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Sited on the beautiful but remote Tasman Peninsula, the historic site at Port Arthur is one of the most significant in Australia's convict heritage. This infamous chapter in Australian history began in 1830, and in total 12,500 convicts passed through Port Arthur until its closure in 1877.
More than 30 buildings, ruins and sites are open to the public for inspection. These include the graceful church and the penitentiary, which was used first as a granary and incorporates a convict-powered treadmill. Another reminder of the harsh life of a convict is the Model or Separate Prison where the 'silent' system was put into practice in 1849. A trip can be made to the Isle of the Dead - the settlement's burial place where nearly 2000 convicts as well as soldiers and free settlers are buried.