Stanley – An escape for the soul
Perched at the edge of the world, the tiny fishing hamlet of Stanley in far north west Tasmania lures those seeking a path less travelled. Woven into its very core is the true essence of Tasmania – dramatic history, gourmet indulgence and rugged beauty beyond compare. It’s a wild spirit that etches itself into one’s soul.
In the same way that intrepid explorers Bass and Flinders saw it from the ocean in 1798, travellers to Stanley continue to pause in silent awe of Moo-Nut-Re-Ker, or simply ‘The Nut’. Whilst volcanic rock once spewed into these skies, this huge rocky monolith now dominates the landscape anchoring the township nestled snugly at its base. Climb this imposing figure to really awaken your lungs, or take the chairlift and lose yourself in the dramatic panorama beyond.
Venture to this quiet Tassie corner and be well rewarded. Small but diverse, Stanley is ripe for the adventurous family, the dedicated foodie or the luxury road tripper. Filled with salt of the earth characters, you’ll be genuinely welcomed.
History binds the threads of this village together. Wander along Alexander Terrace and breathe in the gentle parade of nineteenth-century cottages. Every dwelling beckons with a story, including that of the country’s only Tasmanian-born Prime Minister, Joseph Lyons. The tranquil aura of this virtually unchanged streetscape is why Hollywood films (Light Between Oceans), MasterChef and the Aldi brand have all chosen to shoot major works here.
Check in to Stanley and you’re checking in to something unique. The owners of the uber-hip Ship Inn guesthouse were originally from Hobart but found their calling hosting style-hungry guests from across the globe. “There’s something truly wonderous here,” they say. “It’s a town to lose your heart to…one that will become part of your own story.”
Whilst appetite may drive you to the internationally renowned cooking school sponsored by Cape Grim Beef, connection will keep you there. Discover the farm, understand the value of grass fed beef and bask in tales from the producers themselves. The local foraging adventure ends at the stunningly renovated Highfield Historic Site. Filled with the relics of yesteryear, the delight you’ll experience whilst cooking is not confined to your tastebuds alone.
Fisherman’s Dock is the place to don your puffer jacket and jump aboard the local seal cruise. Nearby Bull Rock is home to over 500 Australian fur seals who spend their days frolicking in the clearest of ocean waters. Dolphins and southern right whales join them when the seasons allow. A feed of classic fish and chips on the beach, or an indulgence in fresh southern rock lobster, is the ultimate means to appease a stomach awoken by all that roaring forties air.
As the sun fades below the horizon the local penguins return after a day’s fishing. Elsewhere this would be a paid experience, but the Stanley foreshore treats one to unencumbered views of nature at its very best. The penguins waddle right by on their dusk march towards their burrows. Bring your soul, Stanley will do the rest.