Farmland in Burnie, Ken Stepnell / Explore Australia Publishing

Population 77408

The first European pioneers believed the Burnie area to be agriculturally rich, but high rainfall and dense forests covering the surrounding hills made farming virtually impossible. The deep waters in Emu Bay, however, rescued the community by providing an ideal port for the local industries of tin and timber. Today Burnie, Tasmania's fourth largest city, is a vibrant city with beautiful parklands and charming heritage buildings.

Visitor Information

Makers Workshop, 2 Bass Hwy; (03) 6430 5831


Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

  • Penguin

    This northern seaside town was named after the little penguins that shuffle up the beaches, and images of the iconic bird are peppered...more

  • Wynyard

    This small centre at the mouth of the Inglis River has charming timber buildings and is located on a stunning stretch of coastline in an...more

  • Ulverstone

    At the mouth of the Leven River on the north central coast, Ulverstone is renowned for its fine sweeping beaches and waterfront parklands....more

In Town

Burnie Park This park has lawns, shaded walkways, diverse native flora and animal enclosures with ducks, swans, wallabies, emus, peacocks and rabbits. Burnie Inn, the city's oldest building, is in the park and has been restored as a teahouse. A brochure is available from the park information centre. Bass Hwy.

Pioneer Village Museum: re-creation of old Burnie town that houses almost 20 000 items from the late 1800s and early 1900s; Civic Centre Plaza. Little Penguin Observation Centre: free guided tours Oct–Feb; Parsonage Point; 0437 436 803.

Creative Paper: recycled-paper art with demonstrations and activities; tours available daily; Old Surrey Rd.

Walking track: 17 km track that skirts the city; start at boardwalk.

Australian Paper: mill tours held 2pm Mon–Fri; Bass Hwy; bookings on (03) 6430 7882.

The Cheese Tasting Centre: dairy samples and other specialty produce; Old Surrey Rd.

Hellyers Road Distillery: makers of single malt whisky; tours, tastings, sales and licensed eatery; open 9.30am–5.30pm daily; Old Surrey Rd, adjacent to Cheese Tasting Centre.

Regional Art Gallery: impressive collection of Australian contemporary prints; open 10am–4.30pm Mon–Fri, 1.30–4.30pm Sat, Sun and public holidays; Wilmot St.


Emu Valley Rhododendron Gardens Considered the city's floral emblem, the rhododendron has pride of place in Burnie. These gardens have over 9000 wild and hybrid rhododendrons on display in a natural 12 ha amphitheatre, and host the floral festival in Oct. Open Aug–Feb; off Cascade Rd; 6 km S.

Fern Glade: tranquil reserve on Emu River with walking tracks and picnic areas; off Old Surrey Rd; 5 km W.

Annsleigh Garden and Tearooms: voted one of the 10 best gardens in Australia and comprising 2 ha of beautiful gardens and novelty buildings, plus souvenirs and food; open Sept–May; Mount Rd; 9 km S.

Upper Natone Forest Reserve: popular picnic spot; Upper Natone Rd; 30 km S.

Lake Kara: good trout fishing; signposted from Hampshire; 30 km S.

Bushwalks and waterfalls: many in area, but Guide Falls (near Ridgley, 17 km S) is most accessible.

Eco-friendly activities around town

Hiking the Penguin to Cradle walk 15 km

If you want to embark on a little-known, but highly varied Tasmanian bushwalk, try part or the entire 80-kilometre Penguin to Cradle walk. It starts at the coast, goes through a mix of rural areas, woodlands, canyons,... Find out more

Giant crayfish research, near Ulverstone 26 km

Tasmania has the largest freshwater crayfish in the world, and they can grow up to a metre in length, with claws that could cut a person’s hand off. You can go out on a research trip with the world’s expert... Find out more

Gunns Plains Cave 27 km

Located just south-west of Gunns Plains (some 23 kilometres south-west of Ulverstone), this is yet another great limestone cave. It has one of the largest shawl formations in the Southern Hemisphere, glow worms aplenty... Find out more

Platypus Encounters, Latrobe 48 km

Three brothers almost single-handedly turned an old quarry site into one of the most reliable places in the world to see wild platypus. In fact, the guided tours have never failed to encounter a platypus in Warrawee... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Bayviews Restaurant and Lounge Bar

This groovy glass-enclosed space is part of Burnie’s new wave of restaurants and smart bars. It’s up on the first floor in an architecturally stunning pavilion (above Fish Frenzy, little sister to... Find out more

Cafe Europa

On a central corner in one of Burnie’s historic buildings, the austere exterior of this cosmopolitan cafe gives no hint of the warm delights within. Once inside you’ll be transported to the Mediterranean with... Find out more

Rialto Gallery Restaurant

This cosy art-filled place is a long-stayer in the Burnie restaurant scene and one of the most popular eateries in town. You always have to book ahead for a table but it’s well worth the trouble. Over the years... Find out more

Campsites around town

Pioneer Park camping area 20 km

Set among farmland and forested hills 15 km from Penguin, the tiny settlement of Riana is picture-postcard pretty. Its quiet little campground is on the left-hand side of the main road (B17), just past the cricket oval... Find out more

Lake Barrington West camping area 44 km

Lake Barrington is famous for its world-class rowing course, and while there are big crowds here for rowing championships, the rest of the time there is peaceful camping, all-year angling and beautiful scenery. Camping... Find out more

West Kentish Park camping area 45 km

This informal camping area on the eastern shore of beautiful Lake Barrington is 6 km from West Kentish. Busy when there are rowing events at the lake, at other times it is a peaceful campground amid pretty scenery. Bring... Find out more

Lake Gairdner camping area 49 km

There is a free camping area with no facilities on the banks of this hydro lake, so if the campground at Cradle Mountain is full (as it often is), this may be a good alternative, provided you are completely... Find out more

Peggs Beach camping area 52 km

This small campground is very popular with locals, so you will be lucky to find a spot here in the summer holiday season. Although it is close to the highway, it is right next to a gorgeous, wide beach with... Find out more

O’Neills Creek Reserve camping area 53 km

Next to the creek and rodeo ground, this pretty forest reserve has places for vans for short stays (2 nights maximum), making it a perfect overnight stop on your way to Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park.... Find out more

Waratah camping area 53 km

Formerly the location of the world’s leading tin mine, Waratah now welcomes tourists not miners, although there is still gold to be panned in nearby creeks. In the middle of town, there is a lake and waterfall;... Find out more

Black River camping area 54 km

These secluded sites are nestled in coastal vegetation next to the Black River estuary. There is safe swimming at lovely Brickmakers Beach and a boat-launching ramp into the river. This large campground is part of the... Find out more

Port Sorell Lions Caravan Park 56 km

This large caravan park is close to shops and just a short walk from the foreshore of the Rubicon estuary, with its sheltered beach and lovely views of Narawntapu National Park. The safe swimming beach and kids’... Find out more

Koybaa camping area 57 km

This camping area at Griffiths Point, 4 km past the ranger station, has 12 small sites surrounded by scrub. They are only suitable for tent-based camping because you have to carry your gear in past a row of... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Penguin Caravan Park 15 km

This beachfront park at the western end of town has undergone a makeover. The waterfront sites have been refurbished and the park has a licensed restaurant. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Beach Retreat Tourist Park 16 km

Located at the mouth of the Inglis River and on the beachfront, this park is within walking distance of the town centre. It has good facilities and is ideal for an overnight stay or a few days. Bookings are required in... Find out more

BIG4 Ulverstone Holiday Park 26 km

This is a good quality park with spacious grassy areas and a range of facilities, about 1 km from the town centre and close to the surf club on East Beach. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Wings Wildlife Park 26 km

Staying here is a different experience. There is trout fishing, bushwalking, kayaking, golf, and more. The park has good facilities including powered sites, but we would opt for the unpowered riverfront camping area. The... Find out more

Abel Tasman Caravan Park 41 km

Located just a couple of blocks from the Spirit of Tasmania terminal, this park has obvious benefits for those arriving or departing by the boat. The park has sites to cater for all size rigs and is ideal for a longer... Find out more

Bay View Holiday Village 42 km

Close to the beach on the east side of Devonport, this park is just a short drive to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry terminal. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Crayfish Creek Van and Cabin Park and Spa TreeHouse 48 km

In a distinctive bushland setting, this park is tucked away on the banks of Crayfish Creek, a short way in from the coast. It is a popular park during holiday periods, when the weather is warmer for swimming and camping.... Find out more

Port Sorell Lions Caravan Park 56 km

This popular beachfront park is owned and operated by the Lions Club. It is close to the centre of town, adjacent to the boat ramp and ideal for family holidays. It is an easy drive to the Devonport ferry terminal from... Find out more

Discovery Holiday Parks – Cradle Mountain 58 km

Set in bushland just outside the World Heritage-listed Tasmanian wilderness area, this quality park has good facilities including a large recreation building with open fireplaces. It is a popular camping site for walkers... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Apartments Down Town

In 1937 when these apartments were built, Burnie was Tasmania’s industrial heartland and the Art Deco style reflected a newfound confidence in progress and prosperity. With their opulent 1930s decor, these... Find out more

Beachfront Voyager Motor Inn

This is one of those motel-restaurant complexes you might find anywhere, but its location on Burnie’s waterfront is especially delightful, with views so far over Bass Strait that on a clear day you might imagine you can... Find out more

Glen Osborne House

Verandahs draped in intricate iron lacework frame the entrance to this magnificent 1885 mansion and give a hint of what is to come. This graceful old lady is all decked out in her best period style and offers four... Find out more

Hideaway Cottage Retreat

Just outside Burnie in a quiet nook surrounded by farmland and bush, this family-sized two-storey cottage is a home-away-from-home. They’ve thought of everything here: if you’re with the kids there’s a trampoline, tree... Find out more

Seabreeze Cottages

Each of these self-contained cottages is from a different era. Number Six harks back to the 1950s, with retro styling including a juke box and shag-pile rugs; Somersby is a snapshot of times past, with period furniture... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Mountain Valley, Loongana 40 km

Mountain Valley is off the beaten tourist track, situated around 64 kilometres south-west of Devonport (due south of Burnie). Visitors here stay in rustic cabins with open fireplaces on a private and remote 60-hectare... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Somerset park area 6 km

At Somerset

At the junction with Bass Hwy on the banks of the Cam River.

Wynyard park area 15 km

At Wynyard

On the foreshore at the east end of town via Mt Hicks Rd.

Sisters Beach rest area 33 km

T/O 13km NW of Wynyard (R) or 54km SE of Smithton (L)

Shady area on the foreshore 8km north of the highway via Sisters Beach Rd.

Hellyer Gorge rest area 34 km

40km S of Somerset (L) or 66km N of Tullah (R)

Just off the highway surrounded by forest.

Fossey River rest area 50 km

67km S of Somerset (L) or 39km N of Tullah (R)

Just off the highway among some trees.

Brickmakers Beach rest area 51 km

40km W of Wynyard (R) or 27km E of Smithton (L)

Adjacent to the highway. On the foreshore.

Peggs Beach camping area 52 km

42km W of Wynyard (R) or 25km E of Smithton (L)

Adjacent to the highway. On the foreshore.

Black River camping area 55 km

T/O 44km W of Wynyard (R) or 23km E of Smithton (L)

Secluded campsites 1km to 5km (unsealed) off the highway in the scrub near the river.

What's on around town

Farmers Market: Wivenhoe Showgrounds; 1st and 3rd Sat morning each month.

Burnie Ten: 10 km road race; Oct.

Burnie Shines: month-long community festival; Oct.

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