Circular Head and The Nut, Australian Geographic

Population 459

This quaint village nestles at the base of an ancient outcrop called The Nut, which rises 152 metres with sheer cliffs on three sides. Matthew Flinders, upon seeing The Nut in 1798, commented that it looked like a 'cliffy round lump resembling a Christmas cake'. Today visitors come from far and wide to see this 'lump' and the historic township beside it.

Visitor Information

45 Main Rd; (03) 6458 1330

Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

  • Smithton

    This substantial town is renowned for its unique blackwood–swamp forests. Smithton services the most productive dairying and...more

  • Wynyard

    This small centre at the mouth of the Inglis River has charming timber buildings and is located on a stunning stretch of coastline in an...more

  • Burnie

    The first European pioneers believed the Burnie area to be agriculturally rich, but high rainfall and dense forests covering the surrounding...more

In Town

The Nut The remains of volcanic rock, The Nut looms above the surrounding sea and provides spectacular coastal views.

Historic buildings: many in the wharf area, including the bluestone former Van Diemen's Land (VDL) Company store in Marine Park.

Lyons Cottage: birthplace of former prime minister J. A. Lyons, with interesting memorabilia; Alexander Tce.

Hearts and Craft: fine Tasmanian craft; shop closes during quieter months, 12 Church St.

Discovery Centre Folk Museum: displays of local history; Church St.

Touchwood: quality craft and woodwork; 31 Church St.

Cemetery: graves of colonial architect John Lee Archer and explorer Henry Hellyer; Browns Rd. 

Stanley Seaquarium: Tasmanian marine species including huge rock lobsters and giant crabs; Fishermans Dock; (03) 6458 2052.

Penguins: evening tours to see little penguins and platypus in their natural environment Sept–Apr; bookings on 0448 916 153.

Seal cruises: daily trips to see offshore seal colonies; bookings 0419 550 134.


Highfield Historic Site The headquarters of VDL Co, Highfield contains a homestead with 12 rooms, a chapel, convict barracks, a schoolhouse, stables, a barn, workers' cottages and large gardens. Green Hills Rd; 2 km N.

Dip Falls: double waterfall in dense rainforest and eucalypts. There is a picnic area nearby; 40 km SE off hwy, via Mawbanna.

Eco-friendly activities around town

Tarkine Forest Adventures at Dismal Swamp 17 km

This is a strange mix of natural history, art installations, public relations for Forestry Tasmania and a wild and riotous 110-metre slide. The experience is set in the only known sinkhole in the world with a thriving... Find out more

Creative Paper, Burnie 61 km

Make your own paper with recycled bits and pieces on a half-hour tour at this non-profit, community-based enterprise. They use all sorts of odds and ends to make their eco-friendly papers, including old jeans, fruit pulp... Find out more

Hiking the Penguin to Cradle walk 76 km

If you want to embark on a little-known, but highly varied Tasmanian bushwalk, try part or the entire 80-kilometre Penguin to Cradle walk. It starts at the coast, goes through a mix of rural areas, woodlands, canyons,... Find out more

Gunns Plains Cave 85 km

Located just south-west of Gunns Plains (some 23 kilometres south-west of Ulverstone), this is yet another great limestone cave. It has one of the largest shawl formations in the Southern Hemisphere, glow worms aplenty... Find out more

Giant crayfish research, near Ulverstone 87 km

Tasmania has the largest freshwater crayfish in the world, and they can grow up to a metre in length, with claws that could cut a person’s hand off. You can go out on a research trip with the world’s expert... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Hursey Seafoods

Head down to the wharf end of Alexander Terrace to discover Stanley’s best-kept secret: here, under the spiky legs of a giant red crayfish, is Hurseys Seafoods, reputed to be one of Tasmania’s best seafood... Find out more

Moby Dicks Breakfast Bar

Whether you’re heading into the Roaring 40s at the western edge of Tasmania, south to the deep dark forests of the Tarkine or just moseying around Stanley for the day, you’ll need a nutritious start. Moby... Find out more

Old Cable Station Restaurant

The owners of the Old Cable Station follow the sun, migrating between the tropics and Tasmania each year, so this excellent fine-dining restaurant is only open in summer. The isolated, windswept surroundings of the... Find out more

Stanley Hotel

A visit to the local pub is a good way to get to know a place, and at this lovely 1840s hotel the vibe is all about fantastic local food. The produce is all from ‘the coast’ and one look at the menu will have... Find out more

Stanley’s on the Bay

This fine-dining restaurant is housed in a wharfside bond store, built from the stone and ballast brought to the port in the holds of sailing ships. Its nautical-themed interior is warm and inviting, with tables set... Find out more

Campsites around town

Black River camping area 10 km

These secluded sites are nestled in coastal vegetation next to the Black River estuary. There is safe swimming at lovely Brickmakers Beach and a boat-launching ramp into the river. This large campground is part of the... Find out more

Peggs Beach camping area 11 km

This small campground is very popular with locals, so you will be lucky to find a spot here in the summer holiday season. Although it is close to the highway, it is right next to a gorgeous, wide beach with... Find out more

Montagu Recreation Reserve camping area 27 km

This very picturesque campground on the edge of remote Robbins Passage is only open Nov–Apr each year, so if you want to camp under the shade of these beautiful gums, it is a good idea to book ahead. There are 46... Find out more

Julius River Forest camping area 49 km

On the northern edge of the huge Tarkine rainforest wilderness, this forest camping area is 10 km east of the Kanunnah Bridge and Sumac Lookout on the South Arthur Forest Dr (C218). At Julius River Reserve, there are 6... Find out more

Green Point camping area 55 km

Green Point is the end of the road heading west. This grassy camping ground faces onto wild surf beaches, where huge ocean swells roll in uninterrupted from South Africa. Bring good shelter as the campground is open and... Find out more

Prickly Wattles Campground 62 km

There are plenty of secluded, sheltered sites at this extensive camping ground next to the road, 2 km south of Arthur River. Reputed to be a very good fishing destination, the beach at Arthur River has firm sand and... Find out more

Manuka Campground 62 km

At remote Arthur River, this large campground is the nicest of the 3 in the area and has sheltered spots for large rigs. Keeping out of the wind is a priority here, but if you want to feel the true force of west-coast... Find out more

Peppermint Campground 62 km

This camping area in the township of Arthur River has the BBQ you will need to cook that freshly caught salmon, even if the weather is too wet to get the fire going. These sites are on the smallish side, so large rigs... Find out more

Pioneer Park camping area 78 km

Set among farmland and forested hills 15 km from Penguin, the tiny settlement of Riana is picture-postcard pretty. Its quiet little campground is on the left-hand side of the main road (B17), just past the cricket oval... Find out more

Waratah camping area 78 km

Formerly the location of the world’s leading tin mine, Waratah now welcomes tourists not miners, although there is still gold to be panned in nearby creeks. In the middle of town, there is a lake and waterfall;... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Stanley Cabin and Tourist Park

This park, on the water’s edge, is a 200-metre stroll from the centre of town and a perfect base for exploring historic Stanley. The spectacular geological feature, The Nut, which is the remains of an old volcano,... Find out more

Crayfish Creek Van and Cabin Park and Spa TreeHouse 14 km

In a distinctive bushland setting, this park is tucked away on the banks of Crayfish Creek, a short way in from the coast. It is a popular park during holiday periods, when the weather is warmer for swimming and camping.... Find out more

Beach Retreat Tourist Park 45 km

Located at the mouth of the Inglis River and on the beachfront, this park is within walking distance of the town centre. It has good facilities and is ideal for an overnight stay or a few days. Bookings are required in... Find out more

Penguin Caravan Park 75 km

This beachfront park at the western end of town has undergone a makeover. The waterfront sites have been refurbished and the park has a licensed restaurant. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Wings Wildlife Park 84 km

Staying here is a different experience. There is trout fishing, bushwalking, kayaking, golf, and more. The park has good facilities including powered sites, but we would opt for the unpowered riverfront camping area. The... Find out more

BIG4 Ulverstone Holiday Park 86 km

This is a good quality park with spacious grassy areas and a range of facilities, about 1 km from the town centre and close to the surf club on East Beach. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

@ VDL Stanley

As you approach this 1843 bluestone warehouse, at the wharf end of Stanley’s heritage-protected precinct of fisherman’s cottages, there’s no hint of what lies inside. Outside it’s all quaint... Find out more

Abbey’s Cottages

If history and heritage are your passions then not only is Stanley the place for you, but these cottages are perfect for your stay. You’ll be spoilt for choice though, as there are seven to choose from and they... Find out more

Beachside Retreat West Inlet

In contrast to Stanley’s heritage appeal, these futuristic eco-cabins have an eye on tomorrow. Treading lightly on the land – and what a fabulous plot of land they have, on the dunes of a near-deserted inlet... Find out more

Gardenia House B&B

Sheltered from the Roaring 40s by The Nut at its back, this 1880s Federation house stands out from other cottages along Stanley’s historic Alexander Terrace because of its pretty-as-a-picture blue and white... Find out more

Horizon Deluxe Apartments

Open the electronic blinds in these two glass-fronted contemporary apartments for a new take on Stanley’s weird landscape with its volcanic ‘Nut’ dominating the surrounding plains. It’s a... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Mountain Valley, Loongana 92 km

Mountain Valley is off the beaten tourist track, situated around 64 kilometres south-west of Devonport (due south of Burnie). Visitors here stay in rustic cabins with open fireplaces on a private and remote 60-hectare... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Black River camping area 9 km

T/O 44km W of Wynyard (R) or 23km E of Smithton (L)

Secluded campsites 1km to 5km (unsealed) off the highway in the scrub near the river.

Peggs Beach camping area 11 km

42km W of Wynyard (R) or 25km E of Smithton (L)

Adjacent to the highway. On the foreshore.

Brickmakers Beach rest area 12 km

40km W of Wynyard (R) or 27km E of Smithton (L)

Adjacent to the highway. On the foreshore.

Sisters Beach rest area 28 km

T/O 13km NW of Wynyard (R) or 54km SE of Smithton (L)

Shady area on the foreshore 8km north of the highway via Sisters Beach Rd.

Wynyard park area 45 km

At Wynyard

On the foreshore at the east end of town via Mt Hicks Rd.

Green Point camping area 55 km

T/O at Marrawah

On the foreshore 1km north-west of Marrawah via Green Point Rd and Beach Rd (unsealed).

Somerset park area 55 km

At Somerset

At the junction with Bass Hwy on the banks of the Cam River.

Prickly Wattles camping area 62 km

T/O at Marrawah

Just off Arthur River Rd in a natural bush setting 17km (partly unsealed) south of Marrawah.

Peppermint Camp Area 62 km

17 km S of Marrawah at Arthur River

Open camp area just off the road into town on the north side of Arthur River township. Good facilities. Limited shade.

Hellyer Gorge rest area 63 km

40km S of Somerset (L) or 66km N of Tullah (R)

Just off the highway surrounded by forest.

Fossey River rest area 81 km

67km S of Somerset (L) or 39km N of Tullah (R)

Just off the highway among some trees.

What's on around town

Melbourne to Stanley Yacht Race: Nov.

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