A complete travel guide to visiting The Nut at Stanley, Tasmania. Discover one of Tasmania’s most iconic natural attractions in this remote part of the Northwest coast.
Stanley is a historic town situated at the base of “The Nut”, the remains of an ancient volcanic plug. This strange geological phenomenon with a fitting name brings many visitors to the otherwise quiet, rural town.
In this blog post, I’ll aim to share with you everything you need to know about checking out The Nut at Stanley. I’ll fill you in on the short but steep walking track, the chairlift and share some photos of my trip.
Where is it & How Do I get There?
Getting to the nut is fairly easy. However, if you’re planning to get here independently, you’ll need your own vehicle.
You’ll need to head to Stanley, approximately 223 kilometres from Launceston or 125 kilometres from Devonport. Directions here are pretty straight forward and once you get to Stanley, there’s no question about where The Nut is. Stanley is built literally at the base of the plug, while The Nut itself is considered a state reserve (The Nut State Reserve).
If you’re looking to climb The Nut or take the easy way up on the chairlift, then drive to the end of “Browns Road”. An easy marker is “Nut Rock Cafe”. Here, you’ll find a large car park with easy access to the walking track and the chairlift.
If you don’t have your own vehicle to explore the region, then don’t worry. Below I’ve listed some of my favourite and must-do activities and best tours of the Northwest region of Tasmania.
What Actually is the Nut?
As I briefly mentioned, The Nut is the remains of a volcanic plug. While I’m by no means a geologist, I’ll do my best to explain it. Basically, a volcanic plug is the remaining hardened magma from the inside of an ancient volcano. This rock is harder than the old land surface material and therefore remains while the sedimentary material erodes over time. The image below is a good explanation.
There are several volcanic plugs around the world and most share a similar protruding shape. A famous example is the Devils Tower in Wyoming, USA.
Even if you’re not too interested on how The Nut at Stanley formed, it’s undeniably a cool attraction that is definitely worth checking out on a Tasmanian road trip.
THe Nut Chairlift
If you’re visiting Stanley, you definitely need to make your way up to the top of The Nut for awesome views and well, to say you’ve done it!
For those not too keen on taking the steep steps, jump on The Nut Chairlift, located at the car park mentioned in the directions above. Unfortunately, this lift was closed when I visited, (the chairlift is closed in Winter) but it looks to be a fairly unique experience for those visiting in the warmer months.
The chairlift distance is roughly 250 metres and a return ride will cost you $17 per adult. Check updated prices on the official website.
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Walking Up the Nut at Stanley, Tasmania
The trail up is known as The Nut Access Track, which is cement-sealed and rather steep. It takes roughly 10-15 minutes to walk up to the top for awesome views over Stanley. However, if you’ve already made it to the top, why not walk the “Summit Circuit”, a roughly 2 kilometre loop around the circumference and back down to the carpark.
There are several great lookouts along the way with informative singposts about the unique Bass Strait birdlife and the indigenous history about The Nut, Stanley and Tasmania.
Below are some photos that I captured from the summit loop. Make sure to keep an eye out for wildlife too! There are several wallabies and other native marsupials that call this place home.
Where to Get a Great View of The Nut In Stanley
While climbing The Nut at Stanley offers amazing views over the Bass Strait and the surrounding Northwest Tasmania farmland, what about getting a great photo of The Nut itself?
For this, I highly recommend driving over to the northern end of the village, past the Highfield historic site down Green Hills Road. Along the way, you’ll find some great vantage points as well as an official viewpoint area with a big sign.
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What About the Penguins in Stanley?
The Nut isn’t the only standout attraction at Stanley, Tasmania. For nature lovers, you might also be lucky enough to spot some penguins.
For Penguin spotting, I recommend heading to “Godfrey’s Beach Penguin Viewing Platform”, literally just beside The Nut on the northern end. If you visit at dawn or dusk, you might spot a Blue Penguin or two. This species are the only penguins found on Tasmania, and coincidentally the smallest species of penguin in the world.
Where to Stay in NorthWest Tasmania: A quick Guide
Tassie’s northwest has a lot to offer. If you’re planning your trip, consider picking an accommodation option up here as a base, at least for a few days. Below are my recommendation options in the best areas to help you out.
Stay near the Edge of the World
The rugged northwest coast is a great place for adventurers to base themselves.
Stay in Stanley
Famous for the iconic nut but offers great seaside accomodations.
Stay in Boat Harbour
One of the most beautiful and underrated beach towns in Tasmania. A must visit!
Stay in Penguin
A quaint coastal town with a unique name.
More Epic Tasmania Travel Guides and ADventure INspiration
That wraps up this quick guide to visiting The Nut at Stanley, Tasmania. However, don’t go yet. I bet you’re still on the search for some epic Tasmanian adventure and travel inspiration. I’ve spent a fair bit of time exploring this incredible island and have photographed and documented loads of different activities and experiences.
Below is a starting point for you for some more highlights in the region.