When first settled in 1826, STANLEY was described by Lieutenant-Governor Arthur as being “beyond the ramparts of the unknown”. A century on, it somehow retains a suggestion of being at the edge of the world. Amazing, really, considering the thousands of holiday-makers who visit each year to de-stress here, delighting in the historic looks, cosy atmosphere and couple of good beaches on either side of the pretty fishing village and holiday resort. The town remains utterly in awe of The Nut. The eighteenth-century colonial explorer Matthew Flinders called Stanley’s landmark a “cliffy round lump in form resembling a Christmas cake”, not a bad description of the solidified core of a prehistoric volcano rising sheer from the ocean to nearly 150m. Circular Head as it’s officially called (also the name for the surrounding municipality) provided shelter for the fledgling town, founded as the original headquarters of the Van Diemen’s Land Company and the first settlement in northwest Tasmania. It has spread out from the original wharf area but remains a postcard-pretty core chock-full of small historic houses.

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