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Discovering the Charm of Stanley, Tasmania: A must stop on your Roadtrip

Nestled on the northwest coast of Tasmania, the picturesque town of Stanley beckons you with its stunning landscapes, historic charm, and a tranquil atmosphere. Known for its iconic landmark, "The Nut," Stanley seamlessly combines natural beauty with rich heritage. Here's your comprehensive travel guide to ensure you make the most of your visit to this gem of a town.


Rainbow over the nut, stanley, tasmania
Credit: Emilie Ristevski

Plan your trip


Embarking on a journey to Stanley from either Hobart or Launceston provides you with an opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes of Tasmania. If you're starting your adventure in Hobart, consider taking the scenic route via the Tarkine Drive. Begin by heading northwest on the Bass Highway (A1) towards Devonport, where you can enjoy coastal views along the way. As you continue, the Tarkine Drive unfolds, guiding you through lush rainforests, rugged coastlines, and charming rural landscapes. The journey offers a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty before reaching the serene town of Stanley.


The Nut roadtrip Tasmania with a 4 wheel drive
Credit: Jason Charles Hill

Alternatively, if you're starting in Launceston, embark on a road trip that takes you through Tasmania's northern landscapes. Head northwest on the Bass Highway (A1), passing through picturesque towns such as Devonport and Burnie. Consider making a stop at the charming seaside village of Penguin, known for its quirky penguin-themed artworks. As you continue, the landscape transforms into rolling hills, and you'll eventually arrive at Stanley. This route offers a mix of coastal vistas and rural charm, allowing you to immerse yourself in Tasmania's diverse scenery before reaching the captivating destination of Stanley. Whether you choose the Tarkine Drive or the northern route, both journeys promise a memorable experience, with opportunities to discover hidden gems along the way.


Must-Do Activities


Exploring


Embark on a journey to the summit of "The Nut," Stanley's iconic volcanic plug, either by tackling the hiking trail or enjoying a scenic chairlift ride. The panoramic views from the top are simply breathtaking, providing you with a perfect vantage point to appreciate the surrounding coastline and the charming town below.


Aerial of Stanley and the Nut, Tasmania
Credit: Lauren Bath

For adventure seekers, engaging in outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, and even penguin tours at Godfreys Beach provides you with an opportunity to connect with the natural beauty and wildlife that surrounds this charming Tasmanian town.


History


Stanley's rich history comes to life through its historic activities, with a focal point being the Highfield Historic Site. Steeped in colonial heritage, this meticulously preserved homestead offers you a captivating glimpse into Tasmania's past. Stroll through the elegant rooms, lush gardens, and outbuildings, all set against the stunning backdrop of The Nut. The site tells the story of the Van Diemen's Land Company, highlighting the challenges and triumphs of early European settlers in the 19th century.


Aerial of Highfield Historic Site, Stanley, tasmania
Credit: Jason Charles Hill

You can explore the servants' quarters, the chapel, and the barn, immersing yourself in the daily life and social dynamics of this bygone era. Additionally, wandering through Stanley's charming streets unveils an array of colonial architecture, with historic buildings like the Stanley Court House and the former Van Diemen's Land Company store providing a tangible link to the town's past. History enthusiasts can truly step back in time, experiencing the ambiance of a bygone era while appreciating the enduring charm that makes Stanley a uniquely historic destination in Tasmania.


Culinary Delights


Stanley's culinary scene is a delight for the senses, particularly renowned for its fresh seafood, with crayfish taking center stage. Indulge your taste buds in a gastronomic adventure by dining at waterfront restaurants like those at The Stanley Hotel, where you can savor delectable dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients. Immerse yourself in the town's maritime culture as you feast on succulent crayfish, oysters, and other seafood delicacies, all while enjoying panoramic views of the coastline.


Lobster woodfire, stanley, tasmania, Cable Station Restaurant & Accommodation
Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

To complement your culinary journey, make sure to stop by the Stanley Wine Bar, where you can unwind and savor a selection of Tasmanian wines. The cozy ambiance of the wine bar provides you with the perfect setting to relax, share stories, and appreciate the local flavors that make Stanley a true epicurean haven in Tasmania.


Arts and Culture


Immerse yourself in the town's artistic ambiance by exploring galleries like The Angel's Share Glass Studio, where skilled artisans craft exquisite glassware, adding a creative and cultural dimension to your Stanley experience.


Stanley village, pastel houses
Credit: Jess Bonde

Where to camp in Stanley?


The Nut at sunset in Tasmania
Credit: Mattea Carson

For those seeking a more immersive experience with nature, camping near Stanley is a fantastic option. While finding a free camping spot can be challenging due to the town's unique geography, being situated in a 'cul-de-sac' surrounded by the ocean, there are excellent RV-friendly facilities available. One popular camping site is located near the beach, offering you a picturesque setting to park your RV or set up tents. Though a small fee is required for this site, the amenities provided, including access to facilities like showers and bathrooms, make it a convenient and comfortable option. Wake up to the sound of waves crashing against the shore and enjoy the proximity to Stanley's attractions, making it an ideal base camp for exploring the natural wonders and historical charm of this Tasmanian gem.


Best Time to Visit: Stanley experiences a temperate maritime climate. The summer months (December to February) are ideal for outdoor activities, while autumn (March to May) provides a colorful landscape. Winter (June to August) offers a quieter atmosphere and a chance to experience the town in a more intimate setting.


In conclusion, Stanley, Tasmania, is a destination that captivates you with its natural wonders, historical allure, and warm hospitality. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, Stanley has something for everyone, making it a truly unforgettable destination in the heart of Tasmania.

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