Beneath the shadow of Mount Wellington, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cascades Female Factory is the best place to connect with some of the lesser-known stories of Australia’s female convicts.
The Female Factory, located a short distance from Hobart’s city centre was a self-contained, purpose-built institution intended to reform female convicts. Thousands of women and children were imprisoned at the site and many never left. Visiting the site can be both emotional and rewarding, creating a connection with the stories of female convicts in Australia and their children – stories that are often tragic, but that also inspire hope and resilience.
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We recommend you purchase your tickets online in advance. Joining a guided tour is highly recommended as it will help bring the story of this challenging but very special place to life for you. The Heritage Tour, offered several times each day and reveals stories of the women and the punishment system to which they were subjected, exploring the question ‘were they more sinned against than sinning?’ Our newest dramatised tour ‘The Proud and the Punished’ is a one-woman performance depicting the harsh conditions that many were forced to endure at Female Factory in the 1800s.
The Cascades Female Factory is managed by the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority and is one of eleven sites that form the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage property.