Tasmania || Port Arthur

Port Arthur has a long harsh history dating back to 1830 when the area was established as a timber station, however it is better known as the ‘Penal Colony’ for the ‘Penal Colony’. As this is where from 1833 until 1853 it served as the destination for British & Irish convicts that committed new crimes after they were sent to Australia’s mainland. The place was filled with most hardened of convict and were faced with the harshest security measures and punishments of the British penal system. It remained open until 1877.

More recent history associated with Port Arthur, and not really talked about when you visit was a tragic massacre that took place in April 1996. The killing spree of Martin Bryant, murdering 35 people and wounding 21 is marked as one of the deadliest rampages of the 20th century. He is currently serving 35 life sentences plus 1,035 years without parole. This event lead to a national ban on semi automatic shotguns and rifles and has seen some stringent gun laws introduced. During a visit you can sense dark clouds of misery and torture, but then there are parts that are so peaceful and tranquil it is well worth a visit to learn more about early settlement within Australia.


2 responses to Tasmania || Port Arthur

  1. crowcanyonjournal

    I enjoyed your postings on Tasmania. I recently discovered that a distant Irish relative was convicted of burglary in the 1840s and sent to Australia and then Port Arthur. After he served his time he became a prison guard and died there 50 years later. We visited Australia this year but only got as far as Sydney. I would like to include Tasmania on our next visit.
    Thanks for visiting my blog.


    • Valentine Post Author

      Thanks for sharing that story. So I guess we are now connected by a few degrees or less by separation [not sure how it works – but this must make us connected somehow : ) ].


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