Early one morning while we were docked in Burnie, a small group of us hiked from the port to downtown and then out to a beautiful natural park on the edge of the city. Fern Glade Reserve is one of the city’s most valuable natural and recreational resources — a peaceful river valley on the edge of the city of Burnie, Tasmania, Australia. It is located about 4 km (2.4 miles) from the City center to the main entrance and it offers long walks along the banks of the Emu River and the chance to see platypus surfacing. More than a dozen species of native orchids have been noted along the walking tracks.
The level path that runs along the edge of the Emu River is dotted with interpretive signs about the platypus. The mammal is endemic to eastern Australia, but the Tasmanian platypus is larger than its mainland counterpart, and spends more time on land. Some of our group were able to spot platypus in the Emu River from a platform on the edge of the river, accessed from the walking track in the fern glen. By the time we all got back to the ship, we had hiked over 10 miles through the city and through the fern glen.