BURNIE – THE AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER GUIDE
A large port overlooking Emu Bay, this northwest town of Tasmania is a vibrant treasure, whose charm lies in the harmonious mesh of industrial life, art and innovation.
WHERE TO STAY
Tourist-friendly Burnie provides accommodation for any budget. Located just two blocks from the CBD, the backpackers Regent Hotel is comfortable, simple and offers a mouth-watering 750g steak at its popular restaurant Mallee Grill downstairs. Just five minutes away, those who want a serene escape without feeling cut off can stay at The Beach House. A luxury getaway that at maximum capacity has five lodgers, The Beach House has one of Burnie’s best beaches at its doorstep and spectacular views of Table Cape.
WHAT TO DO
The Makers’ Workshop is a tourist attraction as well as information centre, and the perfect starting point for any tourist intent on discovering what drives this town. Recipient of the Tasmanian Architectural Award in 2010, the creativity continues inside with talented ceramicists, glass artists and sculptors. At its core, Creative Paper shows traditional methods used to make paper and the surprising fibres that can go into it, such as wombat and roo poo. If you’re still game, their daily tours allow you to try making paper under skilled supervision.
For the less crafty, try some of the World’s Best Camembert (as voted in 2006) at the Lactos Cheese Tasting & Sales Centre and polish it off with a whisky tasting next door at the Hellyers Road Distillery. If you feel like a bit of exercise after that, take a stroll through the streetscape that is Burnie’s Pioneer Village Museum showcases the trades that made the town prosper c1900. If you prefer a more modern scene, immerse yourself in the Art Deco architectural movement and pick up a trail map for a self-guided tour in town.
For a more natural vibe, located only 15 minutes away from the city centre are the walking tracks of Fern Glade Reserve. Just a little further west, have a cup of tea while overlooking the 20,000 plants that make up the diverse and beautiful Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
With an average year-round temperature just below 17 degrees, Burnie is definitely a destination to go to during the summer months. This opinion is evidently shared by its penguin population, with free guided tours only available between September and March to see them at The Little Penguin Observation Centre.
Burnie Airport is 20km from the CBD, and can be reached through a connecting flight from Melbourne by Regional Express (13 17 13). Alternatively, Burnie is just a two-hour drive from Launceston, whose airport is serviced by Tiger, Jetstar and Virgin.
Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Great Australian Holiday Homes Right on the outskirts of Burnie in northern Tasmania, Hide-away Cottage Retreat is the perfect spot for exploring a town that still does things the way they used to be done: the right way! Handmade paper, cheese making, farmers markets and hospitality are just some of the things down the road from this rural sanctuary that still has sheep grazing in its front yard. In the opposite direction, Hide-away Cottage acts as a great stepping-stone or relaxing pit-stop before hitting the rat race again, for two of Australia’s great wilderness areas: Cradle...
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