Mission #5: Port Arthur

Finally, my Tasmania posts continue! The last place we left off was Freycinet National Park. Our next stop – Port Arthur, recently named the top Major Tourist Attraction at the 2014 Australian Tourism Awards.

Tucked away in the Tasman Peninsula (south-west corner of Tassie) you wouldn’t expect such a win from this historic place. A former site for convicts and home to some brutal grinding of the spirit, it truly immerses you in a previous world.

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It’s a large site and your admission allows you two days to explore the grounds. It also includes a complimentary introductory tour and a short ferry ride along the bay.

IMG_7093 copyIMG_7098 copyIt’s amazing how they have preserved the buildings. Evidently they are a mix of old and new, maintenance and renovations ensuring the structures demonstrate what it was like back then.

IMG_7188 copyYou really feel like you are taken back in time. There are little stories and plaques as you venture in and out of prisons, cells, cottages and churches.

IMG_7291 copyThe interesting thing, similarly to Sarah Island back along Gordon River, is that the site is magnificently peaceful and beautiful. The gardens and coastline provide some postcard views – but I’m sure this is not what the convicts thought back then.

IMG_7262 copyIt may be scenic during the day, but by night there are ghost tours, featuring the third most haunted site in Australia – The Parsonage. Despite this, it wasn’t extremely scary, not too different from several tours we’ve experienced in Melbourne.

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Although there was one instance where we were downstairs in a basement type area. It was a stone cold room and I felt a cold breeze across the back of my neck – but I wasn’t too far from the door. Was it that? I’ll never know.

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But enough talking, I’ll let the photos do the rest of the story-telling courtesy of the.adventouriist‘s photography. Enjoy the photos and let me know in the comments if you’ve visited too and what you thought of the site!

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Entry to Port Arthur Historic Site is $35. Buy tickets here.

The Ghost Tour is a separate ticket costing $25 for adults, $15 for children and $65 for a family. Find out more here.

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