Things to Look for in Stanley
Driving Times to Stanley
If you arrive into Tasmania on the Spirit of Tasmania Ferry, it is about 1.5 hours drive to Stanley. From Cradle Mountain, cut through on the C132 Cradle Mountain Road to the A10 Murchison Highway and head north towards Burnie. At Yolla take the B26 Mount Hicks Road and join the A2 Bass Highway just to the west of Burnie. The drive will take about 2 hours. From Hobart it is about 5 hours to Stanley via the A1 Heritage Highway through the Midlands and on to Burnie, and then the A2 out to Stanley.
Do not try the route from Hobart to Stanley through Strahan unless you allow about 2 days for the trip. If going this way, it is recommend to spend at least 1 night in Strahan.
History of Stanley
In 1825, the Van Diemen’s Land Company was granted rights to much of this region, and the first settlers and farmers arrived in 1826. While agriculture is still a main industry around Stanley, it is also an important fishing and tourism town. The old whalers and sealers cottages that make up the heart of the town have been preserved and modernized.
Dominating the Stanley skyline is the geologic formation called The Nut. A trip to Stanly is not complete without spending some quality time at this site. The Nut is the remaining core plug of an ancient volcano. The sloping sides have been eroded away to leave the harder, dense rock of the core poking straight up to form a flat topped cylinder. The nut is 143 metres (470 feet) high and can be climbed by way of a foot track from the village. A chairlift also operates to the top of The Nut. Whichever way you decide to ascend, you will not be disappointed by the views and you’ll never forget them.
Consider spending some time in the area and visiting the Highfield Historic Site, taking the Heritage walk through town, visiting the Joseph Lyons cottage, exploring galleries and shops in town, checking out the Discovery Museum, or witnessing wildlife in their natural habitat on a tour. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy your time here!
Farming and Agriculture
The chocolate brown earth of the northwest of Tasmania is very fertile and still grows a wide range of crops from onions to flowers. The beef from Cape Grim cattle is highly prized throughout Australia and Asia by top restaurants.
Fishing and Seafood
Fishing boats still work Bass Strait from Stanley, and fresh fish and seafood can be purchased direct from Hursey Seafoods in the Village. Look for the big, red lobster over the cafe and fish processing building.
Woolnorth and the Wind Farm
If you get a day without wind in Stanley it will be very unusual. Northwest Tasmania sits in the teeth of the “Roaring 40s”, the weather system that whips around the bottom of the globe, causing strong westerly winds on most days. This results in the cleanest air on the planet being at Cape Grim, to the west of Stanley, and also drives the turbines of the Woolnorth Wind Farm. Day tours of Woolnorth are available, but you should book in advance during the December to March period.
Accommodation in Stanley
There is no lack of charm in this town, and the options for accommodation are no exception. Choose between delightful B&Bs, cottages, apartments, inns, modern hotels or even spa cabins!