13 February, 2020

Tasmania’s got ghost tours galore – are you brave enough to try one?

Take a spooky walk through history in some of Australia’s oldest towns and buildings.

You might not see any ghosts, but these tours’ legendary convicts, murderers and troubled souls will surely send a chill down your spine. From heritage sites with dark histories like Port Arthur, to centuries-old towns including Hobart and Launceston, Tassie’s the perfect place to hear Gothic tales from the past.

Port Arthur apparitions

Even if you’ve visited this UNESCO World Heritage convict site before, the Port Arthur Ghost Tour will take you to a whole new level of creepy. Eerily beautiful during the day, this former penal settlement’s buildings and ruins are shrouded in mystery at night. More than 1000 people died here, usually in ghastly circumstances – no wonder there are so many documented reports of paranormal activity. Hear some of the scariest tales on this 90-minute lantern-lit tour offered twice every evening.

Port Arthur Ghost Tour (Image: Alastair Bett)
Port Arthur Ghost Tour (Image: Alastair Bett)

Hobart Penitentiary’s poltergeists

Explore the capital’s longtime centre for crime and punishment on the Hobart Convict Penitentiary Ghost Tour. From 1821, thousands of convicts crammed into every available space at this site, including solitary confinement cells under the floor. The misery continued in 1853 when it became a courthouse, jail and place of execution for more than a century. See the still-functioning gallows, the chapel, court, cells, subterranean tunnels and perhaps a shadowy figure on this 90-minute tour.

More haunting Hobart tours

The two-hour Ghost Tour of Battery Point explores one of the oldest parts of Hobart, which boasts some of Australia’s most charming heritage architecture, including churches, mansions and cottages. Follow your guide up the steep, centuries-old Kelly’s Steps into Battery Point at night and find out which ones have some skeletons in the closet. Or take the free Hobart Ghost Tour: True Crime and Hauntings for a two-hour walk around town in pursuit of phantoms, cannibals and even a serial killer.

Ghost Tours of Hobart and Battery Point
Ghost Tour of Battery Point (Image: Ghost Tours of Hobart and Battery Point)

Launceston spectres

Established in 1806, just two years after Hobart, Tasmania’s second city is also ideal for a spooky walk into the past. The 90-minute Launceston Ghost Tour explores alleys and old buildings associated with tragedy, violent crimes and executions (so it’s not recommended for young children). Brace yourself for things that go bump in the night.

Launceston Ghost Tour (Image: Launceston Ghost Tours)
Launceston Ghost Tour (Image: Launceston Ghost Tours)

Wights and wraiths at Willow Court

Willow Court in New Norfolk, near Hobart, opened in 1827 as a place for convict “invalids and lunatics”. For the next 170 years, it expanded into a complex of buildings that was home to thousands of mentally ill people. The three-hour Willow Court Asylum Paranormal Investigation tour reveals some of their tragic stories, and perhaps their lingering spirits too. Ghost or no ghost, it’s an unnerving walk past derelict buildings and sometimes into them – including the morgue.

Ladies Cottage  (Image: Tasmania's most huanted)
Ladies Cottage (Image: Tasmania's Most Haunted)

Rumours and revelations in Richmond

Also not far from Hobart, Richmond is perhaps the prettiest colonial village in Tasmania, especially thanks to its iconic convict-built sandstone bridge – the oldest in Australia. You’ll find the oldest jail in the land here too. It’s a highlight of the 90-minute Richmond After Dark: Gossip, Ghosts and Graft tour, which also takes in a small cemetery and reveals sinister secrets lurking behind the town’s gracious Georgian architecture.


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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