Our Latest News

History unlocked at Richmond Gaol

12/11/2018

Investment in the restoration of the Gaoler's House at Richmond Gaol will enhance the visitor experience at one of Tasmania's key historic sites.More

Campfire restrictions in national parks and reserves

09/11/2018

Restrictions on campfires, pot fires and other solid fuel stoves will come in to place from next Wednesday (November 14) at identified Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) campgrounds around the State to help reduce the risk of bushfires.More

Godfreys Beach penguin viewing platform open

07/11/2018

The development of a new penguin viewing platform at Godfreys Beach at The Nut State Reserve in Stanley has recently been completed by the Parks and Wildlife Service.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.