Situated on Emu Bay at the mouth of the Emu River, Burnie is Tasmania’s third largest city and port for the rich agricultural and mineral mining activities of the region. Burnie is a major deepwater port for the north of Tasmania, with two permanent container ships making daily crossings to Melbourne. Burnie is very much a city in transition. Driven by the need to renew its economic base after the closure of major industrial workd, it is actively campaigning to bolster tourism, attract new investment and build the capacity of residents to develop businesses of their own. This move is appropriate and timely as Burnie makes a great base for exploring the region due to its central position and extensive facilties.
Best time to visit:
November to April is the peak season in Tasmania. Summer brings warm days and mild evenings from December to February, while winter can be stormy with snow on the mountain peaks between July and August. Rainfall occurs throughout the year. The weather is most stable from the end of summer to autumn (February to May). Many towns in the region are planted with European deciduous trees which shed their leaves in Autumn (March to May). Their display of red and golden make the region particularly picturesque during these months.
How to get there:
By car, from Melbourne, take the Spirit of Tasmania car and passenger ferry overnight from Melbourne. A supplementary day travel services operates during summer months. drive from Devonport to Burnie.
From Launceston: drive to Burnie via Deloraine, taking Bass Highway via Midland Highway south from Launceston.
From Hobart: drive north via Midland Highway, following the signs to Devonport and Burnie before reaching Launceston. By coach, Tassielink Coaches services all major centres throughout Tasmania. Bus service Metro Tasmania provides bus transport around the city and its suburbs. Burnie Airport is a 20 minute drive from the City of Burnie and is the closest Tasmanian mainland facility serviced daily from Melbourne. Burnie Port is Tasmania’s largest general cargo port and Australia’s largest container port. It is the nearest Tasmanian port to Melbourne.
Where is it?: Burnie is 149 km north west of Launcestion via Bass Highway, 47 km west of Devonport. It is a sea port on Bass Strait.
Visitor Information Centre: Makers’ Workshop, 2 Bass Hwy, Burnie. Ph (03) 6430 5831
Lookouts: Round Hill (244 metres above sea level), 5km from town, offers panoramic views of the district. Wilf Campbell Memorial Lookout also offers a panoramic view of the coast and city.
Events: New Year’s Day Sports Carnival
Cradle Mountain: one of Australia’s most recognised mountains, it is the centrepiece of Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park is around a 1 hour 30 minutes drive south of Burnie. More >>
Coastal Drive: A day drive from Burnie up the north west coast is highly recommended. The drive can include Wynyard, Table Cape, picturesque village of Boat Harbour, Stanley and Circular Head, Rocky Cape National Park, Smithton, and Marrawah on the west coast. Simply follow Bass Highway west from Burnie. Off the main road you will find Trowutta caves and arch; Hellyer Gorge State Reserve; Allendale Gardens at Edith Creek. The coastal towns of Ulverstone (16km) and Penguin (28km) are to the east of Burnie on the road to Devonport. There are numerous waterfalls to visit, including Dip Falls and the giant eucalyptus tree and Guide Falls. Another recommended day trip from Burnie is a driving tour of the Great Western Tiers. More >>