(Tassie Trip) Day 4 – Port Arthur

June 3, 2015
port arthur, tasmania

On Day 4 of our Tassie trip we left Richmond and headed to Port Arthur.  The drive took a lot longer than we had expected and the temperature dropped the closer we got!

For those that are interested – Port Arthur was established in September 1830 as a timber-getting camp, producing sawn logs for government projects. After 1833 it became a punishment station for repeat offenders from the Australian colonies. It also managed a number of outstations that produced raw material like food and timber.  It remains a physical chronicle of a dramatic part of Australia’s history.

Here’s some photo’s of what we saw at the world heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site.  We walked around by ourselves (when I took most of the photo’s) and then we did a walking tour.

Images at Full Size 2

port arthur, tasmania

port arthur, tasmania
Sadly, a visit to Port Arthur can’t be made without reflection on the tragic events that took place on this site back on 28 April 1996 – ‘the Port Arthur massacre’ – where 35 people were killed and 23 were wounded.  The massacre started in the Broad Arrow Cafe where 12 people were killed and 10 more were wounded, before the murderer moved on to kill more.  I won’t mention his name here as I want no part in making him a celebrity.  Following this massacre, the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, introduced strict gun ownership laws within the country and formulated the National Firearms Programme Implementation Act 1996, restricting the private ownership of semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns as well as introducing uniform firearms licensing. It was implemented with bipartisan support by the commonwealth, states and territories.

port arthur cafe ruins

The remains of the Broad Arrow Cafe.  This is the site of a memorial garden and plaque.

 port arthur, tasmania, penal settlement

port arthur penal settlement

Port Arthur Penal Settlement

port arthur penal settlment

Port Arthur Penal Settlement

We did a walking tour which also incorporated a little cruise around Carnarvon Bay!

Isle of the Dead - where the grave diggers lived

Isle of the Dead – where the grave diggers lived and the dead were buried

Isle of the Dead - Port Arthur - Tasmania

port arthur, tasmania

Port Arthur, Tasmania

The walking tour was fabulous!  The stories told to you by the tour guide make the place come to life.  Suddenly you know what each building was used for and more about the daily routine here back in the 1830’s.  You also get to see some beautifully kept artifacts from way back then – like convict uniforms, ledgers and records, tools and more!

The grounds at Port Arthur are so beautiful!  Unfortunately, when we were on the walking tour it was raining so I had to put my camera away.  I did however snap some shots for Instagram with my phone that show the gorgeous trees and grounds (see below).

port arthur grounds

After our tour and a little more wandering around, we made our way back to the new cafe located in the Visitor’s Centre for lunch (and for a dry & warm retreat!).

We then needed to head off towards Bicheno where we were booked to spend the night.  On the way we stopped at a few places including Eaglehawk Neck where I took these photos.

eaglehawk neck, tasmania

eaglehawk neck, tasmania

eaglehawk neck, tasmania

Here’s where to go to see Day 1 – Hobart, Day 2 – Hobart and Day 3 – Richmond of our Tassie Trip!

Ciao for now,


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  • Reply Michelle@myslowlivingadventure June 3, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Beautiful pictures Min. I would love to go to Tasmania one day. I’ve heard so much about the scenery and the food…

    • Reply Min June 3, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      Thanks Michelle – I can vouch for Tassie being a beautiful place to visit! 🙂

  • Reply PatrickC June 3, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Wow Min, what a brilliant series of photos. All of them are standouts. A couple really jumped out at me. The second photo looks like a painting from the 1800’s, The sandstone window photo and the archway photo are stunning. The swirling water in the Isle of the Dead photos is really eye catching. There is something primal in the deepness of the blue and the swirl. The misty beach photo and the photos of the beach with the tree trunks in the foreground are also worthy of enlargement.

    Min you are a very talented artist.

    • Reply Min June 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Wow – thank you Patrick! You’re always so kind with your compliments on my photography. I appreciate it so much! 🙂

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit June 3, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Seriously … you MUST contact Tasmanian tourism with all your wonderful photos. So impressive.

    • Reply Min June 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      What a lovely compliment! Thanks so much Leanne. 🙂

  • Reply Trish June 3, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I’m loving your Tassie adventure tails. Your photos are stunning.
    We visted Port Arthur before the tragedy. My husband’s Father was down there at the time though visiting his wife’s son.

    • Reply Trish June 3, 2015 at 8:39 pm


      • Reply Min June 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm

        LOL 🙂

    • Reply Min June 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      I’m glad you enjoying my Tassie adventure ‘tales’ (lol) Trish coz there’s a lot more to come yet! Thank goodness your husband’s father was not in the wrong place when that tragedy took place! xo

  • Reply Kate June 3, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Great photos. Port Arthur is a beautiful place isn’t it? It is hard to imagine the things it has seen going on in such a beautiful spot!

    • Reply Min June 5, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Thanks Kate! Yes, I was surprised at just how beautiful it is at Port Arthur. It was just gorgeous! It’s hard to imagine it back in the day when it was a convict settlement but gee it was interesting to hear all about it! 🙂

  • Reply Becky from BeckyandJames June 3, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Beautiful shots. Your photos are really making me want to visit Tassie!

    • Reply Min June 5, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Thank you Becky! I hope you get to Tassie one day. It really is so diverse and gorgeous! 🙂

  • Reply Nicole @ The Builders Wife June 6, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Absolutely stunning!

    • Reply Min June 6, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Thanks Nicole – It is such a beautiful place there! I would have liked much longer there. I will have to go back! 😉

  • Reply Alicia August 26, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    We loved looking around here. We went on the night ghost tour too! So many great stories and history in this place. A little sadness too with some of things that have happened here.

    • Reply Min August 27, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Port Arthur was one of my most favourite Tassie spots. The beautiful grounds and trees!! The incredible history and stories! The beautiful old buildings and artifacts! It’s so sad though – what happened there in 1996 and yes as I walked by the memorial I teared up at the memory of when that happened.

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