Convicts logging - Fourteen convicts and 16 soldiers and their families settled at Macquarie Harbour on Sarah Island in January 1822. It became Tasmania’s first penal settlement. One of the reasons for the settlement on Sarah Island was Huon pine, a valued timber. Sarah Island was very secure. An escapee would have to get hack through impenetrable rainforest on the west coast of Tasmania to escape.112 convicts did escape: 71 died and 41 were recaptured, four having reached South America.