In a remote part of Macquarie Harbour off the beautiful west coast of Tasmania lies Sarah Island, a fascinating destination that will delight history buffs.
This six-hectare island became Tasmania’s first penal station in 1822 and was a place where convicts laboured for hours every day under tough conditions – felling Huon pines in the nearby rainforest in order to build boats.
At this time Macquarie Harbour would have been one of the most windswept and barren locations for the settlement to be established, but crucially it was also the most secure.
Even if a convict attempted to escape Sarah Island by crossing an almost impossible stretch of harbour, he would then need to hack through the impenetrable forest of the west coast to be free of danger.
History shows that 112 convicts managed some form escape, with 62 perishing, nine murdered by peers and the remaining 41 all eventually recaptured.
These days the convict ruins provide visitors with a chilling insight into this cruel past.
You have the unique opportunity to stroll through the important sites and develop an understanding for the harshness experience here.