Although Port Arthur Historic Site is an important tourist destination its popularity often means that the actual village of Port Arthur are the surrounding parts of the Tasman Peninsula get overlooked, though this shouldn’t really be the case.
With so much to see at the Historic Site, and bearing in mind your entrance ticket is valid for two days, spending the night in Port Arthur is an excellent idea and one that we took advantage of. There’s some lovely Port Arthur accommodation in and around the village after all.
Port Arthur Attractions
So in addition to the Port Arthur Historic Site what else is there to see in and around Port Arthur village?
The spectacular coastline around the Tasman Peninsula makes this an ideal place to go on a cruise. Not only do you get to see the beauty of this rugged coastline, which you can’t truly appreciate from the land, you also have the chance of seeing various marine wildlife including whales, dolphins, seals and sea birds. Tasman Island Cruises operates 3 hour long eco-cruises out of Port Arthur and come highly recommended.
Coal Mines Historic Site
About 20 km (12.5 miles) from Port Arthur is the Coal Mines Historic Site. This site also is important in Tasmania’s penal history because it was the convicts who were put to work here in Tasmania’s first operational mine. The mine was operational for more than 40 years and was developed so that the penal colony did not have to rely on imported coal from New South Wales, though it served a different purpose too – the worst of Port Arthur’s convicts were put to work here in conditions even more terrible and harsh than those at Port Arthur.
Visitors to the Coal Mines Historic Site can take a self-guided tour of the site and you may like the fact that it’s far less crowded here than at Port Arthur!
‘Touring Tasmania – Port Arthur Continuted’ by Claire Bolgil