"Burnie is located 51km northwest of Devonport on Emu Bay."
The coastal city is known in Tasmania for its productivity and creativity. Locals produce crafty materials including all sorts of papers and cards, artworks, jewellery, woodwork, sculptures, you name it they make it. On the consumption side of things milk and cheeses are produced and they even process the milk for Cadbury at the Burnie Milk Depot.
The creative arts and crafts made by the locals can be seen at the Maker’s Workshop on Bass Hwy in town. The centre has many creative displays, a gift shop, museum and studios where you can watch the creators at work.
Adjacent to the workshop is West Beach. By day it’s just the usual stretch of sand along Tassie’s Bass Strait, but by night its inhabitants come waddling up the foreshore to their man-made concrete igloos where they nest and breed their young. Little Penguins live here and during the months between November and April local volunteers conduct free tours and show you their much loved little friends. Of course you cannot touch the penguins, however a lifelike replica is on display and you are able to feel the texture of their coat. Also note torches and cameras are prohibited as the light damages the penguins’ eyes. An infra red light is used to view the cute little creatures. The penguin parade occurs at dusk each evening and is a fabulous experience in a sparkling setting with the city lights as a backdrop.
Views over the city and coastline can be seen from Round Hill Lookout, which is accessible via Stowport Rd. Climb up to the viewing tower and overlook the panorama below.
Emu Valley is where garden lovers can visit the Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden on Breffny Rd. Experience the tranquility of a manicured garden on 11 hectares with various plant varieties and in particular the stunning Rhododendron flowers. The spectacular blooms of brilliant colours can be enjoyed daily from 9am to 5pm between August and April. Entry fees apply to adults.
The Cheese Tasting Centre is located on Old Surrey Rd and it is here that you can sample a variety of delicious Tasmanian cheese all produced locally. A diverse range is available for purchase and some are sold at factory prices. The centre is open daily from 9am to 5pm weekdays and 10am to 4pm weekends and public holidays.
Finish off your cheese tasting sensation with a sample of smooth single malt Tasmanian whiskey at the Hellyers Road Distillery on Old Surrey Rd not far from the cheese centre. The distillery is open daily from 10am to 4.30pm and tour/tasting fees apply.
The local farmers market sells fresh local produce at the Showground, via Smith St, on the first, third and fifth Saturday mornings of each month. If you happen to be visiting on the right weekend head on down and purchase some cheap, fresh, quality produce to take on your journey.
Burnie is classed as a city but projects good old country charm. The people, the art, craft, dairy industry, farmers markets, hinterland tastings and wildlife volunteers make Burnie a delight to visit and see a bit of the old country back in the city.