People are amazed that we still have new things to write about after all this time. Think Tasmania publishes articles every day, and there’s an endless list of potential material. We’re overwhelmed by choice when posting a Facebook status. Why is this so? Because there’s just so much damn good stuff in Tassie!
Gunns Plains, Penguin and Ulverstone: Things to Do
We write about tourism, shopping, people, places, wildlife and history. All things Tasmanian in fact. Some might wonder what on Earth there is to do outside a big city. Let’s give you a tiny sample then, of things to do around Gunns Plains, Penguin and Ulverstone in north west Tasmania. No big city there… Ulverstone is the major regional centre and has a population of 12,000 (give or take).
1. Get Sporty! Fish, Golf, Kayak and Pedal…
Not far from Ulverstone River Retreat is a golf course that claims to be the best kept secret in Tasmania. And if you’re feeling really energetic or have kids to entertain, call in to Pedal Buggies Tasmania near the water-slide on the beachfront.
Or you can take a leaf out of the book (or books!) from the Penguin High School kids, and learn how to fish. The region is a haven for anglers, both beginners and experienced. You can choose the beaches or the banks of the Leven River or join a fishing club to learn of other top-secret locations.
2. Give me a Home Among the… Fern Trees!
If all that sporty stuff leaves you a little out of breath, take it down a notch at Ferndene Gorge State Reserve. Ferndene is based at the foothills of the Dial Range, located inland to the south of Penguin and Ulverstone, and is considered a special place by the locals. Pack a picnic or cook a bbq; then take an easy bush-walk and chill out to the sound of birds calling. Of course, if you want to get even more sweaty, there’s a substantial network of walking tracks around Dial Range.
3. Try A Little Retail Therapy… Or Beauty Therapy?
Did someone say shopping? You don’t need a big city to relieve you of your spending money. In fact, you can uncover a host of quirky, funky shops in small Tasmanian towns. There’s treasure to be found at Nest in Penguin for example; try the Woodcraft Guild or Under the Oak in Ulverstone for something special. And of course you have to be looking your best when strolling around, so give Bohemian Beauty a call. Have a pedicure, just for fun.
4. Get Up Close and Personal with a Critter
When people think of Tasmania, wildlife often springs to mind. Little Penguins for example, are on everyone’s list of favourites. The coastal town of Penguin and the surrounding district is a good place to start looking. And you know you’re going to see a really big penguin if all else fails! If you want a guaranteed encounter, visit Wings Wildlife Park. The people and the animals are really friendly there.
5. Snack on Something Yummy in Penguin and Ulverstone
All this activity is bound to have you feeling a little hungry. Well you’ve come to the right place, because this region even has the Gunns Plains Potato Festival to celebrate the humble spud. The Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail will guide you to all the local produce; places like Cradle Coast Olives, where you can buy top-class olive oil right from the source. Maybe you could collect a few jars of goodness from the locally-made Pickled Sisters Pantry range.
Of course, if you prefer your meal cooked for you and presented ready-to-eat style, try Sizzle at the Penguin Markets on Sunday. Penguin has a variety of stylish and casual cafes open every other day too… like the Groovy Penguin in the main street. Further east in Ulverstone, you can’t go past Pedro’s for a feed of seafood.
6. Turn Green With Envy at Someone’s Green Thumb
Do you love gardens? Then you’re going to love the scenic coastal road between Penguin and Ulverstone. Residents have banded together to grow a community garden. It’s always so pretty, with abundant flowers… let alone the view of Bass Strait over the top of the railway line. And if you want more, you can always visit Kaydale Lodge. Owned by Kay and Robert Crowden and their daughters Lesley and Amarlie, this garden is gorgeous in any season.
7. Hide Away in a Cave
Some might say Gunns Plains is just a country town hall, and that’s it. Others would say it’s the epicentre of the most beautiful rural scenery in all of Tasmania. Of course, if it’s a unique and wonderful experience you’re after, visit the Gunns Plains Caves. Fun and informative, it’s a feature many tourists have admired over the years.
8. Cruise Your Cares Away
Join a Discover The Leven River Cruise in Ulverstone and you’ll travel in comfort from the river mouth to Leven Park Reserve for lunch upstream. You’ll see Tasmanian wildlife including wallabies, fish and birds. There’s wonderful opportunities for keen photographers, as the bush reflects in the still waters.
During an on-shore break, guests will enjoy an informative bush-walk through soaring eucalyptus, 500-year-old man ferns and beautiful tall Blackwoods with a lovely understorey of attractive ferns. If you’re looking for a peaceful, tranquil day… this might be exactly what you’re after.
9. Contemplate the Majesty of Leven Canyon
A trip to Leven Canyon offers a choice… take an easy walk through the bush to the lookout and gaze out over the valley. Contemplate your place in the world as you gaze calmly over the Leven River weaving its way through the valley way below. Option number two is for the energetic: choose one of the myriad of bush-walking options. Some of them are quite the challenge and involve a lot of steps (don’t say we didn’t warn you!). And visit Preston Falls too. There’s hardly any steps there.
10. Tour the Towns: Penguin and Ulverstone
Of course, you can take a guided tour of the Cradle Coast, or just cruise around the towns of Ulverstone and Penguin on your own. Maybe visit the beach or a nature reserve, check out the local history museum or the many parks and reserves. And if there’s anything from Gunns Plains, Penguin and Ulverstone that you think we’ve missed… let us know. Think Tasmania might be able to visit them another time.
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