One of the last towns on the north-west coast of Tasmania is Stanley. Stanley has some interesting scenery and is the main fishing port on this coast as well as being a popular tourist destination.
Stanley was founded in October 1826 by English settlers who were employees of Van Diemen’s Land Company. They named the settlement Stanley after Lord Stanley, the British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, and who later became British Prime Minister.
Stanley was the first location for a connection between the mainland and Tasmania, when in 1936 a submarine telegraph and telephone cable was used between Stanley and Apollo Bay.
What to See and Do in Stanley
Stanley is only a small town but it does have a variety of attractions and makes for a good place to stay for a night or two. There are several nice hotels in Stanley to choose from and this would make a good base to stay if you want to continue around the coast and onto the far west coast of Tasmania. For a great guide to Stanley accommodation, visit Book it Now.
The Nut is Stanley’s distinctive landmark. This odd looking peninsula is a volcanic plug which was first discovered in 1798 by explorers Bass and Flinders. They officially named it Circular Head. The Nut is popular these days for its views over the town and beyond. There is a steep track which you can walk to the top, which stands 143 metres high.
Stanley also has some nice beaches and the Highfield area, just to the north west of Stanley, is a popular spot from which to admire the views of the beaches and the Nut in the distance.
Stanley is also well known as a fishing port, and is in fact the main fishing port on the north-west coast of Tasmania. If you fancy getting out and doing some fishing yourself, this would be a good place to do it from.
Highfield House was the former residence of the manager of Van Diemen’s Land Company and is a popular tourist destination near Stanley. Self-guided tours can be made around the house and grounds during the day, or the evening ghost tours are also popular!
You can also use Stanley as your base for visiting the Dismal Swamp, about 30 minutes south-west of Smithton. The visitor centre and maze are new additions and make for an interesting half day’s outing. The large slide taking you to the forest floor is lots of fun, as is the walkway above the forest!
‘Touring Tasmania – Stanley’ by Claire Bolgil