On Tasmania’s northwest coast is a popular seaside destination where you can hike, play on beaches and enjoy watersports under the shadow of an old volcano.
Stanley sits at the base of a long-extinct volcano known as the Nut. The attractive fishing village captivates with its colonial houses and rugged windswept coastline. Climb to the top of the volcano, take part in watersports and investigate local history.
Standing on top of the flat-topped Nut is a must-do activity. The panoramic views of the coast and countryside are spectacular. Reach the summit by walking up the steep winding path. Alternatively, expend a lot less energy by taking the chairlift. From your elevated vantage point you can easily make out the Rocky Cape National Park, which could be your next port of call.
The national park is about a 15-minute drive from Stanley and encompasses beaches, bays and rock shelters. Take one of the scenic walks through the landscape and go fishing and boating off the beaches. Enjoy more nature-based experiences at the Tarkine wilderness area. Hike through a rainforest, canoe down a river and stop by a waterfall.
Stanley’s windswept position makes it a fantastic spot for watersports. If the breeze is up, try sailing, surfing, sailboarding and kitesurfing. Reserve your seat on the Sylvia C motor cruiser which travels out to Bull Rock to view the colony of bull seals.
While many people visit Stanley for its natural beauty, there are plenty of other attractions to keep you occupied. See more of the local sea life, including giant crabs, lobsters and sharks at the Stanley Seaquarium. Visit Highfield Historic Site, a regency home from the 1830s with barns, convict barracks, chapel and an ornamental garden. Here you will learn about the first European settlers in northwest Tasmania. Go on a walking or cycling tour through Stanley's streets, where some of the old homes have been turned into cafés and shops.
To get to Stanley on the northwest tip of Tasmania, fly from the Australian mainland into Burnie. From Burnie, it's about a 1-hour drive west to reach the picturesque village and its spectacular surroundings.