Located on the Tasman peninsula, Port Arthur is joined to Tasmania by an isthmus of land known as Eaglehawk Neck. Settled by the Pydairrerme Aboriginals for thousands of years, the area was first settled by Europeans in 1830 when the Port Arthur Penal Station was established. From 1833 Port Arthur was used as a punishment station for repeat offenders from all of the Australian colonies and by 1840 more than 2000 convicts, soldiers and civil staff lived at the site. The penal colony closed in 1877 and many of its buildings were destroyed during bushfires that followed. Today the site of the penal colony and the surviving buildings can be visited at the world heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site. Come nightfall, guides lead the way with lanterns, telling chilling stories of apparitions and strange occurrences in this prison on a ghost tour. Additionally, the area has lovely beaches and is the departure point for Tasman Island Cruises. You can also visit the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo, a zoo with mostly concealed fences or no fences between you and the wildlife.
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