Things to See and Do

Near Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

Set on the tip of the Tasman Peninsula, Port Arthur is a great base to explore the historic site and the area's natural dramatic coastal rock formations and towering cliffs. The Port Arthur Historic Site was established in 1830 as a timber station and was soon built into a small town designed for the housing and punishment of over a thousand of Tasmania's most notorious convicts. Full of powerful stories…

Set on the tip of the Tasman Peninsula, Port Arthur is a great base to explore the historic site and the area's natural dramatic coastal rock formations and towering cliffs. The Port Arthur Historic Site was established in 1830 as a timber station and was soon built into a small town designed for the housing and punishment of over a thousand of Tasmania's most notorious convicts. Full of powerful stories of hardship and loss, it's one of Tasmania's most rewarding travel experiences. Port Arthur's dark history contrasts with the stark beauty of the surrounding area. Nature looms large with unique rock formations such as Remarkable Cave and beautiful waterways like Crescent Bay.

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Featured Things to See and Do

Note:
Distance is calculated point-to-point. If landmarks, waterways or rivers are nearby, the distance may be further by road.

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Local Highlights

Port Arthur Historic Site
The Port Arthur Historic Site is the best-preserved convict settlement in Australia and among the most significant convict era sites in the world. Experience a guided tour with the knowledgeable local guides, do the short cruise to the Isle of The Dead or take the ghost tour in the early evening.

Tasman Island Cruises
Tasman Island Cruises is another leading wilderness and wildlife adventure by Robert Pennicott of the world famous Bruny Island Cruises. You will experience the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere, look in awe at the magnificent scenery of Tasman Island and Cape Pillar as you weave in and out of deep sea caves. Join in the search for the abundant sea and coastal wildlife such as hundreds of seals, migrating whales, dolphins and abundant bird species.

Port Arthur Ghost Tours
Darkness falls and a hidden side of historic Port Arthur emerges. This is a different place after sunset, full of mystery and intrigue. Flickering lantern light draws you close to hear tales from long ago. Rich storytelling and pathways through darkened ruins and heritage buildings reveal a bizarre history. Listen to first hand accounts of prisoners and soldiers that will resonate in your mind long after the lantern dims at the end of the night. Tickets available from the park.

Port Arthur Lavender
Located on the stunning Tasman Pensinsula, a truly amazing lavender experience. Port Arthur lavender is a wholly owned Tasmanian company growing a large variety of organic lavender. See our lavender fields, buy lavender based products and savour mouth watering lavender themed meals in our café. A great venue for lunch, dinner or a lavender milkshake

Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park
Come face to face with endangered devils, meet our little endemic quolls and pademelons, hand feed friendly kangaroos and join some crazy parrots in Tasmanian’s only free-flight bird show. Our nature trail takes you through a delightful native botanic garden filled with wild honeyeaters and wrens, past majestic eucalypts and streamside ferneries. Hand feed friendly kangaroos. Open daily 9am-5pm

Tasman National Park
Tasman National Park protects diverse forest and spectacular coastline from Cape Surville to Waterfall Bay and Fortescue Bay; and from Cape Hauy to Cape Pillar and Cape Raoul. The park incorporates several off-shore islands, including Fossil Island, Hippolyte Rocks and Tasman Island. It is an area of great beauty and natural diversity, including some of the most stunning coastal scenery anywhere in Australia.

The Dog Line
A line of ferocious dogs and detachment of military guards once kept a constant watch along the narrow isthmus at Eaglehawk Neck. They were on the lookout for escaped convicts from Port Arthur. The military station was established at the Neck in 1832 under the command of Ensign Darling. It was a vital link in the strict security system which operated throughout the Tasman and Forestier Peninsulas during the convict period. Appropriately, it was referred to as 'the key to the peninsula'.

Eaglehawk Dive Centre
There are a great diversity of world-class scuba diving sites in this area, including the famous Waterfall Bay caves, the historic wreck of the SS "Nord" with huge schools of fish, Giant Kelp forests and bizarre Weedy Seadragons, with sites suitable for divers of all levels of experience

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