Port Arthur - Australian Gourmet Traveller’s Best Heritage Tourism Destination in Australia.
In 1803, the first Europeans settled in Tasmania on the eastern shore of the River Derwent.
Known then as Van Diemen’s Land, named by Abel Tasman when he discovered the island in 1642, the Europeans were sent from the Sydney colony to stop the French claiming the land. In 1804, Hobart was settled at Sullivans Cove. Harsh penal colonies were established at Port Arthur and Macquarie Harbour, which can still be visited today.
Europeans weren’t the only inhabitants on the island at this time. The land was originally home to the Tasmanian Aborigines, who had lived on the island for thousands of years. As a result of disease and persecution by the white settlers, the Tasmanian Aborigines were lost to the island with the last full-blooded Tasmanian Aborigine, Truganini, dying in 1876.
Tasmania is renowned for its preserved history and although the grand colonial buildings and relics of the convict past are well known and largely preserved throughout the State, the heritage of the first Tasmanians is still being uncovered.
In the State’s caves and wilderness areas that hold the history of the Tasmanian Aborigines, middens and artefacts, are still being found. A visit to our museums is a must.
The elegant buildings of Tasmania’s colonial heritage still stand today, lining the city streets and dotted throughout the countryside. Most buildings of this era were created with convict labour and still carry their distinctive stamp today.
Many of these structures have been redeveloped into hotels and venues capable of hosting business events and groups from high-end corporate meeting and incentive clients to larger association groups.
These unique and intrinsically beautiful venues provide a splendid and memorable backdrop for a business event while also providing an insight into Tasmania’s colonial past.
The history of the Tasmanian Tiger (thylacine) is also worth noting. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery houses a specimen and history of the species, officially pronounced extinct in 1986. Although the last known thylacine died at Hobart Zoo in 1936, some believe the tiger still exists today and a reward for its discovery still stands.