Package Holidays in Tasmania
Port Arthur Convict Settlement Port Arthur Tasmania Australia
The infamous Port Arthur Penal Settlement is Tasmanias number one tourist attraction. The hauntingly beautiful sandstone buildings hold the last remnants of Port Arthurs stark yet intriguing history. During its time, the penal settlement had some of the strictest security measures of the British penal system.
Port Arthur Penal Settlement History
From 1833 to the 1850s, The Port Arthur Penal Settlement was the destination for convicted British and Irish criminals who had re-offended after their arrival in Australia. Harsh punishment was implemented, including experimental punitive measures focussing on the psychological. Many attempts for escape were made form this natural penitentiary and amazingly, some were successful. Cases have included the seizing of boats from visitors, to donning a Kangaroo hide. Juvenile male convicts were held at the British Empires first boys' prison, Point Puer. Here they were also subjected to hard labour and harsh punishment. The Island of the Dead was established as the burial ground for those who died inside the prison camps. In 1877, the Penal Settlement ceased to operate and became a major tourist destination just over 100 years later.
Port Arthur Penal Settlement Attractions
The Penal Settlement is comprised of over 30 hauntingly beautiful restored buildings, ruins and period homes which are set in 40 hectares of landscaped grounds. In addition to marvelling at this truly unique site, visitors can gain an insight into the harsh conditions of the convicts and their brutal guards. Port Arthurs island burial ground, appropriately named The Island of the Dead can also be visited, as well as the nearby Point Puer Boys Prison renowned for its harsh punishment and strict discipline over juvenile male convicts.