Our Latest News

Join us for the Power of Parks forum at Launceston

22/07/2016

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) in partnership with the University of Tasmania is exploring The Power of Parks through a series of UTAS public forums celebrating the benefits that parks and reserves provide to Tasmania's overall identify.More

Shipwreck identified as the Viola

19/07/2016

Timber samples from a ship wrecked on Tasmania's East Coast nearly 160 years ago have been identified as the Canadian-built brig Viola.More

Prosecution for Stanley penguin deaths

15/07/2016

The Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) and the Circular Head Council have conducted a joint investigation after 18 little penguins were found dead near a rookery in Stanley on the State's North-West coast last week.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.