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Dominoes were a popular pastime for convicts and guards at Port Arthur

Dominoes(Credit: PAHSMA (photo by Andrew Wilson), 2008)

Frequently-asked Questions

Below are answers to some questions that we often get asked - these may assist with planning your visit.

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When is Port Arthur Historic Site open?

Every Day.  Check our Opening hours and tour times

How much does it cost to visit the Port Arthur Historic Site?

Our Prices and bookings page has details of our current admission prices.

How long does it take to get to Port Arthur Historic Site?

The drive from Hobart to Port Arthur takes approximately 1.5 hours.  However, it can take substantially longer if you take time to enjoy the scenery and stop to view the attractions along the way.  The cruise from Hobart to Port Arthur aboard the MV Marana takes approximately 2.5 hours.  More information about how to get to Port Arthur.

How big is Port Arthur Historic Site?

The site encompasses a total of more than 100 hectares. About 40 hectares of the Site is accessible to the public, including more than 30 buildings, ruins and restored period houses.

How much time does it take to see the Site?

We recommend that you allow at least half a day. Your Site Entry Pass is valid for 2 days. Most visitors stay overnight in the Port Arthur region to explore and fully experience the Port Arthur Historic Site, including the Historic Ghost Tour.

What is the weather like at Port Arthur?

Tasmania enjoys a temperate climate with refreshingly cool southern air. Average temperatures range from 13 to 22 degrees Celsius. Check the local weather forecasts.

What should I wear?

Sturdy shoes are recommended for safety and comfort. We also recommend a windcheater or light jacket in summer and warmer clothing in winter. In case of rain, umbrellas and raincoats are available for sale in the Gift Shop.

Can I use my mobile phone at Port Arthur Historic Site?

Mobile phone service at Port Arthur is currently limited to Telstra customers. Other networks do not yet provide coverage in the area.

What currency and banking facilities are available?
The Port Arthur Historic Sites accept payment via China UnionPay.

Tickets can be purchased by cash, credit card or travellers’ cheque. An automatic teller machine is located in the Visitor Centre. Foreign currency can be exchanged at the Ticketing Counter.

We are now able to accept payment via China UnionPay at all our sales points, including the Ticketing Counter, Gift Shop, Cafes and Bistro.

Is there somewhere I can store my personal items?

Coin-operated lockers are available near the entry to the Visitor Centre.

What services and facilities are available for disabled persons and the elderly?

All facilities in the Visitor Centre allow independent access, including the Café, Restaurant, Gift Shop, Interpretation Gallery and Rest Rooms. Our Disabled access and facilities page has more information about disability access and services at Port Arthur Historic Site.

Will staff tell us about the massacre?

Our staff are always keen to help visitors with inquiries, but this is one area about which they prefer not to be asked. Many of our staff lost close friends, colleagues and family members on that day, and understandably find it difficult and painful to talk about. Rather than ask, please read the plaque at the Memorial Garden or pick up a brochure at the Visitor Centre. Please read Sunday 28 April 1996 for more information.

Why don’t staff dress up in costume?

Many visitors have enjoyed this style of presentation at other sites and say that they would like to see it at Port Arthur Historic Site. But Port Arthur is not a theme park. It is a real place with a dark and difficult history. Dressing staff up in convict and other costumes would turn the experiences of those who were imprisoned here into light entertainment, which is not consistent with our commitment to authenticity and integrity.

Why don’t you re-build the roof on the Church?

We do not undertake reconstructions unless we believe that the space or building cannot be understood in any other way. The Government Gardens were reconstructed because otherwise it was not possible for visitors to easily understand it as a garden, rather than the paddock that it had become over the years. The Church however, even in its ruinous condition, is clearly still a church and the roof is not necessary for visitors to understand its former function.