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.
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.
It’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.
You 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.
The 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.
It 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.
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.
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!