This very week, UNESCO's World Heritage committee met in Brasil and accepted eleven convict sites across Australia, including Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney, Port Arthur near Hobart, Norfolk Island penal settlement and Fremantle Prison in Perth. The Weekend Australian (7/8/2010) noted that these 11 sites provided a complete representation of all the significant elements of Australian convictism between 1788-1868. They covered penal stations, gang labour, assignment, female factories and the Tasmanian probation system.
Port Arthur Penitentiary, Tasmania
Situated on the Tasman Peninsula near Saltwater River, the Coal Mines Historic Site was Tasmania’s first operational mine. Developed both to limit the colony’s dependence upon costly imported coal from Sydney, as well as serving as a place of punishment for the worst class of convicts from Port Arthur, the mine was operational for over 40 years. Today, the Coal Mines offers visitors the chance to discover among the ruins and scenic vistas an integral part of the colony’s penal system, only 25-minutes drive from Port Arthur.