Port Arthur is located on the Tasman peninsula and is approximately 60 km from the state capital, Hobart. Its dark history began as a convict settlement and is the location for one of Australia's worst mass murders. The town now however, has left its dark past behind and is now Tasmania's best known tourist destinations. Built by the convicts brought there, the architecture is impressive and the site is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Guided tours show tourist the penal colony and the surrounding area. The port includes a 'ghost' tour as many paranormal apparitions have been sighted around the area and is a big draw for the crowds. Port Arthur dockyard used to be incredibly productive and was only one of three dockyards in the British Empire manned entirely by convicts. The port now is used for boat tours including a boat to the centre of Hobart. The other tour visits to the remote and rugged Tasman Island. Its sheer 250 meter high sea cliffs are the highest in Australia. The location is also the last glimpse of land for whales making their long journey to the feeding grounds in Antarctica. Close to the port visitors can also visit a Tasmanian devil park for visitors to see these amazing creatures that are only common to the state.
The port was originally named after a lieutenant governor George Arthur and began as a timber station in 1830. In 1833 the penal colony was established of which the town is now famed for. It was Australia's most secure prison as three quarters of the edge was shark infested waters. The most notorious criminals from Britain and Ireland were sent there for security and harsh corporal punishment was famed. After the convicts left the site was renamed Carnarvon and the land was auctioned off to residence. Several fires gutted out the penitentiary, state prison and the hospital. The town was, thereafter renovated to the town of today.
The main attraction of the town is undoubtedly the historic convict prison, which includes the famous ghost tours. The peninsula also includes many natural attractions including the government gardens and Tasman Island.