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Monday, 11 Apr 2016

Tasmania's Port Arthur heritage icon breeds angry ghosts

Isle  of the Dead Port Arthur.
Isle of the Dead Port Arthur.

Port Arthur is a heritage icon with a convict horror past which breeds angry ghosts.

Port Arthur is a remarkable historic site. Convicts labour built the impressive architecture, gardens and chilling prison facilities which attract todays tourists.

A lantern lit walk around the Port Arthur Historic Site after dark will focus the feel of the place. It is different after dark.

GoSee also remembers the historic coal mine site near Saltwater River. This mine was worked by prisoners from Port Arthur and is an interesting side to the history of the penal colony.

Eaglehawk Neck and the Blowhole, Tasman Arch, Devils Kitchen and Tessellated Pavement, all interesting geological features to be investigated and enjoyed by visitors. Like all good things time must be taken to fully appreciate the Port Arthur region. A quick dash down the Tasman Peninsula will just touch the surface.

But this is an experience worth two nights - at a minimum.

Here is some information from GoSee experiences and Tourism Tasmania on Port Arthur. As a huge bonus the Tasman National Park has some of the nations best coastal bushwalking in a scenic experience the equal of any in the world.

Lookouts beside the road at Eaglehawk Neck and Remarkable Cave emphasis the ease of seeing the best from good sealed roads.

At Eaglehawk Neck the Convict Trail leads to seven historic locations. Yellow convict arrows by the roadside point the way. The Tasmanian Tourism Award winning Port Arthur Historic Site has interpretive and interactive displays.

It is also the trigger which changed gun laws in Australia.

But there is more to be done former Australian Prime Minister John Howard says. He said Australia's gun laws are "almost certainly" inadequate in an interview for SBS program Insight.

John Howard 's reply came after a question from Alpha Cheng when Mr Cheng asked if the laws were capable of protecting Australians.

Alpha Cheng's father Curtis was shot dead by a 15-year-old boy outside Parramatta police headquarters in October last year.

The Port Arthur massacre of 28-29 April 1996 was a killing spree in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded. It occurred mainly at the historic Port Arthur former prison colony, a popular tourist site in south-eastern Tasmania, Australia.

Martin Bryant, a 28-year-old from New Town, a suburb of Hobart, was found guilty and given 35 life sentences without possibility of parole. Following the incident, it emerged  that Bryant had significant intellectual disabilities. He is now imprisoned in the Wilfred Lopes Centre near the Risdon Prison Complex.

The Port Arthur massacre remains one of the deadliest shootings worldwide committed by a single person.

Following the spree, the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, introduced strict gun control laws within Australia and formulated the National Firearms Program Implementation Act 1996, restricting the private ownership of high capacity semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns as well as introducing uniform firearms licensing. It was implemented with bipartisan support by the Commonwealth, states and territories.

For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory
Port Arthur prison with hospital in the background
Port Arthur prison with hospital in the background
Port Arthur guard tower
Port Arthur guard tower
Graves on Isle of the Dead
Graves on Isle of the Dead
Port Arthur Isle of the Dead
Port Arthur Isle of the Dead

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