A Town Called Penguin!

How would you like to live in a town called Penguin?  Where the kids all graduate from Penguin High, you get parking tickets from the Penguin Police Department (who drive around in black and white checkered cars). There’s the Penguin Fire Brigade, the public trash cans are surrounded by penguin sculptures and emptied by the Penguin Sanitation Department.  You can check out some books at the Penguin Public Library or hit the links just south of town at the Penguin Municipal Golf Club.

Penguin Gold Club Crest

The wonderful Penguin Golf Club crest which is a map of Tasmania and the ball is positioned on the location of the town of Penguin.

Have a bad fall after one too many at The Penguin Pub? Don’t worry, the Penguin Volunteer Ambulance will be there in no time and whisk you off to the Penguin General Hospital emergency room, and on and on.  This is not a dream, as the Penguin Post is happy to report there is indeed such a place.  The town of Penguin, with a population of about 4000 is located on the northern coast of Tasmania, an Australian island just off the southeast coast of the continent down under. 379338_10151365515283194_1316741404_n-1

The wonderfully named Penguin was first settled in 1861 as a timber town, and proclaimed on 25 October 1875. The town was named by the botanist Ronald Campbell Gunn for the nearby fairy penguin rookeries that are common along the coast.

Penguin Park

Penguin Park

The area was first explored by Joseph Fossey who traveled through the district in the 1820s and named the Dial Range which rises behind the town. Timber cutters soon flocked to the area to exploit the rich forest resource. Wharves were built along the coast to allow boats to load the harvested palings and this helped to clear the area where the town site was first settled in 1861 when businessman Edward Beecraft acquired 167 acres of land.tasmania-_31

The town continued to prosper as a port for local produce and it was proclaimed a township on 25 October, 1875. The arrival of the railway in 1901 led to a decline in Penguin’s role as a port as local produce was then transported  by rail along the coast to the larger nearby (unfortunately named) port towns of Burnie and Devonport.

A public trash can in downtown Penguin

A public trash can in downtown Penguin

But, Penguin continued to survive and these days is a mecca for tourists wishing to see the very flightless birds it was named after.  Evening tours to witness the Little Blue penguins returning from their day at sea are readily available in town, although the summer breeding months from November to March are the best time to see the penguins near the town called Penguin.282907_345780722228640_1948643645_a-1

Hundreds of breeding pairs of Little Blue Penguins come ashore after dark and make their way across the sand to burrows that may be among the rocks or in hollow scrapes under tussock grass or in tunnels up to 3 feet deep. There is wonderful statue of a 10 foot tall penguin in the aptly named Penguin Park in downtown Penguin, and a Dutch windmill in Hiscutt Park that was presented to the people of Penguin to commemorate the Dutch settlers in Penguin and the Dutch explorers who were the first Europeans to make contact with Tasmania.  A plaque proudly declares: ‘On behalf of the Dutch settlers of Penguin on the first day of October 1988 as a gift  in the Australian Bicentennial Year’.  A stroll along Main Street will more than confirm there is no shortage of penguins and all things penguin in this, a town called Penguin.

Little Blue Penguins coming ashore near Penguin, Tasmania

Little Blue Penguins coming ashore near Penguin, Tasmania


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One Response to “A Town Called Penguin!”

  1. Wendy Stegman Says:


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