I'm in Tasmania at the moment and it is really something worth writing about. I think most people tend to forget adding Tasmania onto their Australian tourist itineraries because of the East Coast and Northern Territory. After all, it is a MASSIVE country and most people have limited time and funds. But Tasmania shouldn't go unlooked--it is just too stunning.
Port Arthur is very well known to all Australian residents due to its convicts' history. Port Arthur was a secondary punishment station in an isolated part of the Tasman Peninsula and those who were sent there had to have been very, very bad--committing multiple crimes. Port Arthur was different from the other prisons in Australia in that it had a new solution for these tortured souls: Reformation. If you try to better the person and teach them the Word of God, then perhaps these convicts will be saved in the afterlife, if not actually in this life.
The problem with Reformation is that it didn't work. Either the convicts were hell-bent on escaping or creating as much havoc as possible or they went mad. Corporeal punishment was eventually banned because those who were beaten became rockstars to the other inmates. Anyway, lots of bad shit went down on this site. And it is all the weirder because Port Arthur's location is set amidst a startling beautiful setting of golden hills, crystal clear blue water, and lovely thick green forests. As one famous inmate quoted (and I'm paraphrasing): It seems more like a setting for a romantic getaway than a site for a prison.
I love the paranormal and it would seem odd not to venture into that little area whilst at this infamous place. I went on a ghost tour and it was quite exciting but with little to report. I can imagine the lingering spirits, however. (Sidenote: The Port Arthur massacre that occurred in 1996 by Martin Bryant was not mentioned once at the Historical Site. Not once.)
I also travelled up to Freycinet National Park and camped amongst the huge pink granite cliffs and secluded Hazards Beach. Hiked to Wineglass Bay and sat among the surf at Friendly Beaches. Truly, Tasmania is just the prettiest destination I've visited and I wish I had more time and money to thoroughly enjoy this little patch of Australia.