Our Latest News

Draft Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan

15/01/2015

The Tasmanian Government has today released a draft of the updated Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan.More

New sign celebrates the Overland Track experience

14/01/2015

In the 1960s, visitor information signs at Lake St Clair warned of no trapping, hunting, shooting, picking shrubs, cutting timber and grazing stock. Times have changed, with a new sign installation helping Overland Track walkers to celebrate their walk.More

Overland trek guide for young adventurers

14/01/2015

Of the 8000 people who tackle the world-famous Overland Track each year, almost one in ten is under 18 years old. A new publication from the Parks and Wildlife Service recognises that the experience is different for children.More

Sarah Island

Introduction

The ruins of the new penitentiary

The ruins of the new penitentiary

The Sarah Island Historic Site is Tasmania's oldest convict settlement, operating from 1822 to 1833. Located within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area on the rugged west coast and separated from the settled east by a vast tract of mountainous wilderness, Sarah Island was proposed by Lt Governor Sorell as a "place of banishment and security for the worst description of convicts" and as such developed the reputation as one of the severest of the penal settlements established during the history of transportation.

However, the island was also a successful center of industry. Pining and shipbuilding were among the trades carried out by the convicts. Indeed, in its day, Sarah Island was the largest shipbuilding yard in Australia.