Stanley is a small town on the north-west coast. Travelling west, Stanley is the second-last major township on the north-west coast of Tasmania, Smithton being the other. Stanley is a must visit town and an overnight is essential. This place has a lot to offer and is a heritage mecca.
In 1825 the Van Diemenís Land Company was granted land in north-western Van Diemen's Land, including the Stanley area. Employees of the company from England settled in the area in October 1826. It was named after Lord Stanley the British Secretary of State in the 1830s and 1840s, which later had three terms of office as British Prime Minister.
A port opened in 1827 and the first school opened in 1841. The Post Office opened on July 1, 1845 but was known as Circular Head until 1882.
Today Stanley is a tourist destination and the main fishing port on the north-west coast of Tasmania.
The main street is distinctive for the preserved heritage buildings.
The most distinctive landmark in Stanley is The Nut, an old volcanic plug discovered by the explorers Bass and Flinders in 1798, who officially named it Circular Head. It has steep sides and rises to 143 metres with a flat top. It is possible to walk to the top of The Nut via a steep track or via a chairlift.
The port on the southern side of The Nut is also a regularly used fishing spot.