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“History, palpable”

Port Arthur Historic Site
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$30.14*
and up
Port Arthur Historic Site 2-Day Pass
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Port Arthur
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
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.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
123 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“History, palpable”
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
Helpful?
Thank Gumbydoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,111 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Spooky but exciting”
Reviewed November 20, 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
Helpful?
Thank Mimiprimon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashfield, Australia
Level Contributor
177 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“A journey back in time”
Reviewed November 20, 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
Helpful?
Thank Polley01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wollongong, Australia
Level Contributor
233 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
Reviewed November 16, 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
Helpful?
Thank Emjmeakin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Brilliant, but needs time”
Reviewed November 16, 2013

The entry fee of $35 seemed a bit pricey, but it included a boat cruise, so it's worth the money. However, unlike the brochure, it may well take you full day to go around the sites rather than just half a day, so keep that in mind

The site itself is both fascinating and sad. It will remain in your memories long after you leave the place. It's also well preserved and as mentioned earlier, we didn't have time to go through a lot of the structures

Also some of the places don't have wheelchair access (or it's well hidden). Considering that it's a historic site, I guess that's something you have to accept otherwise the originality of the site would be lost

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank zooter r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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