Nov
20
2013

4 unique experiences at Port Arthur

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Port Arthur is no doubt one of Tasmania's most exciting and intriguing attractions, with many visitors flocking to visit it every day.

Even if you've visited before, there's always something new to discover, or a new way of exploring the vast site.

The prison was established in 1830 and closed in 1877, and during that time around 12,500 convicts lived in these quarters serving their sentences.

The complex, as it stands today, has over 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes that can be explored over 40 hectares.

Here are some of the unique ways you can explore Port Arthur and discover new and mysterious facts and stories.

A guided ghost tour

With its gory history, it's not hard to imagine angry ghosts or lost spirits wandering the remnants of the prison.

Take a guided ghost tour and learn about some of the area's spooky stories and sights. Your guide will walk you around the complex, lighting the way with a lantern. You'll hear about rumoured ghost sightings as you stroll through dark ruins and some of the bizarre occurrences that have happened within the walls of heritage buildings will be revealed.

You'll also get the chance to hear some haunting first-hand accounts of prisoners and soldiers who documented their stories, sightings and unexplained events.

This experience is exciting but also incredibly spooky and spine-tingling, so don't be surprised if you have a sleepless night or two pondering your discoveries afterwards!

Cemetery Tour

To learn more about the people who lived and died in Port Arthur, you can join a Isle of the Dead guided tour.

What is known as 'The Isle of the Dead' is located in the harbour off the Port Arthur site and is home to the graves of many who lived at the convict settlement between 1833 and 1877. In fact, approximately 1,000 burials took place at the Isle.

Now, there is a new jetty on the island so you can take a harbour cruise and embark on a guided walking tour of this small, but eerie island. It will give you a further insight into the fascinating history of the island and the legacy it has left.

Point Puer Boys' Prison Tour

Adults weren't the only residents of Port Arthur. Across the harbour from the main Port Arthur site is Point Puer, where juvenile male convicts were sent for harsh punishments and discipline.

Three thousand boys, some only nine years old, were sentenced and took residence here between 1834 and 1849.

The walking tour is about an hour, but with the return ferry trip you'll need to allow about two hours.

It also takes place outside, exploring the ruins and remnants of this facility, so you'll need sturdy walking shoes, sunscreen and wet weather gear to get maximum enjoyment from the experience.

A paranormal investigation

Going a step further than a ghost tour, these Port Arthur paranormal investigations allow supernatural aficionados the chance to embark on a real ghost hunt.

This tour is for adults only, and teaches participants how to conduct a paranormal investigation with the latest scientific techniques and equipment. Then there's the chance to test for evidence in some of the most haunted spots of Port Arthur. Participants will be able to take readings and measurements and judge for themselves whether they've been at the site of a haunting, while also contributing to the site's database of paranormal activity.

Sites include the Commandants Cottage, Separate Prison, Visiting Magistrates House, Parsonage and the Church. Not only are these supposedly spooky sites, a few are known as some of the most haunted buildings in Australia!

Do you dare to see Port Arthur in one of these unique ways?


Image Credit Wikipedia

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