Here are some more great ideas to help you plan and enjoy a special family day at Port Arthur any day of the year.
Grab a kid's activity book
Discover the hidden stories of Port Arthur through the 'Hidden Stories' Activity Book! This activity book is a great way for children to explore the site and learn about Port Arthur's history as they search for answers, complete puzzles and collect stamps.
The activity book is free of charge and suitable for ages 8-12. Ask for a copy at the ticketing desk when you arrive at the Port Arthur Visitor Centre.
Visit the Semaphores
Above the Commandant’s and Accountant’s houses are replica semaphores. Semaphores were operated by convicts to communicate messages from Port Arthur to Hobart.See the model semaphore in the Asylum Museum to find out how these messages were sent.
Go for a short bushwalk
Take 30 minutes to follow the convict water supply trail learning the history of settlement’s water supply, mill’s water wheel, the recent stories of the land and network of transport routes.
Travel further walking along the Stewart’s Bay track which starts from beyond the Dockyard. Find the beaches where women and children bathed away from prying eyes of penal settlement’s inhabitants.
Get to know a real convict
Playing the Lottery of Life in our Convict Gallery provides an opportunity for visitors to follow the life of one of the Port Arthur Penal Settlement’s convicts. Every visitor receives a playing card depicting one Port Arthur Convict. As you move through the gallery, you will discover clues about the identity and life story of that person. Then see how they might have spent their time at Port Arthur, with our displays of
the various activities and occupations underaken by convicts.
Discover the Museum and Convict Study Centre
Children and adults alike will be fascinated by the hundreds of original artefacts on display in the Museum housed in the Asylum complex. In the same building, visitors can search the Convict Study Centre database for their own links to Port Arthur’s 19th century inhabitants.
Explore the Museum Houses
Visiting the furnished Museum Houses can provide wonderful opportunities for children to compare today’s technology and architecture with that from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Visit the Dockyard
The Dockyard is a short walk along the waterfront. Through an imposing sculptural piece and intriguing soundscapes children are able to enter the world of the men who worked in one of Port Arthur’s main convict era industries.
Parents of very young children are encouraged to pack a pram, as exploring the Site’s wide open spaces can be very tiring for youngsters. Prams are also available for hire at the Visitor Centre.
We have prepared Guidelines for schools planning a visit, which contains important information you might like to consider when bringing children to Port Arthur.