Guess where was our next destination? Prison! Yes, no kidding, we were indeed going to visit a prison, but we were not going to be locked up of course, at least we hoped. The place I’m introducing to you is Port Arthur Historic Site. This special place used to be a harsh prison, but today it has turned into a beautiful tourist attraction. In this post, I’m going to show you the Port Arthur Attractions. And soon you’ll discover why it’s the most beautiful prison on earth.
Port Arthur Attractions – Port Arthur History
Port Arthur was a convict settlement where many convicts around the world used to be sent to under the British’s colony. All the convicts here used to suffer harsh punishment both physically and mentally. These men and women were convicted of crimes that seem trivial today, mostly stealing small articles or livestock, but they had been convicted at least once before and Britain’s policy was to treat such re-offenders harshly.
Although it used to be “hell” for the prisoners, today’s Port Arthur actually looks really nice and provides a sense of tranquility.
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Port Arthur Attractions – Entrance Fees
We bought a Bronze pass at a cost of $37 AUD which gave us access to more than 30 historic sites, a 40 mins guided tour and a short harbor cruise trip. The Bronze pass is the most basic pass and you will have to purchase it if you want to enter the sites. It’s pretty worth it as you could easily spend at least 4 hours to enjoy the spot.
You will also be able to take a glimpse of the cell where convicts used to stay!
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Port Arthur Attractions – Ghost Tour
And if you a fan of ghost story, you should definitely go for the Ghost Tour at night. Documented ghost stories have been associated with Port Arthur since 1870, when the prison was still in operation. Over 1000 people died at Port Arthur throughout its 47 year history, others were taken to Hobart Town for execution. Since that time the site has had a rich history of paranormal encounters – from visitors, staff and contractors.
However, we were unable to experience this wonderful tour ourselves, as it was overbooked! No kidding, the tour is so popular that it’s always full. So do book it online before arrival to avoid disappointment.
Check out the video below to have a feel of the ghost tour!
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Freycinet National Park
After spending half a day there, we drove to Freycinet National Park where the famous Wineglass Bay lies. It took us around 30 mins to hike to the lookout point which offers a wonderful view of the bay. Sadly we didn’t have enough time to go down to the bay itself as we need to catch a penguin tour at Bicheno at night. It will generally take another 2-3 hours if you decide to go down to the bay itself. But it’s definitely worth it if time allows!
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Bicheno Penguin Tour
As scheduled, we went for the Bicheno Penguin Tour at night, which offers a close view of penguins at the seaside. However, as it was rather dark and the wind was bitter cold, I felt the trip wasn’t worth it. The environment wasn’t conducive to let us slowly observe and learn about the penguins. The tour cost $35 per person which is rather costly. I heard that it’s also possible to catch the penguins by yourself, as long as you hit to the correct beach!
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Itinerary at a glance:
- Port Arthur
-Bronze pass ($37 AUD per person)
-Ghost Tour ($25 AUD per person)
- Freycinet National Park
– Wineglass Bay Lookout
– Hit to the beach if you have time to enjoy great scenery!
- Bicheno Penguin Tour
– Price ($35 AUD per person)
– Not recommended if you cannot stand the darkness and cold