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.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

Sun-soaked and healthy? Perhaps. A decent gateway to Western Australia? Definitely. But a cool place to spend a few days? Until recently Perth just couldn’t …

27 Apr 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
12 tips for backpacking Australia

12 tips for backpacking Australia

Backpacking Australia will almost certainly exceed your expectations. It’s not just that the places you’ll see will be more stunning than you had imagine…

09 Mar 2017 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month