History of Australia – Port Arthur.
Port Arthur is officially Tasmania’s top tourist attraction. It is located approximately 60 kilometres south east of the state capital, Hobart. This small town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula is one of Australia’s most significant heritage areas.
This area forms part of Australian Convict Sites, a World Heritage property consisting of 11 remnant penal sites built during the 18th and 19th centuries. Separated from Tasmania by a narrow neck of land, Port Arthur was once known as the “inescapable prison”, housing hardened criminals subject to harsh punishment. The Historic Site has over 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes set in 40 hectares of landscaped grounds.
This prison now represents the best surviving examples of large scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the labour of convicts.
Port Arthur was an Industrial Prison supplying timber building materials throughout the settlement and Hobart.Of all the laborious occupations some convicts were forced to carry out during their time at Port Arthur, timber-getting was to be the most punishing, yet also the most profitable. From the very early days of settlement gangs of convicts cut timber from the bush surrounding the settlement.