Port Arthur is world famous for a number of reasons, one of them being because it is one of Australia's most significant heritage areas and holds a beautiful open air museum to browse through and the second it became known to the world over to be the scene of the worst mass murder in Australian history in 1996.
Located on the Tasmanian Peninsula, some 60kms south east of Hobart, Port Arthur holds many tails and stories that are still told to this day that are ever present in the museums, galleries, the numerous ruins and prison cells. This sleepy side community was started back in the early 1830's as a penal settlement for second offenders who were put to work to cut timber but by 1833 it was classed as “Hell on Earth”, as men and boys were imprisoned in the barracks. But today it is a tranquil setting, with famous sites, restored buildings and stately homes and luxury accommodation places to enjoy. It is far from what it used to be as many people from all around, both from Tasmania and overseas, come to escape the rat race and enjoy a peaceful setting filled with attractions and activities that the whole family can take part in.
There are magnificent gardens, hectares of tall standing English Oaks swaying in the breeze, restored period furnished homes and fascinating tours and guided walks to embark on where you can learn about the interesting and shadowy past of the town. There is a ghost tour to do, historical walks and a scenic harbour cruises to do in the summer months. There are historical monuments to see and the Convict Trail to walk along or perhaps you might be interested in doing the Isle of Dead Tour where you can visit all of the final resting places of the convicts, soldiers and their families. Port Arthur is Tasmania's number one tourist attractions, so it is advised that you spend more than just the day exploring this fascinating town. Book into one of the many luxury accommodation places that are scattered throughout the town, with hotels, apartments and beautiful four star properties as well as camping facilities are all available.
The Tasmanian Devil Park in nearby Taranna is a great place to get up close and personal with the famous Tasmanian Devil where you can watch them get fed daily as well as see native birds and wildlife such as wombats, quolls and eagles. Visit the historic Timber Mill or wander through the settlement displays or take a trip to the steam railway site. For those of you who love to go hiking the Remarkable Cave is a must do which was created by repeated wave action and is the start of a four to five hour breathtakingly beautiful walk to Crescent Bay.
As many are aware Port Arthur was the site for one of the most horrific massacres the world has even seen, and many people come here to pay tribute to the victims and witness where this terrible incident took place. Feel the coldness in the air, where Martin Bryant took so many lives.
Port Arthur to this day is a place where many stories are held and told about the colorful past that this coastal town has experienced. To get a taste of what has happened and to enjoy a holiday like no other in a town that is beautiful, stunning and peaceful all at the same time, bring the whole family for some away from the bit cities.