Australia’s Convict History at Port Arthur

By Brooke, Australia, February 2013

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The country of Australia wasn’t exactly founded by convicts, but it may be more practical to say that it was built by them.

Initially, Australia was used primarily as a convict settlement. The worst of the worst of British and Irish convicts were sent by boat to live out their days in the land Down Under – particularly in the region of where Sydney lies today. During that time, convicts built local buildings and structures, and some even gained freedom and took up normal life in the new country.

Port Arthur, in the state of Tasmania, also possesses a rich convict history, starting its role as a penal colony in 1833. Port Arthur became a second destination for convicts, especially ones who caused too much trouble in other prisons or who got out and committed more offences. The reason behind this move was the strict and revolutionary structure of the Port Arthur prison system, known as the “Separate Prison System”. Because of its harshness and psychologically taxing punishments of the system, the government thought this the best option for previously unreachable souls.

Editor’s Note: This recommendation was taken from our Tasmania Things to Do blog. Visit the original post to continue reading the full post and to learn more about things to do in Tasmania.

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