A small coastal town on Bass Strait, Penguin is a centre for a pastoral, dairying and market gardening district

Penguin has two strikingly interesting churches which make the beachfront area of the town quite exceptionally attractive. The Uniting Church is a beautiful old timber church with some particularly attractive decorative flourishes. It was completed in 1903 with some attractive woodworking flourishes. St Stephens Anglican Church was built on land given by Alexander Clerke in 1874. Its construction - a bluestone base and timber with a shingled roof and bellcote - is typical of the materials available in the local area at the time. It is a simple church which comprises of a nave, chancel and vestry.

Visitor information Centre

78 Main Road, Penguin. Ph (03) 6437 1421

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Where Is it?

124 km north west of Launceston, 29 km west of Devonport, 283 km north west of Hobart, 17 km east of Burnie between Burnie and Ulverstone off Bass Highway.

Things To See And Do

Arnold Street, Penguin
Trading: Every Sunday – 9am – 3:30pm. Type: General. Phone: 0404 011 846

Penguin is home to the Big Penguin (3.15 metres high) and all the bins in the town have cement penguins along the sides. Penguin is a great place for fishing; there are Trout in Penguin Creek and many different types of fish can be caught in the surrounding sea.

Penguin has the smallest gaol in Tasmania, if not the whole of Australia. Originally sited in Crescent Street behind the Courthouse (now the senior citizens club), it was built to hold prisoners awaiting transport by train from Penguin on their way to the Law Courts of Launceston.

A popular attraction are the fairy penguins which can be seen arriving each evening between November and March. Contact the local visitor information office on (03) 6437 1421 for details of where and how to see them. Hundreds of thousands of these fascinating creatures live in colonies on the remote islands off the Tasmanian coast. Only a small percentage of the Fairy Penguin population come ashore on mainland Tasmania.

Johnsons Beach lies just west of the Uniting Church. It is a popular place for walks at low tide as the reef is exposed and is well worth worth exploring.

Penguin Railway Station

Penguin History Group occupies two rooms at the station where local memorabilia such as historical photos are displayed each Wednesday between 10:00am and noon for tourists and locals to view. ��Also located next to the railway station is the ���Old Penguin Gaol���, circa 1902���1962. The old gaol was originally located behind Penguin��� s courthouse, but was restored and resited in 1992 by the Penguin Apex Club.


Jasper occurs as small water-worn pebbles scattered along the foreshore from Tea Tree Point to Penguin Point. Fossickers may collect only loose jasper pebbles and must not damage the rock formations. It is a little known fact that the shoreline near Penguin was the site of Tasmania's first silver mine. Opened in 1850, the mine produced 157 ounces to the tonne. the ore also contained considerable amounts of copper, nickel, cobalt ,ead, arsenic, sulphur, manganese and some gold.

Surrounding Area

Dutch Windmill

The replica Dutch windmill in Hiscutt Park was presented to the people of Penguin as a Bicentennial Gift from the Dutch community to commemorate the Dutch settlers in Penguin and the Dutch explorers who were the first Europeans to make contact with Tasmania.

Ferndale Gorge Forest Reserve

From the well-equipped picnic area there is a short walk up along the stream through beautiful shady manferns and tall Eucalypt forest to an historic mining area and Thorsby’s Tunnel.
Location: Ironcliffe Rd, Penguin

Gunns Plains Caves

Gunns Plains Caves (32 km south) feature spectacular formations, glow worms and an underground stream. Includes one of the southern hemisphere’s largest shawl formations.


There are a number of excellent walks in the area including trails up the Dial Range to Mount Montgomery and, closer to the town, the Ferndale Bush Walk which includes Thorsby’s Tunnel, an old silver mining shaft. It is possible to walk from here right through to Cradle Mountain, however this is serious trekking and not to be undertaken lightly. Details of all the walks are available from the Tourist Information Office opposite the Big Penguin.

Leven Canyon

Leven Canyon (40 km south) has become a popular tourist destination offering interesting and pleasant bushwalks, good picnic and barbeque facilities and views down the 250 metre Leven Canyon. It is possible to walk through the gorge but allow a full day.

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