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The Top Things to do in Port Arthur

Centrally located between Hobart and Launceston, there are plenty of things to do in and around Port Arthur. As the beholder of some very dark moments of Australia’s convict history, the Port Arthur Historic Site is a must-visit attraction which can be visited by day or by night on a spooky ghost tour. Nearby, the Tasman Peninsula consists of some magnificent limestones formations that can best be explored on a Tasman Wilderness Cruise. Find and book all the best things to do in Port Arthur online here to discover a piece of Australia’s history firsthand on a visit to this Tasmanian town.

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Top 10 Things to do in Port Arthur

Port Arthur sits in Southern Tasmania and has found itself firmly placed on the Australian map nationally as a top tourist destination due to its infamous 19th-century penal settlement, the Port Arthur Historic Site.

The open-air museum remains today as a preserved convict site, however, there are many other things to do in Port Arthur. Once you have finished exploring the 30 historic buildings on the plentiful Port Arthur tours, there are a few more hidden gems to discover.

Nearby, visitors will find Port Arthur attractions such as the Port Arthur Lavender Farm, McHenry’s distillery and a spectacular Tasman coastline littered with ocean hikes, natural geological formations lookout points.

A visit to Port Arthur is a must when you next visit Tasmania and these top things to do in Port Arthur should be firmly placed at the top of your bucket list.

Top 10 Things to do in Port Arthur - Port Arthur Historical Site

1. Port Arthur Historical Site

Location: Port Arthur Historic Site, Arthur Highway, Port Arthur

Explore one of Australia’s most iconic sites, the Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula. Described as Tasmania's 'inescapable prison', visitors can view over 30 buildings, ruins and period homes seemingly stuck in time.

One of the country’s most intact convict sites, this is a must-see for anyone planning a trip to Tasmania. Set on 40-hectares of land, the site is made up over more than 30 different buildings, ruins and restored period homes.

Described as Tasmania’s ‘inescapable prison’ this site was a nightmare for convicts planning an escape.

Separated from Tasmania by a narrow piece of land, surrounded by water home to a large population of sharks and guards and hounds posted on the only way in or out, there was no really no way to escape safely.

Set on 40-hectares of land, the site is made up over more than 30 different buildings, ruins and restored period homes.

What once held over 1000 convicts, the grounds are now beautifully landscaped with Victorian Gardens, making for an enjoyable and peaceful day exploring the grounds.

Ensure you allow plenty of time to explore the grounds if you are wandering around yourself, however, if you’re on an organised tour you will be shown all of the most significant and important sites on the grounds.

Top 10 Things to do in Port Arthur - Port Arthur Ghost Tour

2. Port Arthur Ghost Tour

Location: Port Arthur Historic Site, Arthur Highway, Port Arthur

Follow an experienced guide through the ghostly scenes of the Port Arthur Historic Site by night. Led by lantern, you’ll walk through the grounds, seeing them in a different, eerie light.

Find out for yourself if all of those stories are true or just fabrications as your guide shares tales of past inmates. Let the silence linger and lantern burn bright as your attention gets swept away in the scene at hand, making those that have been gone a long time, seem closer than ever.

As you wander around the ruins and buildings by night you will hear some tales of legends and historical occurrences that have taken place in the exact area you’re exploring.

Led by lantern, you’ll walk through the grounds of the Port Arthur Historic Site to experience a darker, eerie side to the landmark. See for yourself if the stories of hauntings and lost souls are true on a Port Arthur ghost tour.

The perfect way to experience this World Heritage listed site, you will experience the darker side of the Port Arthur Historic Site with more than 180 years of stories.

Following the slogan, ‘day time – history; night time – mystery,’ this is a different tour experience that you’ll want to see with your own eyes.

The Port Arthur Historic Site is one of the country’s most unique and identifiable environments filled with immense history and character.

Top 10 Things to do in Port Arthur - Tasmanian Devil Unzoo

3. Tasmanian Devil Unzoo

Location: 5990 Arthur Highway, Taranna

The world’s first Unzoo, Tasmanian Devil Unzoo is unlike any animal encounter and experience you have had before.

A four-in-one nature experience combining encounters, adventures, flora and art, this is an experience unlike any other.

Unlike a zoo that displays animals in cages or enclosures, the Unzoo is a place where the public can learn about the wild animals, plants and ecosystems by interacting with them in their natural habitats.

This type of environment is a lot kinder to the animals, giving them more dignity and freedom to go about their day in the comfort of their own natural habitat.

A visit to the Unzoo will give you a personal, memorable encounter with some of the rarest flora and fauna found only in Tasmania.

By visiting the Unzoo you will be helping save the endangered Tasmanian Devils who are sadly facing extinction.

The Devil Tracker Tours give visitors a unique opportunity to go behind-the-scenes of the research effort to save the last isolated, disease-free wild population of Tassie Devils.

Aboard a four-wheel-drive, your tour guide with take you through native bushland for insight into the tracking and monitoring system in place for these cute, yet dangerous animals.

You will be given the chance to help monitor the progress of the healthy devils living in the wild by observing their activity from their high-tech cameras.

Visitors are also given the chance to go face-to-face with these devilish creatures with the innovative Devil Den – a glass dome emerging from the ground to confront these creatures’ head on.

A four-in-one nature experience combining encounters, adventures, flora and art, this is an experience unlike any other.

The Tasmanian Devil Unzoo also has a range of birds showcased in their Birds of the Bush presentation where you can learn about the Galahs, Rosellas, Corellas and Tawny Frogmouths while also having the chance to hand-feed some wild parrots and honeyeaters.

Spread over 10-hectares, what was once a farm has been transformed into the gorgeous Tasmanian Native Botanic Garden and wildlife habitat. Spend hours here learning about the flora and the Tasmanian Devils in the Unzoo.

With more species of plants than the British Isles, there is estimated to be over 200 different species growing in the Unzoo.

You could spend hours wandering around the grounds and learning about all of the different flora and fauna species that call the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo home.

A must-see for wildlife and nature enthusiasts as well as those who wish to learn more about Tasmania’s natural dwellers.

Top 10 Things to do in Port Arthur - Tasman Island Wilderness Cruise

4. Tasman Island Wilderness Cruise

Get close to magnificent limestone rocks that dominate the Tasmanian coastline and glimpse marine life such as pods of dolphins, hundreds of seals and low flying albatross on this 3 hour Tasman Island wilderness cruise from Port Arthur.
Top 10 Things to do in Port Arthur - Remarkable Cave

5. Remarkable Cave

Location: 446 Safety Cove Road, Port Arthur, TAS

Explore Remarkable Cave, a long tunnel formed from an eroded collapsed gully base, located under a cliff and running out to sea.

Walk amongst the rock walls as the waves crash through the tunnel and sea mist is sprayed into the air.

The cave makes for one of the best photographs in Port Arthur with the metal viewing platform providing great views above the gully.

Explore the Remarkable Cave, a long tunnel formed from a collapsed gully base, located under a cliff and running out to sea. Walk amongst the rock walls as the waves crash through the tunnel and sea mist is sprayed in the air.

If the weather or seas are quite rough you will be treated to quite a show as the water rushes in and quickly fills all of the space of the cave before escaping back out, only to do it all again.

If your visit falls in summer or on a low tide, you can access the cave via the seaside entrance, however it is important to take all safety precautions when exploring the area.

Top 10 Things to do in Port Arthur - Port Arthur Lavender

6. Port Arthur Lavender

Location: 6555 Port Arthur Highway, Port Arthur, TAS

Visit the fragrant lavender fields and immerse yourself in the aromatic landscape. The family-owned farm grows and harvests over 16,000 lavender plant every year and sell a range of handmade products that make a great gift.

Spread over 18-acres of land, the lavender fields are planted around rainforest and lakes that overlook the picturesque Long Bay.

This family-owned farm grows, harvests and processes over 16,000 lavender plants every year at their two locations; Port Arthur and Pawleena.

Selling a range of handmade products that make the perfect, unique gift for those at home.

You can embark on a self-guided tour around the Tasmanian lavender fields to learn all you need to know about these fragrant paddocks.

You will also be given the chance to explore the farm’s custom-made lavender distillery to experience the process the lavender goes through.

Spread over 18-acres of land, the lavender fields are planted around rainforest and lakes that overlooking the picturesque Long Bay.

After you’ve explored the area by foot, take a seat at their popular café to enjoy a meal looking over the beautiful ocean. Selling a range of dishes as well as lavender infused treats such as ice cream, milkshakes, hot chocolate and fudge.

Entry is into the lavender fields is free and is open seven days a week. From 10am until 4pm you can wander around the beautiful grounds and enjoy a bite to eat at the café. During January and February, the café serves meals until 8pm.

Top 10 Things to do in Port Arthur - Hobart City Sightseeing Tour

7. Hobart City Sightseeing Tour

Pop into the city for a morning or afternoon Hobart City sightseeing tour to tour the tranquil gardens, visit award winning galleries and view historic landmarks.
Top 10 Things to do in Port Arthur - Cape Raoul Lookout

8. Cape Raoul Lookout

Cape Raoul has some of the tallest sea cliffs in Australia and makes for a spectacular photograph. Hike the 14km trail or cheat a little and head straight for the lookout. Either way, it's definitely worth a visit.
Top 10 Things to do in Port Arthur - Tasman Arch

10. Tasman Arch

The Tasman Arch is a unique geological formation that forms a tall natural bridge in the sea cliffs that frame the Tasmanian coastline. See it on a short drive from Port Arthur.
Top 10 Things to do in Port Arthur - Distillery Tour at McHenry Distillery

10. Distillery Tour at McHenry Distillery

If you love a good gin then make sure you pay a visit to the McHenry Distillery, just a few minutes from the Port Arthur Historical Site with a range of premium gin, whisky and vodkas available.