Our Latest News

PWS Public Safety Update

17/01/2019

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) is continuing to assess the fire situation and extract bushwalkers from fire-affected remote reserves and parks across the state.More

PWS Public Safety Alert

16/01/2019

There has been considerable thunderstorm activity across the state overnight. Some fires have started in remote areas and the situation is being assessed as a matter of urgency.More

Gell River Fire update 14 January 2019 4.00 pm

15/01/2019

A fire is burning within the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, to the north of the Denison Range and through the Vale of Rasselas.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.