Coal Mines Historic Site, Saltwater River

Discover the epic story of European colonial expansion in Australia at Coal Mines Historic Site, which served as a convict probation station for a period of 15 years in the middle of the 19th century. Noted for being Tasmania’s first operational coal mine, this location is now a World Heritage Site, with a collection of culturally significant ruins that includes a church, insane asylum, hospital, and the infamous penitentiary. Be sure to bring your own drinking water and food supplies, as there are no tourist facilities near this site. For safety, stay behind marked barriers and avoid looking into deep shafts and building ruins. Parking areas and toilet facilities are located at the entrance into the site. Use our Saltwater River trip itinerary maker app to arrange your visit to Coal Mines Historic Site and other attractions in Saltwater River.
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Coal Mines Historic Site Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
146 reviews
  • Don’t go here if you want crowds, noise and interactive entertainment. This place is quiet , informative and very interesting. A lovely walk with beautiful views even if you find the history uninteres...  more »
  • The ruins of a historic mine are located on the north-western coast of the Tasman Peninsula and, like Port Arthur, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The journey to the area takes about half an hour from Port Arthur. The complex covers a large area and the distances between the ruins are considerable. Of the former buildings, only ruins remain. For the most part, even this term is too high, because usually there is only a pile of bricks and a small information sign on the ground mentions the original purpose of the building as well as its year of construction. The mine was opened a few years after Port Arthur was found to have coal. At peak times in the mid-1840s, between 500 and 1,000 inmates were employed. However, the mine had to be closed before Port Arthur because the coal mine was inferior and the mine was poorly managed. Conclusion: The long detour to the place is only worthwhile for specially interested persons. The distance between the individual ruins is great and the condition of all the ruins is poor. But at least you don't have to pay for admission.
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  • Discovered this by chance. Free entry, which is always a bonus, self guided. Well defined paths to the various sites of this old coal mine, which was a brutal penal colony in reality. You can walk around the whole area, which is quite a hike, or you can drive closer to the various old ruins. Being the lazy old so and so I am, I took the latter option. Toilets, but no water available on site. Take stuff with you. Roads are dirt onsite, but tar all the way from Port Arthur. A very interesting place. The harsh brutal reality of convict life in a beautiful setting.
  • This is a well looked after historic site. Barely anyone here when we came through - bonus for us - as it isn't highly advertised. There is a wonderful view of the bay available throughout the walk. Worth a visit if you're into Port Arthur History.
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Duration: 1​h 30​min

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