Situated on the northwest coast of Tasmania, about 40 minutes from Devonport, Burnie is a port city steeped in rich history and culture. Facing the Bass Strait and Emu Bay, it’s also a natural wonderland brimming with national parks, reserves and heritage areas.
As Tasmania’s fourth biggest city, Burnie has everything you need to make your stay as comfortable as possible, including numerous café, restaurants, bars and shopping opportunities.
Burnie is also a foodies’ dream, where visitors can gorge on some of the best cheese in the world: from rich and creamy Camemberts, to pungent Blues and tasty Cheddars.
Cruise ships dock close to town at Burnie port, which is a major commercial port that services Tasmania’s west coast.
A free shuttle bus service is provided which takes passengers into town, stopping at the Visitor Information Centre (at the Makers’ Workshop), the Pioneer Village Museum, and the Central Business District (CBD). The service runs all day.
Burnie port is a major commercial shipping port, and therefore is not specifically geared towards cruise passengers. Having said that, the port contains a number of facilities to make your arrival more comfortable.
- Public toilets
- Free shuttle bus service into town (and back).
Note: the free shuttle bus is the only way in and out of the port.
How to get around
Burnie is quite small and is easily explored by foot.
However, if you’d like to explore the outlying regions beyond the CBD, there are a multitude of transportation options at your disposal.
Taxis are quite common in the CBD, and a number of car hire companies have offices in town – including Hertz and Avis. It is advisable to book your car hire online or directly with the hire car company prior to your arrival in Burnie.
Bus tickets to Devonport – about 90 minutes away – can be purchased in town.
Travel times from the Visitor Information Centre (CBD):
- It is a 2 minute journey to the Makers’ Workshops, which is located in the same building
- It is a 10 minute journey to the Coles supermarket, K-Mart and a variety of food shops and cafés
- It is a 15 minute journey along a boardwalk to the Little Penguin Observation Centre.
- It is a 90 minute journey to Devonport from the Burnie Bus station, which itself is a short 5 minute drive from the Visitor Information Center.
- It is a 25 minute journey to Guide Falls (approximate cost of $45 if taking a taxi).
- Currency - The currency in Burnie is the Australian dollar, which comes in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 coin denominations, and $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 note denominations.
- Time Zone - Burnie is on Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). It is 10 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - Burnie enjoys a temperate climate, with mild summers and cool winters. During summer (December to February), the average temperature hovers between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius. During winter (June to August), the average temperature ranges between 7 and 14 degrees Celsius.
- Guide Falls - A scenic 19 kilometre drive south of Burnie, Guide Falls is a tiered-cascade waterfall located at West Ridgley in the Burnie hinterland. Visitors to the falls can marvel at the 30 metre drop of water before settling down for a picnic or short walk around the falls. Guide Falls is the most accessible waterfall in the Burnie region, and the best time to visit the falls is during winter and spring when water levels are at their peak.
- Makers’ Workshop - Pay a visit to the Makers’ Workshop and discover for yourself why Burnie has earned itself the reputation of being a community that’s ‘good with their hands’. The Makers’ Workshop is the newest attraction in town, and it pays homage to Burnie’s rich history of artisans, makers and innovators. Part contemporary museum, part arts centre and visitor centre, the building won the Tasmanian Architectural Award in 2010. The Makers’ Workshop is open 7 days a week, from 9am to 5pm.
- Little Penguin Observation Centre - If you’re in town between September and March, then head on over to the Little Penguin Observation Centre at around dusk time and watch as hundreds of little penguins waddle ashore to nest in their burrows. The Little Penguin Observation Centre is located on the western end of West Beach, and is accessible via a beach boardwalk. Free tours are given to visitors every evening when in season.