Stanley, Tasmania Walk

Stanley, TAS, Australia; Smithton, TAS, Australia
Distance: 37 km

The town of Stanley lies sheltered beneath Circular Head, known as The Nut, a volcanic plug which forms a massive headland projecting from the surrounding low relief coastal topography.

Stanley, Tasmania Walk - Cya On The Road

Stanley was the first settlement in north west Tasmania. Development of the region began when favourable reports of the area in London led to the formation, under Royal Charter in 1825 of the Van Diemen's Land Company, which was granted 350,000 acres in the area to raise fine-wool sheep.

By the 1840s the company was selling land to private buyers, and town development began. In 1842 the company organised John Lee Archer to design the township, which he named Stanley after the then Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Stanley Heritage Walk

The settlement at Circular Head was established as a company town, to be inhabited by tenants, and consequently comprises mainly simple weatherboard cottages, providing good examples of vernacular timber architecture, with some masonry buildings. The buildings form fine consistent streetscapes. Most structures are single-storey, with two storey buildings limited to the main street.

Stanley as we know it started with the first gazetted street plan of Stanley drawn up by John Lee Archer, renowned architect and civil engineer and recently appointed police magistrate, in August 1843. John Lee Archer prepared a second town plan in 1848 when the population of Stanley was listed as 127 men, 41 women and 65 children. At that time Stanley had 20 shops and stores, an Anglican Church, parsonage, school and police office.

Leasing blocks of land by the VDL Company began as soon as Archer had finidhed his survey but it was not until 1851 that the first blocks of land were sold to independent settlers.

Although the importance of the town as a port has fluctuated over the years, it has always been significant, and initial settlement extended in a line from the harbur to a broader elevated area cut into the lower slopes of The Nut. The harbour includes wharves and sea walls which provide archaeological interest and enhance the character of the town.

Today, the town comprises mainly simple weatherboard cottages, providing good examples of vernacular timber architecture, with some masonry buildings. The buildings form fine consistent streetscapes. Most structures are single-storey, with two storey buildings limited to the main street.

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