The 24 Best Things to do in Stanley Tasmania

The 24 Best Things to do in Stanley Tasmania

Along the rugged shores of Tasmania’s northwest coast, the quaint town of Stanley beckons travellers with its timeless charm and abundance of attractions. Stanley offers a unique blend of natural wonders, rich history and cultural vibrancy. Whether you’re a nature lover, a foodie, an avid history enthusiast or someone just looking for a fun weekend away, you’ll love immersing yourself in the breathtaking landscapes, captivating stories, unique tastes and sense of community that defines this coastal haven.

From ancient volcanic formations to delicious seafood, historic sites to once in a lifetime animal experiences, Stanley has a huge range of attractions, with something for everyone. In this post we list the 24 best things to do in Stanley, Tasmania. Join us as we navigate through the must-see attractions, hidden gems and local delights that make Stanley such an amazing destination.

1. Take in the Spectacular Views at the Summit of the Nut

A visit to Stanley wouldn’t be complete without making it to the summit of the iconic Nut to take in the spectacular views of the town, the surrounding countryside and the coast. The Nut is a huge volcanic plug that towers over the town of Stanley. At 143m high, it dominates the town’s skyline and makes for a magnificent sight. As one of the town’s most recognisable and popular attractions, you must put a visit to the Nut at the top of your list of things to do in Stanley.

To get to the summit you can either embark on an invigorating short hike or opt for the chairlift. Either way, you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring panoramic views and a leisurely walk at the top. The hike to the plateau of the Nut is a short but extremely steep track of around 400 metres in length and around 90m in elevation. While we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with poor agility or joint issues, the hike is suitable for anyone with reasonable fitness. If you decide to make your way to the top in the chairlift, enjoy feeling the breeze in your hair and taking in the beautiful views without breaking a sweat.

Once you get to the top of the summit you’ll be immersed in the incredible panoramic views awaiting you. The contrast of the vibrant blue waters of the Bass Strait against the lush green countryside is a visual feast. There’s a well maintained walking trail circuit of around 1.9km that goes around the whole of the Nut with multiple lookout points, each offering their own unique perspective along the way. If you have the time we’d recommend doing the full circuit walk.

At the time of writing this (January 2024) the chairlift costs $19 return or $12 one way for adults and $12 return or $7 one way for children. The chairlift also offer family passes that are $50 return or $35 one way.

2. Watch Adorable Little Penguins Waddle Their Way Home After Dark

One of the most enchanting and heartwarming experiences in Stanley unfolds after sunset. At night Stanley provides a rare opportunity to witness charming little penguins return from the ocean and waddle their way ashore. The nightly procession of little penguins returning to their nests along the coastline is a captivating natural spectacle that has quickly become a popular thing to do in Stanley for visiting tourists.

The Godfreys Beach Penguin Viewing Platform is the perfect spot to watch the little locals return. The purpose-built viewing platform is designed to prevent any disturbance to the penguins, with special red lighting and a huge elevated platform that is both wheelchair and pram accessible. The platform also features multiple signs sharing extensive information on the behaviour, biology and conservation of little penguins and the viewing guidelines and approximate viewing times.

In the quiet of the night, the magic begins. Starting with just one penguin, within minutes there’s dozens emerging from the water in small groups. Watch on in sheer delight as they navigate their way under the platform and to their burrows.

There are no entry fees for Godfreys Beach Penguin Viewing Platform, making this a fantastic free thing to do in Stanley.

Wondering where else you can see penguins in Tasmania? Check out our guide: Where to See Penguins in Tasmania: An Ultimate Guide.

penguins stanley

3. Revisit History at the Highfield Historic Site

Nestled amongst the picturesque landscapes of Stanley, the Highfield Historic Site stands as a testament to Tasmania’s colonial history. Immerse yourself in history as you explore this exceptionally preserved estate, which offers a glimpse into the lives of early European settlers and the unique architecture of the Regency Period (1811-1820).

Noted as the ‘birthplace’ of European settlement in Tasmania’s North-West, the historic building was initially constructed for Van Diemen’s Land Company who were granted royal permission to explore unexplored territory. Van Diemen’s Land were assigned convicts to help with the settlement, many of these convicts were highly skilled builders who were responsible for the construction of the Highfield homestead and surrounding buildings. The building was then the homestead for chief agent Edward Curr before he was dismissed in 1842 for underwhelming performance.

Today the homestead is owned by the State Government, is registered as a historic site and has been carefully restored. Visitors can take a self-guided tour through the homestead and surrounds, including additional buildings such as the chapel and horse stables. The self guided tour transports visitors back to the 19th century, where the beautifully restored homestead and extensive signage shows what life was once like. Also enjoy strolling through the meticulously landscaped gardens that surround the homestead.

At the time of writing this (January 2024) the Highfield Historic Site is open 9:30am-4:30pm seven days a week. Admission fees are $15 per adult and $5 per child (5-17 years old). They also offer concession prices and family passes.

highfield historic site stanley
Image taken from the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife website

4. Sip Tasmania’s Finest Whiskies, Gin and Spirits at The Angel’s Share

A haven for connoisseurs and casual enthusiasts alike, The Angel’s Share is a must visit for anyone interested in venturing into Tasmania’s world-renowned distillery scene. Step inside and embark on a tasting adventure that showcases the craftsmanship and artistry of Tasmania’s finest whiskies, gin and spirits.

Upon entering The Angel’s Share, guests are welcomed into a warm and inviting space, where the rich aroma of aged spirits fills the air. For those looking to explore the diverse offerings, enjoy a tasting where you can savour the distinct flavours and characteristics of each pour. Knowledgeable staff members are on hand to guide you through the nuances of each pour, offering insights into the distillation process, tasting notes and the unique stories behind the labels. The Angel’s Share also offer bottle sales so you can grab a bottle (or two) of your favourites before you go.

Additionally The Angel’s Share stock an incredible range of locally handcrafted giftware so you can take home something special for yourself (or someone you love!). Their giftware range includes exquisite art pieces, divine jewellery, fabulous accessories (such as handbags, wallets and shoes) and luxury possum and merino knitwear (including sweaters, socks, beanies and scarves).

angels share stanley
Image taken from the Angels Share Facebook page

5. Step Back in Time at the Stanley Discovery Museum

For a captivating journey into Stanley’s rich history, a visit to the Stanley Discovery Museum is a must. Ran by a passionate team of volunteers, the museum is a treasure trove of artefacts, photographs and stories. The exhibits, rich in local history on the area, families and businesses of Stanley, will transport you back in time.

The museum is inside a former church hall which is sat beside the 1887 St Paul’s Church. Your entry to the museum includes a viewing of the spectacular, historic church which has retained its original interior with multiple stunning stained glass windows.

Stepping back in time at the Stanley Discovery Museum is an immersive experience that invites visitors to unravel the layers of history woven into the fabric of this charming town. From stories of settlement to what life was once like, the museum provides a captivating insight into Stanley’s past, making it an essential stop for those eager to connect with the cultural tapestry of Tasmania.

At the time of writing this (January 2024) the Stanley Discovery Museum is open Monday to Saturday from 11am-3pm. Entry is by a gold coin donation making this a cheap thing to do in Stanley.

stanley discovery museum
Image taken from the Stanley Discovery Museum Facebook page

6. Support Tasmanian Producers, Makers and Food Vendors at the Stanley Harvest Market

For a taste of Tasmania’s incredible offerings and a chance to support local producers and artisans, a visit to the Stanley Harvest Market is a must add to your list of things to do in Stanley. This vibrant market, nestled in the heart of Stanley, showcases the region’s finest produce, handmade crafts and culinary delights, with a dynamic and community-driven atmosphere.

Wander through stalls brimming with colourful fruits and vegetables, artisanal cheeses, farm-fresh eggs, premium spirits and an array of gourmet delights. You can even grab yourself a coffee or a bite to eat from one of the food vendors. One of the highlights of the Stanley Harvest Market is the opportunity to interact directly with the passionate individuals behind the products. Engage in conversations with farmers, makers and food vendors to gain insights into their processes and the stories behind their offerings.

Beyond the culinary delights, the market has handcrafted goods and artisanal crafts. From handmade jewellery and candles to woodwork and pottery, the market offers a diverse range of items that showcase the creativity and skill of local artisans. You’ll also get to appreciate the talent of local artists with live music playing during the market.

At the time of writing this (January 2024) the market runs monthly with varying dates, we recommend checking the Stanley Harvest Facebook page or Instagram to get the details on their next market.

fresh produce market

7. Embrace the Beauty of Stanley’s Pristine Beaches

The stunning coastal town of Stanley is graced with pristine beaches where you can unwind and embrace the beauty of Tasmania’s northwest. Spending the day (or part of the day) at Stanley’s beaches is a rejuvenating and awe-inspiring experience. Stanley has two fantastic beaches; Tatlows Beach and Godfreys Beach.

Godfreys Beach is known as one of the jewels of Stanley’s coastline. Beyond the incredible penguin viewing experience it offers, the beach boasts pristine golden sand against the backdrop of the iconic Nut. A serene spot for leisurely walks, swimming or just basking in the tranquility and beauty of Stanley.

For those seeking a more secluded escape, Tatlows Beach is a hidden gem just a short drive from Stanley. Situated on the southern side of The Nut, the protected beach is broken up by tidal shoals. The calm, shallow water makes it the perfect casual swimming spot. It’s also an ideal spot for a leisurely picnic or a quiet moment of reflection.

godfreys beach stanley

8. Admire the Talent of Local Artists at a Gallery

Delve into Tasmania’s vibrant artistic scene by exploring the local art galleries that showcase talented Tasmanian artists. A must do for art lovers, visiting these galleries is a memorable and enriching addition to your list of things to do in Stanley. There are two small galleries in Stanley; Cow ‘n’ Calf Gallery and Touchwood Gallery.

Cow ‘n’ Calf is a small gallery owned by David Murphy who has his stunning collection of landscape photography and art on display. As he’s a Stanley local, you’ll not only spot incredible photographs of the beautiful landscapes of Stanley but also other amazing landscapes from all around Tasmania.

Touchwood Gallery is a small gallery attached to the Touchwood Cafe and Accommodation that stocks incredible Tasmanian crafts including woodwork, pottery, blown glass, prints, leather items, jewellery and more.

At the time of writing this (January 2024) there are no entry fees for either gallery. Spending a few hours exploring these two galleries is a great free thing to do in Stanley.

If you’d like to expand your artistic exploration outside of Stanley make sure to pop by The Arty Duck. Just 20 minutes south of Stanley, in Smithton, the shop is a centre for Tasmanian artists and craftspeople to showcase and sell their handmade items. Stocked with handmade toys, artwork, clothes, jewellery, woodwork, beauty products and more, the shop is a visual delight worth adding to your list of things to do around Stanley.

touchwood gallery stanley
Image taken from the Touchwood website

9. Appreciate the Humble Beginnings of Tasmania’s First and Only Elected Prime Minister at Joe Lyons Cottage

In the heart of Stanley lies a historical gem that offers a glimpse into the early life and political journey of Tasmania’s first and only elected Prime Minister, Joseph Lyons. A true Tasmanian icon, he was also the first Prime Minister to win three consecutive federal elections, having left a notable impact on Australian history.

Joe Lyons Cottage has undergone careful restoration to ensure its authenticity and historical significance are preserved. As you step inside, you’ll find personal artefacts, historical memorabilia and detailed exhibits that narrate the story of Joseph Lyons’ life, his political career and the socio-political landscape at the time. The cottage provides a nuanced perspective on the challenges and triumphs that shaped his journey.

At the time of writing this (January 2024) entry fees are $4 per adult and there is no fee for children, making this the perfect cheap thing to do in Stanley for anyone interested in Australia’s political history. The cottage is open to the public from the 1st September to the 31st of May between 10am and 4pm (according to the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife website).

joe lyons cottage stanley
Image taken from the Discover Tasmania website

10. Dine on Premium Tasmanian Seafood at Hursey Seafoods

Right along the picturesque shores of Stanley, Hursey Seafoods stands as a culinary haven for those seeking an unparalleled seafood dining experience. Renowned for its commitment to freshness, quality and sourcing the finest wild-caught seafood from Tasmania’s waters, a visit to Hursey Seafoods is the perfect thing to do in Stanley for seafood lovers.

The top floor of Hursey Seafoods is where their award-winning restaurant is. Designed to tantalise taste buds and showcase Tasmanian seafood, their menu features delicious dishes such as creamy seafood chowder, pan seared wild abalone, crayfish, salt ‘n’ pepper squid, panko crumbed scallops and crayfish mac ‘n’ cheese.

If you’d like to whip up your own culinary delight, the lower floor of Hursey Seafoods offer fresh fish sales on a range of incredible seafood including southern rock lobster, scallops, blue eye trevalla and oysters. The lower floor also offers takeaway dishes from their restaurant if you’d like to grab a meal to go.

hursey seafood stanley
Image taken from the Hursey Seafoods website

11. Have a Movie Night to Watch the Romantic Drama Movie that was Filmed Here

Did you know that the romantic drama movie, The Light Between Oceans, was filmed in Stanley? Enjoy a night of cinematic magic with a movie night featuring the romantic drama that was filmed against the backdrop of this charming Tasmanian town. Relive the on-screen romance, marvel at the stunning landscapes and discover the real-life locations that played a pivotal role in bringing the movie’s story to life.

Filmed in 2014 and directed by George Cianfrance for DreamWorks Studios, the movie is based on a best selling novel by M. L. Steadman. While majority of the filming took place in New Zealand, Stanley was crucial for some scenes with its vintage-looking main street, stunning hillside views and classic wharf. The historic main street, Tatlows Beach and Highfield House were used in filming.

Following filming, multiple storyboards reflecting the production were placed around Stanley so make sure to go on a walk through the town to see if you can spot any. We were only able to find one in front of the car park next to the Stanley Hotel.

light between oceans storyboard stanley

12. Get Spectacular Photos at One of the Many Lookouts Around Stanley

Stanley’s breathtaking landscapes are a photographer’s paradise, with panoramic vistas and stunning coastal views. Get spectacular photos of Stanley and The Nut from afar by visiting one of the many lookouts around Stanley. Visit at sunrise or sunset to further enhance the beauty of the landscapes as the town is framed by the dramatic reds and oranges of sunset or the soft pinks, purples and oranges of sunrise.

There are three main lookouts dotted around Stanley, each of which provide incredible views of Stanley and The Nut. We’ve listed these three lookouts below:

  • Jimmy Lane Memorial Lookout
  • Trethewies Lookout
  • Highfield Lookout

All of the lookouts are free to visit making this a fantastic free thing to do in Stanley.

stanley highfield lookout

13. Fish the Day Away at the Stanley Wharf

For avid anglers, the Stanley Wharf is the place to be. Situated at the base of The Nut, the wharf not only provides a picturesque setting but is a prime fishing spot, attracting both locals and visitors.

Cast your line into the waters from the wharf for the chance to reel in a diverse array of fish species. With good catches of snotty trevally, salmon, couta, mullet, leatherjacket, squid, yellowtail kingfish and shark, the wharf is seen as one of the best fishing spots on the north coast.

While waiting for the fish to bite, soak in the breathtaking coastal views that unfold around the Stanley Wharf. It’s a fishing experience that goes beyond the catch itself, offering moments of serenity and connection with nature.

If fishing isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Take a leisurely stroll along the wharf, enjoy the coastal breeze and indulge in some birdwatching as seabirds soar overhead.

14. Have a Tee-rific Time at the Stanley Golf Club

Inviting both seasoned golfers and casual enthusiasts to experience a tee-rific time in this picturesque corner of the world is the Stanley Golf Club. The Stanley Golf Club offers a unique blend of challenging fairways, breathtaking scenery and a warm community spirit. With a challenging 9 hole course and well-maintained fairways, this golf course is bound to leave you with an indelible impression of your time in Stanley.

Golf enthusiasts will find the Stanley Golf Club’s layout both challenging and rewarding. Navigate your way through the thoughtfully designed fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and sand dams that demand precision and skill. The course’s diversity ensures that every hole presents a new set of challenges, keeping both beginners and seasoned players engaged.

Take in the tranquility of the surroundings while perfecting your game. After a rewarding round on the course, retreat to the clubhouse for a refreshing drink and a delicious meal.

close up golf clubs

15. Walk Through History with the Stanley Heritage Walk

Embark on a fascinating journey through time as you explore the enchanting streets of Stanley via the Stanley Heritage Walk. This immersive self-guided tour invites visitors to step back in time with a rare behind the scenes glimpse into Stanley.

The Stanley Heritage Walk is designed for independent exploration, allowing you the freedom to wander at your own pace and delve into the historical wonders that Stanley has to offer. Begin your journey by grabbing a map from the Stanley Visitor Information Centre or pulling it up on your phone.

The heritage walk unfolds across 15 historical sites, each with its own unique story and historical significance. Each site is signposted, these signs serve as your personal storytellers, offering insights into the historical significance of each location and guiding you seamlessly through Stanley’s storied past.

The walk is free to do making this another fantastic free thing to do in Stanley.

16. Visit Stanley’s Iconic Red Phone Box

One of the only two remaining operational phone boxes in Tasmania is located in the heart of Stanley. Sat outside the post office, the iconic red phone box adds a touch of whimsy to the town’s picturesque setting. While not actually used much anymore, the phone box is a popular tourist attraction that’s worth checking out during your time in Stanley.

Snap a photo with the red phone box as your backdrop and admire its vintage charm. The vibrant red phone box against the town’s historic buildings and coastal setting makes for a striking image.

While you’re there make sure to pop in the Stanley Post Office. More than just a post office, they also have postcards, souvenirs, gifts and R.M Williams clothings, boots and accessories on offer.

stanley red post box

17. Indulge Yourself with a Delicious Meal

Stanley beckons not only with its scenic beauty but with a culinary landscape that captivates the senses. Indulge yourself with a delicious meal at a local eatery, where the flavours of the region come to life and you’ll be blown away by the community’s warmth and hospitality.

Being a coastal town, Stanley is celebrated for its fresh and delectable seafood but there are a range of other delicious cuisines on offer. Enjoy discovering quaint cafés, historic pubs and exquisite restaurants during your time in Stanley. Below are a few of the local eateries in Stanley;

  • Stanley Hotel Bistro
  • Touchwood Cafe
  • Stanley Wine Bar
  • Marleys at Sticks & Stones Shells & Bones Stanley
  • Stanley Seafood
  • Nut Rock Cafe
  • The Brown Dog
leederville food safari main thai green curry

18. Spoil Yourself with a Day of Shopping

Once you’ve taken in the natural beauty of Stanley embark on a leisurely day of retail therapy, exploring the local shops and boutiques that showcase the unique charm and craftsmanship of this coastal haven.

After checking out the art galleries we’ve already mentioned, enjoy exploring the streets of Stanley and ambling through the shops. Below are a few of the shops in Stanley worth checking out:

  • Providore 24
  • Sticks & Stones Shells & Bones Stanley
  • Crossland Antiques & Collectables

Things to do Near Stanley Tasmania

While our list has focused on things to do in Stanley, just beyond Stanley are a number of incredible attractions and diverse experiences that promise to enhance your visit. From visiting ‘The Edge of the World’ to exploring Tasmania’s wilderness and frolicking through a flower farm, there are a number of things to do around Stanley that make for fantastic full and half day trips.

If you have the time, consider venturing beyond Stanley’s town centre to explore the following things to do around Stanley.

19. Road Trip Through Australia’s Largest Temperate Rainforest with the Tarkine Drive

Begin your Tarkine Drive adventure from Stanley, setting out on a road trip that leads you through the largest temperate rainforest in Australia, where lush landscapes, diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife converge to create an unforgettable adventure. The start of the famous scenic drive is just a 30 minute or 1 hour drive away (depending on which direction you take it), making Stanley the perfect ‘home base’ for your road trip.

Driving time of the Tarkine Drive alone takes approximately 2 hours but with 20+ great attractions along the trail you can make it as long or short as you’d like. The drive even features campsites so you can make it a multi-day experience if you wish (and try your luck at seeing a Tasmanian Devil!).

We’d recommend visiting as many attractions as you can, they’re each unique and beautiful in their own right, such as; The Sumac Lookout which provides panoramic views across the pristine landscape or Julius River where you can indulge in a walk through the lush rainforest and along a tranquil river.

There are no fees for doing the Tarkine Drive making this a fantastic free thing to do near Stanley.

20. Gaze into the Endless Expanse of Ocean at the Edge of the World

Stand at the Edge of the World on Tasmania’s northwest coast where the ocean unfurls its immense power and beauty. This awe-inspiring spot marks the longest uninterrupted expanse of ocean with the closest land from this point being in Argentina, over 15,000km away. From the strong winds to the relentless crashing waves, this iconic site invites you to marvel at the sheer magnitude of the ocean’s embrace.

Technically a spot along the Tarkine Drive, the Edge of the World has evolved into a popular attraction of its own, drawing adventurers and nature enthusiasts who want to claim that they visited The Edge of the World. Upon arriving you’ll walk a small stretch of boardwalk to a lookout point which features a plaque. Here you can stand on the edge of the world gazing into the seemingly endless expanse of ocean.

There are no fees for visiting the Edge of the World making this another great free thing to do near Stanley.

21. Immerse Yourself in Tasmania’s Raw Beauty at Dip River Forest Reserve

Embark on an enchanting journey, just a short 40 minute drive from Stanley, to explore two iconic natural wonders, Dip Falls and the Big Tree. Tucked away amidst Tasmania’s northwest landscapes, these phenomenal sites make for the perfect day out for those looking to immerse themselves in the tranquility and beauty of the region.

Begin your expedition to Dip River Forest Reserve with a visit to Dip Falls, a two-tiered waterfall accessible by just a short 30 minute return walk. Visible from both an upper and lower platform, each providing a completely different perspective of the magnificent waterfall. Enjoy front-row seats to the spectacle from either platform as you feel the cool mist on your skin and take in its raw beauty.

Continue your adventure by venturing to the Big Tree, an ancient towering gum with a huge 17m girth. A short ten minute return walk will take you to the base of the tree allowing you to take in its impressive size. As you approach the Big Tree, the sheer scale of this botanical giant becomes apparent and it’s a jaw-dropping sight.

There are no fees for visiting the Dip River Forest Reserve making this another great free thing to do near Stanley.

dip falls
Image taken from Craig Doumouras on the Waterfalls of Tasmania website

22. Frolic Through the Flowers at Table Cape Tulip Farm

Just a 50 minute drive away from Stanley is the iconic Table Cape Tulip Farm. With a symphony of vibrant tulips, the farm creates an awe-inspiring panorama that stretches out to the horizon and the nearby Table Cape Lighthouse. The meticulous rows of tulips create a stunning visual effect, inviting visitors to wander through the vibrant corridors and immerse themselves in the sheer beauty of the floral spectacle.

Timing your visit to coincide with the blooming season is essential, the Table Cape Tulip Farm blooms from late September until late October. Spring heralds the awakening of a kaleidoscope of tulips, transforming the landscape into a living canvas that radiates with vibrant hues. Strategically schedule your visit for mid October and attend the iconic Bloomin’ Tulip Festival when the local town of Wynyard comes alive with activities, food and music.

In addition to the hectares of beautiful tulips, the farm also has an impressive indoor display with floral arrangements, potted tulips, cut flowers, souvenirs and an art gallery.

The pricing during our visit (September 2023) was $15 per adult, $2 per child (6-17 years old) and children under 6 were free.

23. Spend the Day at the Rocky Cape National Park

Midway between Table Cape Tulip Farm and Stanley is the underrated Rocky Cape National Park. Known for its rugged coastlines, heath-covered hills, dramatic rock formations, historic lighthouse and important Aboriginal heritage, the park has something for everyone.

Spend the day fishing, swimming, snorkelling, taking on a short stroll or a long day walk, learning about life for Tasmanian Aboriginals or exploring sea caves, rock pools and secluded beaches. Whether you’re seeking adventure along the trails, cultural insights into the park’s past or moments of quiet contemplation by the sea, Rocky Cape National Park invites you to experience the untamed beauty of the northwest coast.

A parks pass is required for entry to Rocky Cape National Park. At the time of writing this (January 2024) a daily pass is $44.75 per vehicle (up to 8 people), 2 month holiday passes are $89.50 per vehicle, an annual pass is $95.30 per vehicle and a two year pass is $121.75 per vehicle. If you’re visiting multiple national parks or spending multiple days at a national park during your time in Tasmania, getting one of the longer passes would be better value.

rocky cape national park
Image taken from the Discover Tasmania website

24. Explore Tasmania’s Pristine Wilderness on the Water with Arthur River Cruises

Explore the heart of Tasmania’s pristine wilderness by embarking on an Arthur River Cruise. Departing from Arthur River (just over an hours drive away from Stanley), the 5 hour cruise allows you to enjoy the serenity of the river and the lush beauty of the Tarkine at a relaxed pace.

As you meander along the tranquil Arthur River take in the towering myrtle trees, ancient sassafras and lush green ferns and undergrowth. Keep a keen eye out for the diverse birdlife and wildlife that inhabit the Arthur River’s surroundings. From the call of kookaburras echoing through the forest to the possibility of spotting eagles soaring overhead, the cruise offers a front-row seat to the natural theatre of Tasmania’s Tarkine area.

Arthur River Cruises offer a few different experiences with a deluxe cruise offering, an original cruise offering and private charters (for small groups or specific events).

At the time of writing this (January 2024) the Deluxe Cruise is $160 per adult and $90 per child (13-17 years old). The Original Cruise is $110 per adult, $40 per child (13-17 years old) and $25 per child (4-12 years old).

arthur river cruises stanley
Image taken from the Arthur River Cruises website.

Enjoy Your Time in Stanley Tasmania!

A trip to Stanley is a fantastic opportunity to explore, appreciate and savour the multifaceted beauty of this coastal gem. No matter what you decide to do during your time in Stanley, every visitor to this beautiful coastal town departs with a heart full of memories and a profound appreciation for the wonders that define this charming corner of Tasmania’s northwest coast.

We hope that our list of the best 24 things to do in Stanley has helped you plan your upcoming trip. We’re sure you’ll have an amazing time in this beautiful coastal town. If you’re interested we’ve also put together some answers for frequently asked questions about Stanley below.

Where is Stanley Tasmania?

Stanley is located on the northwest coast of Tasmania, on a stretch of land that extends out into the Bass Strait.

What is Stanley Known For?

Besides being known as a beautiful, quaint coastal town on Tasmania’s northwest coast, Stanley is most commonly known for the huge volcanic plug, ‘The Nut’, that Stanley is nestled at the base of.

It’s also known for being the location for filming of a romantic drama movie, ‘The Light Between Oceans’ which was filmed in 2014.

How Far is Stanley from Launceston?

Stanley is approximately 224km from Launceston, which is about a 2.5-3 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

How Far is Stanley from Devonport?

Stanley is approximately 124km from Devonport, which is about a 1.5-2 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

How Far is Stanley from Wynyard?

Stanley is approximately 60km from Wynyard, which is about a 45 minute-1 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

How Far is Stanley from Hobart?

Stanley is approximately 380km from Hobart, which is about a 4.5-5.5 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

How Far is Stanley from Burnie?

Stanley is approximately 78km from Burnie, which is about a 1 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

How Far is Stanley from Queenstown?

Stanley is approximately 225km from Queenstown, which is about a 3-3.5 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

How Far is Stanley from Cradle Mountain?

Stanley is approximately 174km from Cradle Mountain, which is about a 2.5-3 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

What is the Population of Stanley Tasmania?

Stanley has a population of 595 (according to the 2021 Census).

What are the Best Things to do in Stanley Tasmania?

There are plenty of things to do in Stanley (and the surrounding area) to make your trip amazing, including:

  1. Taking the chairlift or hiking up to the Nut
  2. Watching little penguins return from the ocean after dark
  3. Visiting the Highfield Historic Site
  4. Enjoying spirit tastings at The Angel’s Share
  5. Visiting the Stanley Discovery Museum
  6. Going to the Stanley Harvest Market
  7. Visiting Tatlows beach or Godfreys beach
  8. Going to local galleries Cow ‘n’ Calf and Touchwood Gallery
  9. Visiting Joe Lyons Cottage
  10. Having a meal or buying fresh fish at Hursey Seafoods
  11. Watching The Light Between Oceans which was filmed in Stanley
  12. Going to the many lookout points around Stanley
  13. Fishing or taking in the views at the Stanley Wharf
  14. Playing golf at the Stanley Golf Club
  15. Doing the Stanley Heritage walk
  16. Visiting the red phone box
  17. Having a delicious meal at one of the local eateries
  18. Exploring local shops and boutiques
  19. Doing the Tarkine Drive
  20. Visiting the Edge of the World
  21. Going to Dip Falls and the Big Tree at the Dip River Forest Reserve
  22. Visiting Table Cape Tulip Farm
  23. Spending a day at the Rocky Cape National Park
  24. Going on a cruise with Arthur River Cruises

Watch Our Time in Stanley Tasmania

If you’d like to you can watch us explore Stanley in our YouTube video below. We take on The Nut hike and watch the penguins return from the ocean after dark before heading to the Edge of the World.


Hey! I’m Lydia and I have been travelling full time with Wehan since 2022. Alongside documenting our travels on YouTube, we put together comprehensive travel guides on the locations we visit here on our website. We also put together guides on other aspects of our travels, such as detailed information on the gear we use, specifics on our van build and tips for van life. Our goal with this website and the guides we write is to help others travel.

At the moment we are currently doing the big lap of Australia in our self converted Sprinter van. Our goal is to continue to push ourselves outside our comfort zone; seeking new adventures, learning about new cultures and seeing as much of the world as possible.