Burnie was our first stop in Tasmania..and as we approached the island in the early morning we saw a very beautiful green colored area…and as we approached the port…we saw the evidence of a huge timber-lumber industry…..as we docked we were next to a huge wood chip pile….with huge conveyor belts and loading cranes….and even though it was a Sunday….obvious that this is a big port for lumber. We were told we could take a shuttle from the ship to the three stops downtown….and we got on one to the downtown area. Very beautiful small town of 20,000….that has some very impressive exports, such as opium for the medical industry. (Morphine)….largest poppy growing area in the Southern Hemisphere, etc….
the first stop was the Makers market, which, in essence, means an indoor museum where there is some artisans, etc…and a large visitors center….very impressive. From there to stop #2 is a 5 minute bus ride, or you can walk the boardwalk….about a 15 minute walk to stop #3 areas, which is in the downtown. Even on Sunday, some very nice small shops in the old town area…..very attractive area.
Stop #2 has a very fine museum, and we were fortunate to see the National Geographic photo display which the city of Burnie now owns. We had an hour there…very impressive.
So, in summary…
- A small town with some great leadership that has compensated for the loss of 3 main industries….by taking advantage of tourism.
- Great weather with a low temperatures of 40 degrees….lots of tropical growth….beautiful beach area.
- A good example of a small town that is very pleased to be part of the tourism industry…with about 35 cruise ships coming in during the year.
- Population has remained constant….replacing the 3 larger industries with small businesses.
- The three industries that left…Caterpillar to Indonesia; Chemical company that polluted the ocean beaches to a red color…..closed…. And the lumber mill, which is now a wood chip operation, in that 80% of the island is wooded.
- Shuttle bus service is excellent….very friendly and helpful and many around the port and the city to help with answers and tourist tips. The Makers Market info booth is outstanding, with some very nice displays.
- Tasmania is a very unique area that has survived as a thriving smaller city in a world wide industry…