Our day exploring Port Arthur didn’t start well.
We pulled up in the car park at Port Arthur and jumped out. I, luckily, heard a strange pfffft noise and looked down. Flatty! Our first, and hopefully last, flat tyre of trip. Touch wood. Adrian handled it like a pro. It was with great fortune that we had pulled into a car space that had a wide space on the left hand side, providing enough room for us to empty out the car boot and get to all the tyre changing equipment.
As the stream of tourists flooded into the car park, many felt the need to gawk at our dilemma – offering sweet looks of sympathy. There was, of course, the bloke who came on over to ‘kick the tyre’ in a ‘helpful’ manner. After jumping out of his bright yellow baby hire car, a Hyundai Getz or some-such, he strode around with his chest excitedly puffed out and inspected our work. He probably thought he was looking super manly in front of his girlfriend. In truth, she just looked a little embarrassed. I couldn’t help but giggle.
With this little chore out of the way, it was time to explore Port Arthur.
Port Arthur is a spectacular open air museum, documenting the convict settlement established here in the mid-1800s.
With more than 30 buildings, ruins and restored period houses spread over 40 hectares of accessible land, there is a lot to see at Port Arthur.
I swooned over the details in the restored period houses.
Port Arthur has magnificent gardens and views over vibrant blue water. Possibly the most beautiful prison grounds in history.
The Asylum was an interesting stop.
We certainly got our exercise quota in at Port Arthur.
Despite the pristine beauty of the site today, there is no doubt that the conditions at Port Arthur held hardships for all the members of its community – from the Commandants to the convicts.
Interestingly, the tour guides spoke often of Port Arthur being a testing ground for many justice policies we would recognise today, with trials in rehabilitation and juvenile justice, and interesting approaches to the issue of mental health and prison. Despite the long history Australia has with justice and corrections policy, it sometimes seems we are still a long way from finding solutions which work.
Port Arthur is a special place for many reasons. Our flat tyre hardly seemed an inconvenience, when you consider all the sorrow which has been felt on this land.
This, and all the posts before, are not sponsored posts – just my own opinions.1 Did you like this?