Port Arthur Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, eat, stay, and experience the local culture of Port Arthur, Tasmania. Plan your trip with our comprehensive travel guide.

Introduction to Port Arthur

Nestled in Tasmania’s Tasman and South East region, Port Arthur is one of the most significant convict sites in Australia. The historic site holds immense cultural and historical importance and is a popular tourist destination in Tasmania.

List of Places to Visit in Port Arthur

Port Arthur is dotted with numerous attractions and landmarks that give tourists significant insights into Australia’s convict history. Some of the must-visit sites in Port Arthur are:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Port Arthur Historic Site: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the primary attraction in Port Arthur, and is home to over 30 historic buildings and ruins that date back to the 1800s. The site holds immense importance in Australian history as it served as a convict settlement and punishment site until 1877.

The Dockyard: The largest building in the Historic Site, the Dockyard, was used to maintain and repair the penal colony’s ships. Today, visitors can explore the building’s history and marvel at the scale of the operation.

Convict Water Supply Trail: This one-hour hike through a towering forest leads you to the historic reservoir, which was used to provide water to the convict settlement.

Natural Attractions of Port Arthur: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Tasman National Park: Located just half an hour away from Port Arthur, this national park is a nature lover’s paradise. Explore the stunning coastal scenery and pristine beaches at the park.

Fortescue Bay: This stunning bay is located within the Tasman National Park and boasts a picturesque beach, rugged cliffs, and crystal clear water ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

Three Capes Track: For those who enjoy hiking, the Three Capes Track is a popular destination. It offers stunning views of the ocean, dramatic geology, and a chance to spot wildlife such as seals and dolphins.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Port Arthur

Port Arthur Historic Site has several walking trails that visitors can enjoy. For cycling enthusiasts, the Tasman Peninsula has many excellent bike routes, including the Foreshore Trail, which takes riders through the region’s most stunning coastal scenery.

Best Things to Do in Port Arthur: Activities and Tours

Here are some of the best activities and tours to engage in while in Port Arthur:

Port Arthur Ghost Tour: For those who are interested in paranormal or spooky experiences, the Port Arthur ghost tour takes visitors on a guided, lantern-lit exploration of the site’s eerie pathways, hunting for ghosts and stories of paranormal activity.

Isle of the Dead Tour: A 45-minute guided tour of the Isle of the Dead is a must-see when you’re in Port Arthur. The Island is the final resting place of over 1100 convicts and has rich history and stories to discover.

Week-Long Itinerary for Port Arthur

Day 1: Port Arthur Historic Site Day 2: Fortescue Bay Day 3: Cascade and Tasman National Park Day 4: Visit the famous Tasmazia for an unusual attraction Day 5: Cruise to the Isle of the Dead and Point Puer Boys’ Prison. Day 6: Three Capes Track Day 7: Cap off the week by taking a scenic drive to the Noruwey Bridge.

Food and Drink Scene of Port Arthur

Must-Try Dishes

Seafood is a must-try in Port Arthur, especially oysters, which are harvested locally and served fresh.

For meat lovers, a signature dish of Tasmania is the lamb chops, which are succulent, juicy, and bursting with flavor.

Local Beverages

Tasmania is the home of Tasmanian whiskey, and a visit to the Nant Distillery is highly recommended. Tasmania is also known for its thriving beer scene, with several microbreweries in the area, such as the Hopsmith Brewery and the Tasmanian Craft Beer Trail.

Where to Stay in Port Arthur: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Port Arthur has several accommodation options to fit every budget. The top-rated places to stay in Port Arthur include the Stewarts Bay Lodge, Port Arthur Villas, and Harpers on the Beach.

What to Buy in Port Arthur: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Port Arthur is known for its local products, including handcrafted wooden products, woolens, and artwork. You can buy souvenirs such as postcards, prints, and pens at the Port Arthur Gift Shop.

Local Culture and Customs of Port Arthur

The locals of Port Arthur are friendly and welcoming to visitors. When visiting the historic site, dress modestly and respectfully, and follow the site’s rules and regulations.

Best Time to Visit Port Arthur

The best time to visit Port Arthur is between October to April when the weather is warm and sunny.

Do’s and Don’ts of Port Arthur


  • Do take a guided tour of the Port Arthur Historic Site to understand its history better.
  • Do explore the stunning natural scenery in the Tasman National Park.
  • Do try the fresh seafood and local beer and whiskey.


  • Don’t disrespect the historic site by littering or causing damage to the property.
  • Don’t underestimate the severity of Tasmania’s weather conditions, especially during autumn and winter.

Safety and Health

Safety in Port Arthur

Port Arthur is relatively safe, and visitors are unlikely to encounter any trouble. However, it’s advisable to take standard precautions, such as keeping your valuables secure and being aware of your surroundings.

Health in Port Arthur

There are no significant medical concerns in Port Arthur.

Getting to Port Arthur: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Port Arthur

Hobart Airport is the closest airport to Port Arthur, located about 75 kilometers away.

Bus Stations Near Port Arthur

There is no direct public transportation available to Port Arthur. However, visitors can catch a bus from Hobart to Eaglehawk Neck and then take a taxi or hitchhike to Port Arthur.

Other Options

Visitors can opt for a rental car or take a scenic drive along the coast from Hobart to Port Arthur.

How to Get Around in Port Arthur

The best way to explore Port Arthur and its surrounding areas is by car. Visitors can also walk or bike around the Port Arthur Historic Site and the Tasman National Park.

Where to Go Next from Port Arthur: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Other destinations in Tasmania that you can explore after Port Arthur include Hobart, Mount Wellington, and Bruny Island.


Port Arthur is a must-visit destination in Tasmania for those interested in Australian convict history, stunning scenery, and outdoor adventures. By following this comprehensive guide, visitors can enjoy an unforgettable experience in Port Arthur, Tasmania.