Port Arthur massacre

1996 mass shooting in Tasmania, Australia

The Port Arthur massacre was a mass killing that took place at Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia. Port Arthur is a café and, hotel and historic site.

Port Arthur massacre
LocationPort Arthur, Tasmania, Australia
DateApril 28, 1996 (1996-04-28)-
April 29, 1996 (1996-04-29)
Attack type
Mass shooting, mass murder, shooting spree, carjacking, kidnapping, arson
Weapons2 Semi-automatic rifles
24 (including the perpetrator)
PerpetratorMartin Bryant

On Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 April 1996 35 people were killed, and 18 people hurt.[1] Martin Bryant used two semi-automatic guns to shoot people who were visiting Port Arthur. Bryant is in jail for the crime.

The massacre was the worst single-day mass murder incident in Australian history.[2] 35 people died on 28 April 1996, the middle day of the massacre. After the massacre, Australia made new laws about gun control. People could not buy guns easily anymore. New laws were adopted. This law also exists in New Zealand and many other countries.

Bryant first killed the owners of a small guesthouse.[3] Then he went to the Port Arthur Historic Site. 20 of the people killed were shot in the Broad Arrow Cafe in two minutes of gunfire.[4] Before Bryant started shooting in the café, he ate lunch. Bryant went into the café and began shooting. There were more than 60 people in the café. He then went into the gift shop and continued shooting. Two minutes later he went back to his car to escape.[1] He continued to shoot and kill people outside in the gardens.

Bryant then took a hostage and went back to the Seascape Guest House. He killed the hostage and then set fire to the house. He finally gave himself up to the police after 18 hours. He was burned in the fire.[1]

Bryant was found guilty of killing 35 people. He was sentenced to a life sentence for each murder. The court said he was never to be released.[3]

The ruins of the café are now a memorial to the people who were killed in the massacre. A square pond has been built as a place for quiet thinking. The Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard spoke at the memorial in 2006. This was to remember 10 years since the massacre.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Port Arthur Masacre". Companion to Tasmanian History. Retrieved 2008-11-13.
  2. "Martin Bryant". Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Martin Bryant's sentence". Port Arthur News Archive. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Doherty, Ben (April 28, 2006). "Ten Years On, the horrors of Port Arthur" (html). The Age. Fairfax Digital. Retrieved December 6, 2008.