Climbing The Nut: Stanley, Tasmania

Stanley is a very small town (pop. <500) in the North West corner of Tasmania. It was barely mentioned in any of my guide books, which is a shame since it was such an interesting town. Originally known as Circular Head, the first cables laid across the Bass Straight from Melbourne were connected here, allowing Tasmania to communicate with mainland Australia. The main attraction in Stanley is a large rock formation nicknamed ‘The Nut’ after settlers tried to blast away the odd formation, however, after setting off 5000 pounds of dynamite nothing happened – it was said “that is one tough nut to crack” and the name stuck.

On the drive to Stanley along the Northern Coast I was amazed to find that you can see ‘The Nut’ from half-way across the island. There is a chair-lift that operates, however there is also a trail to take if you prefer to hike up and down (which I did). You can get one-way chair-lift tickets if you only want to hike one way, however, you must buy these at the bottom – you cannot wait until after the hike up to decide if you want to hike down like I tried to do.

The trail looks pretty easy from the maps on the ground, but what they don’t tell you is that the path goes almost directly straight up. It is pretty steep so shoes with good tread are necessary and I would only try the path on dry days. On the trip back down I quickly learned that the railing is there for a reason, and after falling on my ass twice I used it to guide me the entire way back to the bottom.

As soon as I reached the top the view was incredible. There are paths that circle the outer edge of the Nut with historical signs, but visitors are free to wander the inside as well.

No matter which direction I looked the views just kept getting better.

Climbing the Nut in Stanley was one of the highlights of my time in Tasmania and I highly recommend taking the time to visit it.

Love, Lee


~ by loveleeeee on May 28, 2011.

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