Coastal Town of Penguin

by Michelle Kneipp Pegler

The pretty coastal town of Penguin on Tasmania’s north west coast is located 137kms from Launceston; 17kms east of Burnie and 31kms west of Devonport.  It has a population of around 5,500 and it acquired the name from the fairy penguins, which live around its coastline.  Penguin is nestled in a very scenic spot right beside the beautiful waters of Bass Strait with the impressive Dial Range sitting behind the town towards the south.

Coastal Town of Penguin - Foreshore
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The foreshore of the coastal town of Penguin, including the Big One!

Eating and Staying in the Town of Penguin

Penguin is a popular tourist destination with a number of excellent cafes and restaurants.  It’s well known by surrounding locals as the place to eat out on a weekend.  There are great places to have a meal like Wild Café Restaurant, Renaessance, The Groovy Penguin, Shady Grove Cafe and Casablanca at the Surf Lifesaving Club.  There’s also a really nice bakery right near the beach.


 

The range of accommodation options for such a small town is surprising, with two hotels, a caravan park, B&B’s and holiday apartments.  The coastal town of Penguin still retains that laid back, small town feel… wonderful when you’re looking for a relaxing holiday or visiting for the day.  While wandering around the shops of Penguin if you need a perfect gift or something special for yourself, call into Nest in Main Street.  This is a splendid shop that stocks a very nice range of local artisan merchandise.

Things to Do in Penguin

There are lots of things to do in Penguin.  Why not check out the penguins that visit each evening between November and March.  Have your photo taken with the 3.15 metre Big Penguin in the beachfront park.  It’s apparently the largest Penguin in the world.  And while you’re walking down Main Street have a look at the penguin garbage bins along the way.  A much nicer alternative to regular ones!

Coastal Town of Penguin - Church, Bakery & Penguin
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The Uniting Church, the Bakery bin and the Big Penguin

Admire Penguin Uniting Church and St. Stephens Anglican Church, both old churches in Main Street.  There’s the replica Dutch windmill in Hiscutt Park, which was presented to the people of Penguin to commemorate the Dutch settlers of the area and the Dutch explorers who were the first Europeans to discover Tasmania.


 

Just west of the Uniting Church is Johnsons Beach Reef.  It’s a popular place at low tide for exploring when the reef is exposed.

Shopping at the Penguin Sunday Markets

The Penguin Sunday Markets are very popular, with more than 200 stalls.  They are Tasmania’s largest undercover markets.  There’s a lot to see at the markets with stalls ranging from food, antiques and collectables, books, art and craft.

Coastal Town of Penguin - Antiques
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Shopping for antiques and collectables in the coastal town of Penguin, Tasmania

Coastal Town of Penguin - Market
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Penguin Sunday Markets, on the north west coast of Tasmania, one of the state’s best markets

There’s a great lolly shop, with a large assortment of all types of lollies.  And we can’t forget the Tasmanian woodwork, jewellery, gift-ware, fruit and veggies, clothing and live music.  There’s always so much to see at the Penguin Sunday Markets.

Coastal Town of Penguin - Lolly Shop
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The lolly shop! A highlight of every coastal town, Penguin included

Bush-Walking in Penguin

If you’re the energetic sort there are some great reserve walks just behind Penguin in the Dial Range.  Walks range from 30 mins to 2 hours that cater to all fitness levels, with wonderful scenery along the way.  Call into the Penguin Tourist Information Centre in Main Street while you’re in town to get all the info on Penguin and surrounds, or phone them on (03) 64371421.

Coastal Town of Penguin - Bass Strait
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The deep blue seas of Bass Strait make the drive to Penguin a memorable one

A great way to get to the coastal town of Penguin with terrific views across Bass Strait, is to take the coast road from Ulverstone or via Sulphur Creek from Burnie.  This is such a pretty drive and well worth the diversion from the Bass Highway.

Michelle Kneipp Pegler writes a blog called Leven River Farm
about the ups and downs of her Good Life
and occasional forays delving into the lessons of the past.

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Map: Coastal Town of Penguin, Tasmania