April A- Z Challenge

Port Arthur

Location:        Port Arthur Tasmania

Price:              Adults             $47.00

                        Children        $22.00

Why Go:         Historic Site

Website and Bookings:       https://portarthur.org.au/

Port Arthur is a town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula, in Tasmania, Australia. It is located approximately 97 kilometres (60 mi) southeast of the state capital, Hobart.

The site forms part of the Australian Convict Sites, a World Heritage property consisting of 11 remnant penal sites originally built within the British Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries on fertile Australian coastal strips. Collectively, these sites, including Port Arthur, are described by UNESCO as “… the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts.”

In 1996, the town was the scene of the Port Arthur massacre, the worst instance of mass murder in post-colonial Australian history.

Why Visit:

Ok, so first of all, as a historic site Port Arthur was a disappointment.  This was due to the fact that a fire has gutted most of the building, and as hubby stated, that left the government with a hard decision.  They could rebuild, but with building codes, this would have been a nightmare.  Or they could make the site as stable as possible and let people walk through the remnants, which is what they decided to do.

This has led to the site being more or a nice stroll, than a symbol of what it was in the time.  There were very few intact building, and most were just shells, which made it difficult to visualise the lives led.

But this is only one component of Port Arthur, the other component was far more traumatic for me.  After doing the tourist bit, we went to the memorial garden for the victims of the Port Arthur massacre.  Here, it was heartbreaking.  A great sadness resonates in the memorial which has to be experienced and I went away saddened by the tragedy.

I would highly recommend that you visit the site to pay your respects to the fallen.

© A-DAW Arts

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