The Penitentiary at Port Arthur

The Penitentiary at Port Arthur

We had a lovely day trip recently, from Hobart to the Tasman Peninsula. Dale’s brother and his family (who live in Launceston) were spending a few days down there and we took the opportunity to head there for the day to catch up with them all and to also reacquaint ourselves with the area.

The drive from Hobart to Port Arthur was around 100km and took us 90 minutes from Sandy Bay. This did include a stop for about 10 minutes in Sorell due to road works though. It is a lovely drive and fairly easy, but mostly one lane each way (as is common in Tassie), so you can sometimes get unlucky and have difficulty finding an opportunity to overtake slower cars.

We spent most of our day at Port Arthur. We looked at the pricing and tours online the day before and decided we would buy the Bronze pass which basically just gives you entry and we added the tour to Point Puer Boys’ Prison to that. The Silver Pass included one tour and lunch but works out significantly more expensive. But then again lunch wasn’t exactly cheap… We also paid $6 extra for the ‘Ticket of Leave’ pass that provides entry for the next two years.

We started the day with a guided group walking tour which is a good way to get orientated to the site and work out what you would like to see in more detail. There really is too much to see in one day so you do need to prioritise (although your ticket does allow entry for two consecutive days). The site is very large and you need to be prepared to do a fair bit of walking. We were very lucky that the weather was perfect, sunshine and low 20s.

The beach at Point Puer

The entry ticket includes a harbour cruise, which is also the cruise you take to be dropped at either Point Puer or The Isle of the Dead if you book either of those tours. The Point Puer tour was interesting in terms of the stories and the guide was very good, but there really isn’t a lot left there in terms of ruins, so you do have to use your imagination as to how it was when it was a boys prison. The guide does also share some drawings of the various sites. Just be warned that if you have restricted mobility it may be too challenging for you.

After we left Port Arthur we drove around the Peninsula and stopped at White Beach and our dog Charlie had a great swim. It is a lovely beach.

We didn’t have time to stop anywhere else along the way, but there is lots to see if you do. This map on the Port Arthur website is a good reference.

Sites along the way and on the Tasman Peninsula include
Port Arthur
• The Tasman Monument near Dunalley
• Eaglehawk Neck beach and the Tessellated Pavement
• Tasman Blowhole, Tasman Arch and Devil’s Kitchen just past Eaglehawk Neck
The Tasmanian Devil Park – see Tassie Devils and other animals
• White Beach near Nubeena for a walk or swim

For information about what to see and do, check out these sites
Tasman Peninsula
Tasman Cruises

I am sure that whatever your interests you will find some enjoyable activities to do in this area of Tassie.

Remember to stay up to date with Tasmanian news and all issues to do with moving to Tasmania you should either subscribe to our email newsletter (form in the sidebar to use) or follow us on Twitter.


Moving to Tasmania assistance