If you’re new to Australia or if you’re visiting on holiday. One thing you might notice about the land down under is that everything is bigger. The spiders are bigger, the bottles of sunscreen are bigger, even the roads are bigger. And if you’ve ever travelled Australia’s vast roads. You’ll soon notice an intriguing trend of quirky tourist attractions known simply as “big things”.
From the Big Mango to the Giant Koala, there are a wealth of “big things” dotted all over Australia’s varying landscape and it seems that any town worth its salt has its own “big thing”.
The town of Penguin, located on the north-west coast of Tasmania, is no exception. The historical town has, what else but a “Big Penguin”.
Why Visit The Big Penguin
Standing at a towering height of 3.15 metres. The Big Penguin, looks out over the magnificent foreshore and is a must-visit visit if you are in North Tassie.
Originally made from ferro cement but later covered in fibreglass. Penguin’s “big thing” was unveiled in 1975 to mark the centenary anniversary of the town’s proclamation. This popular Tasmanian tourist attraction is great fun for families.
Depending on when you go, you might even see The Big Penguin in costume. For example, in October, The Big Penguin dons pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. If you’ve always wondered what a huge flightless bird would look like in a red Santa outfit, then be sure to visit at Christmas time! Regardless of when you visit, a hug and a selfie is always encouraged.
From the Big Penguin, it’s just a few steps to the picturesque beach or a tantalising choice of delicious cafes and eateries.
The town is just a small detour off the Bass Highway between Burnie and Ulverstone. Making it the perfect place for travellers to take a break and stretch those legs.
Within the town itself, you’ll find more evidence of the local community embracing its namesake, with penguin themed posts, play equipment, and litter bins.
The History of the Town
The town was first settled in 1861 as a timber town and officially proclaimed in 1875. With its dense bushland and easy access to the sea, the settlement soon became a thriving port town known for shipping large quantities of timber across the Bass Strait to Victoria where the gold rush was in full swing. Botanist Ronald Campbell Gunn named the town after the Fairy Penguin, whose rookeries were a common site along the near by coastline.
How to Find The Big Penguin
From the Bass Highway (National Highway 1), take South Road towards Penguin Sports Complex.
Continue on South Road before turning right on to Ironcliffe Road.
At the junction, turn right on to Crescent Street.
Finally, turn left on to Main Road and to your right you will see Penguin Beach, a playground and a three meter tall penguin. Enjoy!
Click here if you would like your very own big penguin T-Shirt!