Penguin monument, Ken Stepnell

Population 2949

This northern seaside town was named after the little penguins that shuffle up the beaches, and images of the iconic bird are peppered around town. The largest example is the much-photographed Big Penguin, which stands 3m tall on the beachfront and is the town's premier attraction.

Visitor Information

78 Main Rd; (03) 6437 1421

Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

  • 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

  • Burnie

    The first European pioneers believed the Burnie area to be agriculturally rich, but high rainfall and dense forests covering the surrounding...more

  • Devonport

    Devonport, on the banks of the Mersey River, is the home port of the Spirit of Tasmania I and II. This vibrant seaport city is framed by the...more

In Town

Dutch Windmill The windmill was presented to the town during Australia's bicentenary to commemorate the Dutch explorers and settlers. There is also a colourful tulip display in spring and play equipment on-site. Hiscutt Park, off Crescent St.

Penguins: each evening penguins come ashore; check with visitor centre for tour details; Sept–Mar.

Johnsons Beach Reef: popular walking spot at low tide when reef is exposed.

Penguin Roadside Gardens: originally a labour of love for 2 town residents, now a flourishing garden beside the road; Old Coast Rd to Ulverstone.

Chocolate Lovers: quality European and Australian chocolates of all varieties; 100 Main Rd.


Dial Range Walks Excellent tracks include the walk up Mt Montgomery (5 km S) with magnificent views from the summit, and Ferndene Gorge (6 km S). The Ferndene Bush Walk takes in an old silver-mine shaft, Thorsby's Tunnel. Brochures on walks from visitor centre highlight more trails.

Penguin Cradle Trail This trail heads inland from the coast to the world-famous Cradle Mountain. Sections of the walk vary in difficulty. It takes 6 days to complete, but access roads mean that sections can be done as day or overnight trips. Read more

Pioneer Park: beautiful gardens with picnic facilities and walks; Riana; 10 km SW.

Scenic drive: along coast to Ulverstone.

Eco-friendly activities around town

Giant crayfish research, near Ulverstone 11 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

Creative Paper, Burnie 15 km

Make your own paper with recycled bits and pieces on a half-hour tour at this non-profit, community-based enterprise. They use all sorts of odds and ends to make their eco-friendly papers, including old jeans, fruit pulp... Find out more

Gunns Plains Cave 18 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 32 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

Neptune Grand Bistro

This friendly pub serves a good range of meals, with a strong focus on fresh Tasmanian seafood. Its beachside location is a perfect match for those fish dishes but the Neptune Grand Bistro has another specialty –... Find out more


Although Penguin is a sleepy seaside village, the vibe at this sophisticated eatery is all about big city style. With a growing reputation for brilliance and creativity, Wild attracts gourmet food lovers from far and... Find out more

Campsites around town

Pioneer Park camping area 13 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 32 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 32 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

Port Sorell Lions Caravan Park 41 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

O’Neills Creek Reserve camping area 41 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

Lake Gairdner camping area 41 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

Koybaa camping area 42 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

Bakers Point camping area 42 km

On the point by Springlawn Beach, this large camping area has 36 sites – 16 suitable for larger rigs – a portable toilet waste collection point and a boat-launching area. There’s excellent fishing in... Find out more

Springlawn camping area 45 km

This is the place to head to in the park if you have a large rig and need power. It also has the best facilities and is only 100 m past the ranger station and visitor centre, so it is just a short walk to join one of the... Find out more

Horse Yards camping area 45 km

A 26 km horseriding trail leads from this camping area, but you must camp nearby and give the ranger 48 hours notice before you can bring your horse into the park. Narawntapu is 40 km east of Devonport via the B71, or 85... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Penguin Caravan Park 1 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

BIG4 Ulverstone Holiday Park 10 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 17 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 26 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 27 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

Beach Retreat Tourist Park 31 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

Port Sorell Lions Caravan Park 41 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 53 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

The Madsen

This lovely old building is a classic boutique hotel. On Penguin’s picturesque main street, The Madsen has panoramic views of Bass Strait and the pine-tree-lined beachside promenade just a few metres from the front... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Mountain Valley, Loongana 34 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 21 km

At Somerset

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

Wynyard park area 31 km

At Wynyard

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

Hellyer Gorge rest area 42 km

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

Just off the highway surrounded by forest.

Parramatta Creek rest area 45 km

26km NW of Deloraine (L) or 17km SE of Latrobe (R)

Among shady trees on the banks of the creek.

Sisters Beach rest area 48 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.

Fossey River rest area 53 km

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

Just off the highway among some trees.

What's on around town

Market: over 100 stalls undercover; Arnold St; Sun.

comments powered by Disqus