We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Impressive site for history buffs & nature lovers”

Port Arthur Historic Site
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Port Arthur Historic Site 2-Day Pass
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Port Arthur
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Stairs / lift
Tamborine Mountain, Australia
Level Contributor
72 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Impressive site for history buffs & nature lovers”
Reviewed 4 February 2013

I didn't have high expectations & honestly had only really thought of this site as associated with the 'port arthur massacre,' sadly. But it is quite a beautiful site in itself set off the harbour & has beautiful grounds, gardens, & birds. There were lots of photo opportunities. We did the walking tour & then a harbour tour which was included in ticket price which panned out better as the tour guide was informative & we gathered knowledge & got a mild workout before being able to sit & relax on the cruise later in the afternoon. A sad history for convicts obviously but interesting to hear about the prisoner life & the hierarchy, behaviours, rewards etc. These were not the cliched 'stole a bunch of bread' prisoners but fairly hardened. Sad to hear that there used to be much more buildings but they were stolen away gradually or weathered down over time. There may be more to see than could easily fit into one day, but it was adequate for us. I can't recommend the cafe food as we didn't stop in there, but it seemed overpriced. On our cruise the staff were very friendly & we managed to see [the fin] of a whale which is quite rare. Overall not being particularly a history buff or an outdoors person, I would still recommend this for a day out.

Visited October 2012
Thank Carebear79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

3,068 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Mount Gambier, Australia
Level Contributor
153 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“A must do attraction”
Reviewed 4 February 2013

A must do attraction while in Tasmania. Beautiful grounds and gardens. Very informative. Great tour guides and displays. A fabulous way to learn more about the history of our country. And a scenic drive to get there. Slow service in the main cafeteria was the only bad part.

Visited February 2013
Thank Poolandlocation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
179 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Fantastic site to visit with great facilities”
Reviewed 3 February 2013

Plenty of great staff and facilities here. The cafe isn't priced like an airpot as other tourist destinations may be. The tickets which include a walking tour and harbour cruise are great value. This is a must see attraction.

Visited February 2013
Thank nicktaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Not What I Expected”
Reviewed 3 February 2013

Port Arthur is a gem. The Port is amazingly beautiful and worth a boat trip to see. The historic site is much bigger than I first thought and would benefit from a day or two to discover at a comfortable pace. The staff there are friendly and helpful, the site itself an educational experience. On a warm and sunny day it can also seem a little eerie when observing the historic site from afar. Hard to imagine the tough times the convicts endured here and the life of the free settlers on this pennisula. Worth a visit and day trip.

Visited January 2013
Thank JaffaProf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5,145 reviews
1,904 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,845 helpful votes
“Full of history”
Reviewed 2 February 2013

The historical past seems more obvious in Tasmania - much of Sydney's or Melbourne's has been overtaken by the growth and "progress" and perhaps you have to search harder.
I had been to Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney only a few months ago to see "a day in the life of..." but it seemed a little contrived.
This seemed more realistic and gives a better understanding of life in another era and how Australia was both settled and developed.
We were fortunate to see it as we were there just prior to the bushfires and I do think it is a must visit on any trip to Tasmania.

Visited January 2013
Thank RonWamberal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Port Arthur Historic Site also viewed

Port Arthur, Tasmania
Port Arthur, Tasmania

Been to Port Arthur Historic Site? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing