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Port Arthur

Port Arthur is approximately 1hour 20 min drive from Hobart. We drove to Port Arthur through the Tasman National Park and stopped at many scenic look outs so it did take us a lot longer. It was hard to keep pushing on to Port Arthur because there were so many places worth stopping en route.

We had seen so much of Port Arthur on television and had been warned it was a vast area to cover (125 hectares or 309 acres). When we first arrived this seemed quite daunting.

We were keen to hear a bit about the history and joined a walking tour. This was a great way to get an over view of the site and to hear of its convict past. We were not able to access many of the smaller buildings around the site. As you can imagine these are of great historical significance and therefore cannot be, and should not be, altered for historical reasons. We didn’t mind this. Doing the tour and walking around the ruins we could access was sufficient to give us a Port Arthur experience.

Port Arthur penal settlement is one of the most significant locations on the Tasman Peninsula Convict Trail. Port Arthur was once used to confine 12,700 habitual offenders between 1830 and 1877. The buildings and gardens are beautiful. There are hills and gravel and that combination can prove difficult with a manual chair. There is a buggy service which will drop you from point A to point B. You do need to be able to transfer from your wheelchair to a golf buggy style seat. Our wheelchair was then hooked onto the back and transported with us. BJ loved the ride and thought it was a fine way to get around Port Arthur. The driver was friendly and very helpful with the wheelchair.

AJ’s tip

 If you visit Port Arthur in the school holidays try some of their school holiday activities. I did convict brick making with Mum which was really cool. We also played croquet on the front lawn of one of the old houses which was lots of fun even though we weren’t very good at it. Apparently a convict making bricks would be expected to make 1000 bricks in a day. I made one so I probably would have been flogged.


3 thoughts on “Port Arthur”

  1. Hi Julie, we are possibly doing a coach tour on the day that our cruiseliner is stopped at Hobart, so can you tell me if the car park is gravel or bitumen? Did you use a manual wheelchair for the day? My concerns are that I am a larger woman and my support worker is quite slight and I would worry if she had to push me through gravel or grass or up hills. Can you tell me if we will be ok with the terrain or is a manual chair not really suitable for our specific purposes? We would probably use the buggy option to get around, but to get from the coach to the ticketing area and the cafe and gift shop and then to the first buggy Point, would we manage, taking into consideration my situation? Thanks Caron

    • Hi Caron
      I totally understand your concerns. It’s quite a long time since our visit so I don’t trust my memory, plus things may have changed in the years since our visit. I suggest giving them a quick call to ask. We usually find people exceptionally helpful.
      Enjoy your trip. It’s a beautiful spot but due to the historical nature there are some accessibility challenges at the actual site.


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