Soon after Port Arthur was established as a penal colony in 1830, large plots were created for farming produce and growing hops for brewing beer. Officers and their families were also allowed to have small flower beds. By the mid-19th century, the appreciation for old English gardens evolved dramatically into the Government Gardens. Flanking shaded pathways were sculpted trees, manicured lawns plus abundant plants and flowers. They were neglected after Port Arthur closed in 1877 but were revitalized during the 1990s. Now you can enjoy the garden pathways once reserved for officers and their wives. Before entering, find the placards near the Government House. They provide an illustrated description of all the plants and flowers.