Mr BG and I visited Tasmania in the year 2000, and stayed the night at Port Arthur, to go on my first ghost tour. I barely slept that night and have been hooked on ghost tours ever since. Sadly we didn’t really spend much of the daylight hours actually exploring the site the following day, so this was a chance to see Port Arthur and hopefully expose some learning upon the kids. Trying to explain Port Arthur as an historic site rather than an historic theme park like Sovereign Hill, Master BG suddenly realised that Sovereign Hill was fake, or as he described it “a rip off”.
We arrived at Port Arthur just before 9.30,one of the first 50 people to arrive. Collecting our tickets (we opted for the Bronze pass) we headed out to a 40 minute guided tour, with the guide giving a quick history of the European settlement of Port Arthur as a timber mill, penitentiary and town. You are struck as you go down the hill at the size and its beauty.
A harbour cruise was also included as part of the ticket which stopped at the Isle of the Dead and went past Point Puer which was the site of the boys penitentiary. Mr BG relished telling his son that some boys as young as 9 were transported to this location.
Exploring the site with the kids in tow took longer, but we managed to see quite a bit. We stopped while Miss BG did an activity in making convict bricks, and the men of the house took to playing a spot of croquet and quoits. At the penitentiary, we saw a play depicting the life of a bushranger who had started out as a boy transportee.
We spent around 5 hours on the site – the kids did remarkably well, as did we :).
On the way back, we took a detour to a little beach covered in shells. Miss BG had a ball collecting as many shells as possible, all of which were going to be part of her extensive collection of Nature.
PS Apologies for the lack of photos. Our internet reception is patchy and can be quite slow. It has been hard to upload photos, but if you wish to see some of them I am on Instagram as bookgrrl71.