There is a place in Tasmania called Penguin. When I heard the name I thought to myself, I hope it’s a town full of penguins! but I didn’t really believe that it would be.
Well IT WAS.
Penguin, Tasmania saw a golden opportunity and by god they went for it. There were penguins everywhere I turned, and I knew instantly that there was still good in this world.
Penguin was unsurprisingly named for the fairy penguins that can be found across the northwest coast of Tasmania, though I never did lay eyes on one. The thought of jostling with crowds at the penguin viewing points put me off, because I selfishly wanted the little penguins all to myself.
If I couldn’t see them on my terms, I wouldn’t see them at all. (What’s that thing about cutting off your nose to spite your face?) The real winner was probably the penguins, who I’m sure appreciated one less tourist all up in their business when they are just trying to go about their lives.
Anyway, back to the fake penguins. Everything was called ‘Penguin [type of shop],’ which to me seemed like a cutesy play on words, but was actually standard practice since the town is called Penguin.
I did take issue with Penguin Butcher (see below photo), which seems like a good example of when not to use your adorable town name in your business. Also, that’s Jared in our van who I promise is wearing clothes even though it looks like he’s naked in that shot.
We passed through Penguin in late November, when the town was all decked out for Christmas. Everyone got into the spirit, including the penguin in front of the vet’s office.
But the best penguin of all was this fibro-cement penguin that stands 3.15 meters tall in a prime position along the esplanade. It is usually naked but since this was Christmas you can probably guess what happened.
SANTA PENGUIN. With ornaments. Wait. Santa-Christmas tree penguin? It doesn’t matter. Just have a look:
The penguin was installed in 1975 to celebrate the town’s centenary, and it was built using asbestos. Though this created a bit of a scare once we figured out that asbestos was not exactly ideal building material, you’ll be pleased to know it passed muster in 2008 and it’s safe to give it a great big hug.
Do you know of any other towns like this, where a name has inspired a visible theme? Tell me because I would love to know!