June 30, 2017
From 1 June 2017, we are moving into Stage 2 and the most critical
part of the much-anticipated redevelopment of the Port Arthur Historic
Site Visitor Centre.
What this means :
- The Visitor Centre and Felons Restaurant are now closed. All access to the Historic Site is through a temporary ticketing concourse.
- Ghost Tours are still running every night departing
from the Asylum building rather than the Visitor Centre. On arrival
guests will be escorted from the ticketing concourse to the Asylum for
refreshments or dinner before their ghost tour. We would therefore like
to recommend that our guests plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to their
tour departure time.
- After Dark Packages are no longer available.
Importantly the guided tours, access to historic buildings,
harbour cruises, Three Capes Track services and the availability of food
and beverages in the Museum Café, Asylum Building and other places on
Site will all continue unaffected.
Visitors to the Historic Site over the last few months would have
noticed the construction activity and some changes to the operations
including adjustments to the car park and group arrivals, clearing of
vegetation and the relocation of the Gift Shop and Lottery of Life to
other locations on the historic site.
Maintaining a World Heritage experience for our visitors is
paramount and our team has gone to extraordinary efforts to ensure that
all our guests during this period continue to enjoy the same world-class
interpretation of the Australian convict experience.
The newly redeveloped Visitor Centre, opening in December this year,
will have a new restaurant, increased dining and retail space as well as
a large scale exhibition designed to engage visitors with the many
stories of Port Arthur.
The team at Port Arthur are all very excited about this important
upgrade to our visitor experience and look forward to sharing the new
improved facilities in December 2017!
Earlier this year
In January we began the much anticipated upgrade to our Visitor
Centre at Port Arthur Historic Site and you will now notice a few
changes when you next visit. These changes are temporary during the
redevelopment and would like to assure you that our Port Arthur
team will continue to deliver a memorable experience.
The redevelopment project has been triggered by our need to expand
operations and facilities to meet the needs of growing visitor numbers.
The newly-designed extension and refurbishment will enhance our visitor
experience and improve working space for our teams.
So that you are able to make the most of your visit, we would like to highlight a few of the initial changes:
- For safety and to allow important works to commence, vehicle access
to the front of the Visitor Centre (Level 0) has been closed. We have
relocated the coach and bus drop off and pick up points to the area at
the top of the stairs at Level 1 and after delivering your guests, small
bus and coach parking will be available in the Overflow Parking Area;
- disabled parking and drop off (vehicles only) is available from Level 0 in front of the Visitor Centre;
- visitors will be able to collect their tickets from temporary booths at the entrance to the site;
- the Gift Shop has moved to two new locations on site – the Policeman’s Residence and the Asylum; and
- the most popular parts of our Interpretation Gallery, the Lottery of
Life and Convict Research Centre have moved to Farm Overseer’s Cottage
(behind the Separate Prison).
Click here for a map for all coach and small bus arrivals to the Visitor Centre and Historic Site for your reference.
While there are some changes happening during construction, our team
of guides and visitor services staff will continue to deliver a world
class experience. We would like to reassure you that the following
services will remain unchanged during this period:
- All visitors will continue to enjoy introductory tours and the
harbour cruises, with tours departing from outside the Visitor Centre in
the Government Gardens;
- Ghost Tours will continue with departure from the Asylum building from 1 June;
- Electric mobility carts are still available and will depart from the Visitor Centre;
- Ticketing, TVIN and Three Capes will continue to operate from temporary ticketing booths at the entrance of the site;
- the Tasmanian Government Free Wi-Fi is still available from the Museum Cafe and Asylum building; and
- dining options post 31 May will include the Museum Cafe and the
Visiting Magistrates House during the day. Light meals and refreshments
will be served at the Museum Cafe of a evening for guests.
The Visitor Centre building currently houses various tourism
operation functions ranging from ticketing and retail to food and
refreshment for the more than 300,000 tourists who visit annually.
There has been little change to the tourism building facilities at
the Port Arthur Historic Site since the Visitor Centre opened in 1998.
In the 17 year period since development of the facility, with the
exception of Global Financial Crises (2009-2012) and their impact on
both domestic and international travel, visitation to the site has grown