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Australian Convict Sites in Tasmania

Australian Convict Sites in Tasmania

Among thousands of penal colonies established across the continent of Australia, Tasmania contains five that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Collectively they commemorate the British practice of deporting its own convicts (and other unwanted citizens) for unpaid labor in building the Commonwealth. Here’s what you need to know about these Australian convict sites in Tasmania.

Port Arthur Historic Site

Once known as the Island of the Dead, this isolated prison used to sequester Australia’s most hardened convicts. Few ever escaped from Port Arthur, which served as a labor camp for both men and boys. Finally closed in 1877, the site is now the most popular tourist attraction in Tasmania.

Cascades Female Factory Historic Site

The former disease-ridden Cascades Female Factory in Hobart, used as a workhouse for female convicts from 1828 to 1856, is now open to the public as a museum. 

Brickendon Historic Farm and Convict Village

The adjacent Brickendon and Woolmers Estates were farmed by convicts in exchange for food, shelter, and clothing, representing a prevalent 19th-century system of consigned labor. Both sites are now historical attractions. 

Coal Mines Historic Site

A forced coal-mining labor camp for male convicts from 1833 to 1848, Coal Mines Historic Site now lies in ruins near Port Arthur. 

Darlington Probation Station

The most intact of Tasmania’s 78 former probation stations, Darlington Probation Station on Maria Island was built by and provided shelter for convicts from 1825 to 1850. 

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9 Tours and Activities

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Tasman Island Cruises and Port Arthur Historic Site Day Tour from Hobart

Tasman Island Cruises and Port Arthur Historic Site Day Tour from Hobart

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192
Experience the Tasman Peninsula by both land and sea on this day trip from Hobart that includes a 3-hour cruise along the coast of Tasman National Park. Gaze up at towering sea cliffs, look for wildlife like falcons and seals, and learn about the peninsula’s ecosystem. Then visit the World Heritage–listed Port Arthur Historic Site for an in-depth look at Australia’s penal history at this former convict colony. Lunch is included.
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  • 10 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$199.93
From
$199.93
Taking safety measures

Port Arthur Tour from Hobart

Port Arthur Tour from Hobart

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312
Visit Port Arthur Historic Site, part of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Australian Convict Sites, on this day trip from Hobart. If you’re a history buff, this is the tour for you, as it’s been designed to provide as much time as possible to explore Port Arthur in one day. On a guided walking tour of the grounds, learn about the site’s history as a convict colony, visit ruins and restored buildings, and admire the coastal scenery that highlights the natural beauty of the Tasman Peninsula. A harbor cruise is included.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$101.45
From
$101.45
Taking safety measures

Historic Port Arthur Day Trip from Hobart Including Cliff-Top Walk to Waterfall Bay

Historic Port Arthur Day Trip from Hobart Including Cliff-Top Walk to Waterfall Bay

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77
See the top attractions of the Tasman Peninsula on a full-day tour from Hobart. Take in towering sea cliffs, rock formations including Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen, and more as you explore the natural wonders along the coast. Next, discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site, an infamous 19th-century penal colony with a fascinating history. Finally, stroll through the pretty streets of Richmond Village before returning to Hobart.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$95.52
From
$95.52
Taking safety measures

Hobart Half-Day Sightseeing Coach Tram Tour

Hobart Half-Day Sightseeing Coach Tram Tour

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169
See Hobart’s top sights on a city tour by coach tram, a historical Hobart tram that’s been converted into a motorized coach. On either a morning or afternoon tour (select when booking), discover attractions like Sullivan’s Cove, St. David’s Cathedral, the Queens Domain, and Cascade Gardens. Admire the historic homes and pubs of Battery Point, and view Georgian warehouses that have been turned into restaurants and galleries at Salamanca Place.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$40.73
From
$40.73

Port Arthur, Richmond and Tasman Peninsula Day Trip from Hobart

Port Arthur, Richmond and Tasman Peninsula Day Trip from Hobart

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18
Take in the highlights of the Tasman Peninsula on this full-day small-group tour from Hobart, including hotel pick-up. Learn about the island’s convict past with a walking tour and boat cruise around Port Arthur, then admire the colonial architecture of historic Richmond. After spotting natural landmarks like the Devil's Kitchen, Tasman Arch and Waterfall Bay in the Tasman National Park, finish with an indulgent chocolate tasting at the Federation Chocolate Factory.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.36
From
$100.36
Taking safety measures

Small group Day Tour from Hobart: Port Arthur, Tasman Peninsula and Richmond.

Small group Day Tour from Hobart: Port Arthur, Tasman Peninsula and Richmond.

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15
Discover Australia’s dark past and learn the truths of its fascinating convict history on this full-day tour to Port Arthur from Hobart. Get a glimpse into 19th-century Tasmania at Port Arthur, with a guided walking tour and a harbor cruise around the UNESCO-listed penal settlement. Next, follow the notorious Tasmania Convict Trail, stopping at historic towns like Doo Town and Richmond, home to Australia’s first convict-built bridge. This small-group tour is limited to 14 people for a personalized experience.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$152.00
From
$152.00
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Day Trip from Hobart to Port Arthur

Small-Group Day Trip from Hobart to Port Arthur

star-4.5
11
Learn about Tasmania's convict history and natural beauty on a full-day tour to the Port Arthur Historic Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll also visit the historic village of Richmond, and see landmarks of the Tasman Peninsula such as Tasman Arch, Devils Kitchen and the Blowhole. Includes entrance fees, transportation, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$105.23
From
$105.23
Taking safety measures

Hobart City Sightseeing Tour Including MONA Admission

Hobart City Sightseeing Tour Including MONA Admission

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63
Enhance a Hobart sightseeing tour with included admission to the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), one of the most fascinating—and talked-about—museums in Australia. Start with the city tour to see top Hobart attractions like Cascade Gardens, the old Female Convict Prison, and Rosny Hill Lookout Then arrive at MONA for a look at its varied collection, from Neolithic artifacts to controversial art installations.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$81.45
From
$81.45

Grand Historical Port Arthur Tour from Hobart

Grand Historical Port Arthur Tour from Hobart

star-4.5
46
Explore Port Arthur Historic Site, part of the World Heritage–listed Australian Convict Sites, on a day trip from Hobart. On a guided walking tour of the grounds, learn about the site’s history as a penal colony, check out ruins and restored buildings, and admire the coastal scenery that highlights the natural beauty of the Tasman Peninsula. Plus, take a cruise to Isle of the Dead for a walking tour of this prison cemetery. 
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$114.77
From
$114.77
Taking safety measures