Why go to Port Arthur?
Remarkable history, beautiful, natural attractions
If you take outside excursions you may be rushing to fully appreciate Port Arthur
For most visitors it's really just the historic site but that's enough
Port Arthur Cruise Port Facilities?
Ships anchor in Carnarvon Bay, within sight of the main Port Arthur Historic Site, and use tenders to transport passengers to a landing pier.
General entry to the Port Arthur Historic Site is usually included if your ship stops there; it's the main attraction and takes around half a day to see everything comfortably. The actual town of Port Arthur is little more than a cluster of private homes with a few minor services.
A new, modern multi-million dollar visitor centre opened in Dec 2017 with an expanded caf?, a larger gift shop and a more engaging gallery with loads of information
Good to Know?
Bring plenty of sunscreen and a hat because the sun can be very strong in Tasmania in the summer, even at moderate temperatures. Also, wear sturdy walking shoes and carry a light jacket and umbrella, even in summer, because the weather can change suddenly and rain is always a possibility. There's free government-provided wi-fi in the historic site.
There are boat tours out to the tiny Isle of the Dead where walkways take you to the separate graveyards for convicts and others. There's an extra cost and the tour takes about an hour.
The only way to easily get out and see other parts of this region of Tasmania is by taking an organised tour from the ship or by planning for a driver to pick you up from Port Arthur Historic Site for private touring. Options for shore excursions include taking an eco-cruise, visiting the Norfolk Bay Coal Mines Historic Site or getting up close and personal with Tasmanian devils at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, now the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The currency is the Australian dollar. There is an ATM in the visitor centre, and the facility accepts foreign currency, travellers' cheques and all major credit cards.
Australians speak English with an 'Aussie' accent, and in Port Arthur, the language is much the same as you'll find anywhere else in the country. The majority of tourists will be from other parts of Australia though about 10 per cent may be from Tasmania or 'Tassie' as it is known colloquially.