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Port Arthur is a small town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula, in Tasmania, Australia. Port Arthur is one of the most significant heritage areas and an open air museum in Australia. The site forms part of the Australian Convict Sites, a World Heritage property consisting of eleven remnant penal sites originally built within the British Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries on fertile Australian coastal strips.
Port Arthur is officially a top tourist attraction in Tasmania. It is located approximately 60 km south east of the state capital, Hobart. Transport from Hobart to the site is also available via bus or ferry, and various companies offer day tours from Hobart. Port Arthur was named after George Arthur, the Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen Land. The settlement started as a timber station in 1830, but it is best known for being a penal colony. Port Arthur was sold as an inescapable prison, much like the later Alcatraz Island in the United States. Since 1987, the site has been managed by the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority, with conservation works funded by the Tasmanian Government and the admission fees paid by visitors. The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO inscribed the Port Arthur Historic Site and the Coal Mines Historic Site onto the World Heritage Register on 31 July 2010, as part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage property.
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