Take a step back in time and visit the Highfield Historic Site in the northwest of Tasmania, near Stanley. Remarkably intact, the house is a gentleman’s home and farm from the 1830's. With gorgeous views of Stanley and the popular tourist attraction ‘The Nut’, combined with the lavish gardens, the site is a pleasant visit that will fascinate history buffs and give an interesting account of an important period of Tasmania’s history. Image thanks toTourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy.
Highfield Historic Site is just 3km down the road from picturesque Stanley and located at 143 Greenhills Road.
Visitors are welcome daily from September through May. In June to August the site is closed on weekends. Entrance fees apply. Groups are welcome and the site is also available for events such as weddings and meetings as well. Image thanks to Wai Nang Poon.
There is one accessible toilet and some sections of the site are wheelchair accessible.
The Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL) came to the region in 1826 and essentially formed the cornerstone for European settlement in northwest Tasmania. The company was granted royal permission to select unexplored territory, and Circular Head was chosen as the ideal spot given its view of the harbour and plentiful supply of fresh water.
Life was rather primitive and simple on the outset. The first settlers were no strangers to hardships and challenges, including brutal battles with the local Aboriginal settlers. Nonetheless, the land was eventually cleared and infrastructure began to take shape. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett.
In 1831, the chief agent of VDL, Edward Curr, planned for a larger homestead for his family. Construction began in 1832, adjoining the weatherboard cottage that had until that time served as Curr’s home. It was completed in 1835, with repairs, alterations, and expansions conducted in the late 1830's and during the 1840's.
Due to the company’s underwhelming performance, Curr was dismissed in 1842 and by the late 1840s, the company decided to sell or lease most of its holdings. In the ensuing years, the homestead was leased out and the company’s headquarters moved to Burnie. It was then sold to various owners until it was acquired in 1982 by the State Government and is now administered as an Historic Site and been extensively restored. Image thanks to Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman.
Other rooms, buildings, and landmarks as part of the homestead included the chapel (later used as a storehouse), barns (later converted to a large shearing shed), horse stables, pig sties and boiling house (later made into a slaughterhouse), cart shed, cottages, and funerary monument (for Curr’s 2 year old daughter who died tragically on property).