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“Amazing history and stories” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur Historic Site
Arthur Highway, Port Arthur, Tasmania 7182, Australia
+61362512300
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Visit Port Arthur Historic Site like an insider
Super Saver
$104*
and up
Tasmania Super Saver: Hobart Sightseeing Coach...
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Port Arthur Historic Site is the best-preserved convict settlement in Australia and among the most significant convict era sites in the world. It has won many awards and has been called one of Australia's great tourism destinations. The Site combines rich history and scenic beauty to tell the stories of the harsh discipline and determined industry of the settlement. It is a place to discover Australian history and connect with the origins of Australian culture.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Amazing history and stories”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013 via mobile

Port Arthur is a must do for anyone visiting Tasmania - it is fantastic to see sites like this being preserved. The introductory tour is a must do as it gives a great overview of how things were when Port Arthur was operating, and the stories they have to tell are amazing. I just wish I had more time to do some of the extra tours.

The only thing I believe they shouldn't be trying to hide so much is the 1996 tragedy - yes there is a memorial but I didn't know that until after I left as its almost hidden away and out of sight. Yes it was a horribly dark day in the sites history but its just as important to acknowledge the victims and the impact its had on Australia in general.

Visited November 2013
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“History, palpable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

Read about the prison before you visit. The memories are palpable at every step. The cafeteria, scene of the 1996 massacre, is also wisely and tastefully preserved as a memorial to the victims. A very worthwhile visit.

Visited November 2013
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5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Spooky but exciting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

It was my first trip to Tasmania and I was really excited about my Port Arthur Trip. We stayed 2 nights there. Initially we thought, we were in the middle of nowhere and we'd get bored but you do need good 2 days to discover the site. The ghost tour was the most exciting part and filled with lots of spooky, screaming and laughing moments. The Isle of the dead tour was also very interesting. The only downside was there were not many places to eat and there was no telephone connections, but I guess that's just the part of the excitement where you are turning back the time. And don't forget to pack your walking shoes along.. There's a lot of walking involved here.

Visited November 2013
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Ashfield, Australia
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“A journey back in time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

We bought the bronze passes and did the site over 2 days. It was well worth doing it over the 2 days, you have to pace yourself as you can only walk around, and there is a lot of walking to be done. It us still under construction but there is enough to keep you busy.

Visited November 2013
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Wollongong, Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

Initially I was impressed by the upgraded facilities at the entrance of Port Arthur. This was my fourth visit over a period of twenty years and I was showing the place to overseas friends. The cruise around the island of the dead was very disappointing and not worth going on. The walking tour was hardly that. The guide spoke at a rapid speed in three different locations within the grounds- not in buildings. We were not shown inside any buildings on site. After this "tour" we entered the surgeons home. It too was very disappointing. Inadequately lit and not good enough for such an historic site. The scene of the massacre was under reconstruction with the drained reflection pool full of dead tadpoles and frogs. I was embarrassed by the whole experience.

Visited October 2013
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Kate M, Public Relations Manager at Port Arthur Historic Site, responded to this review, November 19, 2013
We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your recent visit to the Port Arthur Historic Site. The Introductory Tour, a basic inclusion of entry to the site, has been designed to assist with orienting our visitors to the expansive site while providing an overview of its history; the buildings and ruins are then able to be explored at ones own pace.You also refer to the Harbour Cruise, another basic inclusion of entry to the site and express disappointment about the Isle of the Dead experience...again, this is an overview of the history and should you wish to learn more about the Isle of the Dead, there are tours available daily which allow much more time to explore the significance of this island.
We have discussed your comments about the reflection pool with our Grounds and Gardens manager and the only explanation can be that you happened upon it as it was being drained for cleaning. While we are very conscious and protective of our wildlife, this particular pool is not managed as a habitat for wildlife, rather it is a place for visitors to reflect and pay their respects and as such, it is important that we maintain it to a high standard.
On a more positive note, we are pleased that you were impressed by the upgraded facilities at the entrance of the site as we continually strive to improve the visitor experience.
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