Aug
31
2012

Take a historic weekend road trip to Port Arthur

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If you've always wanted to visit Tasmania, why not witness the rich beauty and history by taking a road trip?

An intimate drive around the island is the perfect way to discover the delights and beautiful scenery on offer.

Gather a group of friends or family and rent a van to explore the vast nature and wilderness and historic sites that are huge landmarks in Australia's history.

If you love delving into the past and learning about the history of Australia, then drive to Port Arthur.

Recently receiving a boost with several of its collection of sites being given a World Heritage listing, the Port Arthur historic site is one of the country's most visited heritage attractions, being the best preserved convict site in Australia.

It played a huge part in the settlement of the country, where it was key in the colonial system of convict discipline. You'll witness the buildings that are still stand including the infamous Separate Prison, Trentham Cottage, the Commandant's House and the ruins of the guard tower, the barracks and the Church.

If the eerie side of Port Arthur interests you, head on the Historic Ghost Tour for the spine-tingling after dark experience.

Port Arthur historic site is said to be one of Australia's most haunted, with almost two centuries of documented reports of paranormal activity.

The lantern-lit tour is filled with stories and bizarre happenings during Port Arthur's history and is definitely not for the faint-hearted – everything about the site changes once the sun sets.

If ghosts and the dark side aren't really your thing, then you can explore the beautiful grounds and gardens – including the Commandant's Garden originally planted in the 1850s.

View the fresh spring flowers and vegetable gardens, as well as the orchard at Trentham Cottage. Gardening buffs will delight in the native Tasmanian species that encompass the site and the 20th century blooms on offer.

Entrance to the pathway leading through the colonial garden to the Church

Port Arthur Guard Tower

Port Arthur viewed from the harbour  Photo credit: Peter Luxton from Tourism Tasmania's image library

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