It had rained overnight, but here, as in Camelot, “by eight the morning mist had disappeared”. I took my time getting ready and by ten set out to explore Stanley – the childhood home of Joseph Lyons, the only Tasmanian to be elected Prime Minister of Australia (1932 – 1939).
Established in the early 1800s by the Van Dieman’s Land Company, Stanley has been officially declared a historic town. One almost gets the feeling that this historic little settlement has not changed much since. Certainly the main street gives a feeling of having stepped back in time. To this day, Stanley does not have a fuel outlet.
The old world shops
Highfield historic homestead stands high on the hill just outside of Stanley and dates back to the 1830s. It is not hard to understand why this spot was chosen. From here one gets a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside. (The image in the header was taken from this spot.) Tours of the house, barns and grounds are popular. For the brave, there is also a spooky night time tour.
Highfield House – 1837
Over the road from Highfield House are the ruins of convict barracks, build from 1834 and occupied from 1836. There were 41 convicts assigned to the Circular Head establishment, half of whom were housed in these Barracks.
My next destination was The Nut Cafe, near the base of the chairlift, and the end of the road. Sitting here, in the carpark I looked out over the caravan park below – caravans, cabins and hostel clearly visible – the rolling hills beyond and the waves gently washing up onto the pristine beach. It was here I met Doug and Val from Sydney. They too were roadtripping around Tassie. We stopped and chatted for some time, till it was time to head off down, before the only supermarket in town closed.
The caravan park from the chairlift carpark
Stanley is a quiet laid back little town the sort of place you want to just linger. This sign, seen on the door of the Coffee Shop and Tea Rooms, says it all.