Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur, TAS
Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of Tasmania's ‘inescapable prison'.
If Prison Break was set in mid-19th century Australia, Tasmania's Port Arthur historic site on the Tasman Peninsula would surely be the location. Separated from Tasmania by a narrow neck of land surrounded by shark-infested waters, Port Arthur was sold as the ‘inescapable prison'. But unlike today's camera surveillance, guards and half-starved hounds guarded the only way out.
Stroll the landscaped Victorian gardens, and you'll find it hard to imagine this was once a reviled prison that held 1,100 convicts at its peak. Port Arthur began life in 1830 as a small timber station and from 1833 until the 1850s some of the colony's most hardened criminals came here to work. Today you can examine their indentured handiwork on a forty-minute guided walking tour of the site's many buildings, ruins and restored houses.