-century Britain and Australia. See the dockyards, where the convicts helped build some of the finest ships in the colony around 1830s. They were so productive at the time, that the free shipwrights in Hobart petitioned to have them closed down. Listening to a 'soundscape,' you’ll hear the voices and sounds of the working dockyard come to life, allowing you to feel like you’ve stepped back into the 19th century. To explore the site’s natural surrounds, follow the Convict Water Supply Trail to hear the story of the penal colony’s flour-production enterprises. Then, at the Museum and Convict Study Centre, trace your family history to see if any of your ancestors are on the convict database! Take a stroll through the museum in the old Asylum building to learn more about life in the penal colony, then complete your Port Arthur tour by visiting the Commandant's House and Junior Medical Officers House to see how officers lived.

$95.46 Day Trips & Excursions

Port Arthur, Richmond, Tasman Peninsula Day Trip from Hobart

After pickup from your Hobart hotel travel to the beautiful historic village of Richmond famous for its colonial architecture. The stone buildings now house teashops, galleries, craft shops and museums. You'll also see Richmond Bridge, Australia's oldest. Continue to the Tasman Peninsula, stopping to enjoy the view from Pirates Bay Lookout. A stop is also made in Doo Town, a quaint seaside village famous for its quirky house names. From here, gaze out over Tasman Arch, one of the many unusual rock formations found in the Tasman National Park, and see what’s cooking at Devil's Kitchen. This is some of Australia's most stunning coastal scenery. Take a walk to Waterfall Bay to enjoy spectacular views from the clifftops. The highlight of the day is the opportunity to check out Tasmania’s convict heritage at Port Arthur. There’s no rush with plenty of time to see the sights on a guided walking tour and harbour cruise. Hear about the harsh conditions that the earliest European residents of Tasmania experienced after being sent across the world.Before returning to Hobart, a stop is at Federation Chocolate Factory to taste delicious hand-made chocolates – a very sweet end to a great day of exploring some of Tasmania most beautiful rugged scenery and fascinating convict history.

$144.31 Day Trips & Excursions

Tasmania Convict Trail and Port Arthur Day Trip from Hobart

Leaving Hobart, the group will take a leisurely drive south along the Tasman Peninsula to Port Arthur, enjoying the spectacular scenery and learning about Tasmania’s historical past and the horrific fires of January 2012, along the way. At the Port Arthur Historic Site one will experience a fascinating, 40 minute guided walking tour—a great introduction to Port Arthur, its people and its past. The tour is led by an experienced tour guide and provides an introduction to the most significant parts of Port Arthur, giving you a great foundation to continue exploring at your leisure.Your entry fee includes a fully narrated 25 minute harbour cruise on board the MV Marana. The MV Marana will take you past the Dockyard, the Isle of the Dead Cemetery and the Point Puer Boys’ Prison. The on-board guide will provide commentary, introducing you to the maritime history of Port Arthur. You can also enjoy a warm drink, a bite to eat or even a local wine or beer, on board, as you take in the view.The time allotted for the Port Arthur experience on this tour is two and a half hours, by which time most travellers are ready to resume their excursion. Golf buggies are available for anyone not too steady on their feet. Refreshments are available in the restaurant situated at the main entrance (at own expense).From Port Arthur, the tour will head for Richmond, stopping off at the Lavender Farm (optional), the quaint little hamlet of Doo Town, where each dwelling has its own unusual name, the Tasman Arch, the Blowhole and the Devil’s Kitchen. The group will continue to Richmond Historic Village where one can visit the historic goal, the oldest Catholic Church, the oldest Anglican Church, and the oldest convict constructed bridge in Australia, and a model of Hobart City as it was circa 1820.You may also choose to include a trip to the top of Mt Wellington, for amazing views over Hobart and the surrounding area. Please note: If you have selected this option at the time of booking and the trip up the mountain is not possible on the day of travel due to bad weather conditions, you will receive a Hobart city tour as an alternative. This option may not always be available for Cruise Ship passengers who may have time constraints.