The town of Penguin is unique in that it is the only place in the world with this name. There are penguin ‘everythings’ here. The Big Penguin is located right on the foreshore, all the bins in the town have penguins on them, the cafes, restaurants and shops all have penguin names or themes and there is the Penguin Market – the biggest undercover craft market in Tassie and it’s only open on Sunday – which, as luck would have it, is tomorrow! I do so love a market.
Penguin gained its name from the fairy penguin colonies which dot the coast in this part of Tasmania. The discovery of the first silver in Tasmania at Penguin, followed by discoveries of copper did not accentuate settlement until the gold rush in Victoria in the late 1850s which created a demand for pailings, provided by splitters cutting in the Penguin district, where you can witness the long piles of black rocks offloaded by Victorian ships as ballast when landing onto beach so they could load timber back to Victoria circa mid 1800.
Penguin was one of the last districts settled along the North West coast of Tasmania, possibly because of an absence of a river, for safe anchorage. Nearly all travel in those days was by boat as bush made the land almost impenetrable. Many of the settlers probably emigrated from Liverpool via landing in Launceston then sailing west along the coast.
This is the little hotel we’re staying in. It has recently been listed on the Tasmanian Heritage register and has quite a history in the banking industry. It was first built in 1902 and was a bank until it was sold in 1984 as a private residence, then in 2002 the new owners took over and created what they call “the ultimate beachfront accommodation”