The village of Port Arthur is often missed because of the significance of the Historic Site, but there is so much to experience in the area that you may want to consider staying overnight, particularly as entry passes to the Site are valid for two days. Surfing, sea kayaking and bushwalking are popular and the coastline is spectacular.

A short drive south of Port Arthur is Remarkable Cave, so called because its opening is said to resemble a map of Tasmania. From here you can walk to Crescent Bay, a secluded curve of striking beauty backed by huge sand dunes. Just 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) north-west is the Coal Mines Historic Site, where interpretive signs explain the harsh lives and working conditions of repeat offenders from Port Arthur who worked underground extracting coal.

Look out for DooTown, a quirky shack community devoted to homes with a theme: ‘GunnaDo’, ‘She'll Doo’, 'Humpty Doo’ and many more. The settlement began life in 1830 as a timber station. In the years that followed, convicts created a small town for 1,100 inmates at its peak in the early 1840’s.

Port Arthur's maximum average daily temperature is 18.5 degrees Celsius (65.5 degrees Fahrenheit) in January and 11.5 degrees (52 degrees Fahrenheit) in June.