Members of the Port Arthur works crew demonstrate the heritage trade of shingle splitting

Members of the PAHSMA works crew demonstrates the heritage trade of shingle splitting at the Dockyard.(Credit: PAHSMA (photo by Andrew Ross, 2009)


The Port Arthur Historic Site has been at the forefront of Australian heritage management practice. When the site was gazetted a Scenic Reserve in 1916 it became the first historic place in Tasmania’s reserve system, and the first historic cultural heritage reserve in Australia.

The Coal Mines Historic Site was proclaimed a Scenic Reserve in 1938.

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A program of professional conservation management was established at the Port Arthur Historic Site in 1980; this was the first in Tasmania and one of the first in the country.  This program established cooperative relationships between archaeology, interpretation, architecture and engineering at Port Arthur. We continue this today with our team of conservation professionals and trades staff who are responsible for planning and carrying out the ongoing heritage and infrastructure works that are essential if the Port Arthur and Coal Mines Historic Sites are to be conserved and protected for future generations.

Conservation of the sites is guided by a series of plans and management processes, covering activities such as interpretation, archaeology, collections and landscape management. Selected management plans are available from our publications page.