Ok, like Wineglass Bay, everyone has see plenty of pics of this amazing historic site. So I shall try not to do the usual! haha
It is one of Tasmania’s major tourist attractions with throngs of people and high expectations. I believe once you have been inundated with many images, it may not necessarily excite you – and that is what travel is about. However I could not pass it up and see for myself.
It is a high price to enter and higher to visit the Isle of the Dead and Point Pure. I do understand that it would cost plenty of $$$ for the massive upkeep – so I do not begrudge paying. Yet I find when that happens it becomes ‘sanitised’ – the essence is somehow lost a little. I like grungy, musty, dirty – as if they walked out yesterday – hey but that is me!
What I did like – to create a connection with a convict, you receive a playing card as you enter. I had the 4 of spades. As you wander the building (before your tour) you match up your card with a particular convict to read about his life and time here.
Then you find out more matching up the card with the figures. This is when the connection begins and the harsh reality steps in. I began to think about William Stewart’s circumstances and his short life here at Port Arthur.
Not just convicts – political prisoners stayed here also!
You have to admire the stone work and the glorious colours. Bricks were made locally and the clay used from nearby.
The boat takes you to the two islands close by. #1 The Isle of the Dead (on the left) and the larger Point Puer.
There are over 1,000 (officially) bodies buried on The Isle of the Dead – no one knows for sure. Convicts had unmarked graves – with a sketch of what it looked like back in the day.
Point Puer was the boys ‘prison’. The buildings have long gone and the tour guide does a great job at ‘painting a picture’ of this archaeological site and telling the tales of what life was life for the 3,000 odd young boys that were sent here. The youngest being just 7 yrs old.
Your tickets lasts two days and yes I did go back for part of the following day as there is much to see here, if you are really interested in its history. It also includes a 45 minute tour/talk as you walk around the site. I joined two over the days and each guide gave a different talk, so well worth to jump in for another!