Choose from 4 Fun Things to Do in Burnie
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You can thank a possum for introducing humans to Gunns Plains Caves, which were discovered by a local Tasmanian hunter when he chased the possum into a hole and instead emerged in a cave. While we’ll never know if he actually found the shrewd, cave-dwelling possum, what we do know is that in only 12 years it went from being an unknown cave to a popular Tasmania State Reserve, established in 1918. When you first descend down into the cave, the subterranean , water-carved beauty is instantly seen in the calcite shawls and large, shimmering flowstones. The sound of water trickling across limestone can still be heard in the cave, and crayfish, eels, and even platypus still splash in the underground river. During daily tours of Gunns Plains Caves, guides will point out the different formations that have slowly formed over time—from the Wedding Cake and Golden Fleece to others with comical, spot-on names that closely fit their appearance. Learn this history of how these caves were gradually formed over time, and marvel at how this wonderland is so magically different—almost surreal—when compared to life above ground.
When visiting Gunns Plains Caves in Tasmania, be sure to wear comfortable shoes for walking and bring along a warm jacket for the cool cave interior. Visitors should be able to comfortable navigate the 54 concrete steps, and endure standing, walking, and touring throughout the well-lit cave. There are six tours daily that run at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm.
Address: Gunns Plains Cave State Reserve, Gunns Plains, Tasmania, Australia TAS 7315, Australia
Hours: Open daily 10am-4pm except Christmas
Admission: Family pass: $40
From $ 122
Towering above the town of Stanley on Tasmania’s northern coast, “The Nut” is a coastal, tabletop hill that rises steeply up from the shore of Stanley’s golden sands. Since much of the land around Stanley is flat, the 500 ft. “Nut” offers visitors a view of the northern Tasmanian coast, where it’s sometimes possible to see wild penguins as they roll and splash in the surf. Keep an eye out for scurrying rabbits and curious Australian padmelons, as you make the steep, 30-minute climb up the 1.8 mile trail. For hikers with any mobility issues, a chairlift operates throughout the day that makes it easy to summit The Nut and experience the view from the top. You’ll find multiple lookouts facing each direction, whether staring north across an ocean that’s flecked with whitecaps and waves, or gazing down on Stanley township where clapboard homes and carless streets give the feel of a coastal fishing village where time slinks slowly on by.
Since the trail to the top of The Nut is steep, only hikers who are relatively fit should attempt the climb to the top. Always be sure to bring snacks and water and walk with comfortable footwear, and stay away from the edge when hiking since winds can often be gusty.
Address: The Nut State Reserve, Stanley, Tasmania, Australia TAS 7331, Australia
Hours: Chairlift hours are from 9:30am-5pm daily. Trail open sunrise-sunset.
From $ 122
Tasmania might be known for Tasmanian devils, but here at the popular Wing's Wildlife Park outside the town of Gunns Plains, guests have the chance to see a number of interesting animals, with everything from emus to bison, camels, koalas, swamp buffalo, and marmoset. As one of Tasmania's largest animal collections Wing's Wildlife Park is home to birds, reptiles, mammals, and even fish—all of which slink, scurry, or swim around their enclosures.
Travelers can walk the grounds that teem with over 100 species of wildlife, or watch as staff members carefully feed the koalas, Tasmanian devils, and wombats. For a real country Tasmanian treat, stay overnight at a cabin or campground and join in a guided evening tour in search of nocturnal creatures—some animals tend to hide or sleep in the heat of the day but suddenly stroll out as soon as the sun goes down.
Most visitors allow at least two hours to tour the park; wearing comfortable walking shoes is recommended. Koala and wombat feedings take place at 11am and 2:30pm, while meerkats are fed at 11:30am and Tasmanian devils at 1pm. While overnight accommodations range from $6 to $130, day tickets cost $22 for adults and $10 for children. Admission is free for kids under 3.
Address: 137 Winduss Road, Gunns Plains, Tasmania TAS 7315, Australia
Hours: Daily 10am–4pm
Admission: Adults: $22; Children: $10
From $ 81
Northwestern Tasmania has some of Australia’s most stunning wilderness scenery, although much of it is only accessible by hiking for multiple days at a time. At spectacular Leven Canyon, however, just minutes from the town of Nietta, experiencing this miraculous, mountainous majesty is as easy as taking a 20 minute stroll through pristine Australian bush. Located in Leven Canyon Reserve, Leven Canyon is a forested cleft that drops nearly 1,000 vertical feet to the Leven River below. At Cruickshanks Lookout, walk from the parking lot out to a platform that hangs out over the canyon, and offers a sweeping, panoramic view of the Leven Canyon Basin. Straight ahead is Black Bluff, a tree-covered mountain that at 4,400 ft. is often snowcapped in winter, and while visitors with even the slightest fear of heights might get nervous out on the platform, the epic view and fresh mountain air make the entire experience worth it. To complete the loop trail back to the car, continue on the aptly named Forest Stairs, where nearly 700 stairs link up with a trail that loops its way back to the parking lot. For a completely different vantage point, hike the Canyon Floor walk to the rushing Leven River, where you can continue on for 30 more minutes to the scenic Devil’s Elbow. Here you’re immersed in a wilderness setting that’s virtually remained untouched, and only a moderate 1 hour stroll away from where you parked. You’ll also find tracks to cascading falls and all-day trails to the summits, so whether you’re an avid, outdoorsy hiker or simply in search of a stroll, Leven Canyon is a wilderness site that travelers of all ages can enjoy.
Closed toed shoes are recommended for hiking and weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, with cold weather possible in summer. There can often even be ice and snow in winter, and hikers will find tables, BBQ areas, toilets and basic shelters.
Address: Leven Canyon Regional Reserve, Nietta, Tasmania TAS 7315, Australia
From $ 122