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Local Information About Stanley, From A Local!

If you're not from Tassie, or you are but from the opposite end of the State and visiting an area you have never been before (it happens!), how can you know where to go and what to do? Of course Tassie4Kids can provide you with some great info, but what about those spur of the moment ideas or places you really want to know more about? The best way to get the answers to those sorts of questions is to seek out a local of the area, and where better to find a local than in the towns local visitor information centre!

The Nut and Stanley Wharf. Image courtesy of Stanley Visitor Information Centre.

The Nut and Stanley Wharf. Image courtesy of Stanley Visitor Information Centre.

We recently spoke to the fabulous team at Stanley Visitor Information Centre, in the far north west of Tassie. Stanley is rich in history, folk law, and beautifully fresh seafood. It was also one of the top 50 small towns in Australia in 2016! Most importantly, the local team really know how to create excitement about their special town and area. In this guest feature, the team share with us what their top tips are for a family vising the area, what you should bring to Stanley and what the benefits are of visiting their local information centre!

TASSIE4KIDS: Introduce yourself and where you are located. SVIC: Stanley Visitor Information Centre,45 Main Road, Stanley. TAS 7331

Tell us a little bit about the services you offer? Kim, the Tourism Manager & staff warmly welcomes everyone to the Stanley Visitor Centre for friendly and updated information for anyone wanting to discover more things to see & do in and around Stanley. Drop in to collect your visitor guides, local maps, book your holiday or talk to a local for some expert advice and warm country hospitality. Services include accommodation & tour bookings, suggested activities, National Park passes, visitor maps, Redline bus bookings, inland fishing licences,bike hire & FREE WiFi & internet.

You work in a magical part of the world; why will families love traveling through your area? Families will enjoy the diversity of this wonderful region, as it offers many things to do and experience on a family level. There are many walks that are available for all age groups, from 10 mins through to full days. From pristine beaches and lush rainforests to climbing/riding the huge rock formation called the Nut. There are many attractions that cater for families including viewing the Australian Fur Seals at Bull Rock to sliding down a 110 meter slide into Dismal Swamp. There are many places for families to unwind with BBQ & toilet facilities as well as a wide choice in areas for camping. The Stanley Visitor Centre offers bike hire from 1 hour to a full day. Summertime is magical with many spectacular beaches to visit in the region (safe for swimming).There are self guided tours to view the little penguins as well as experiencing the local wildlife throughout the area.

Historic Highfield House, Stanley. Image courtesy of Stanley Visitor Information Centre.

Historic Highfield House, Stanley. Image courtesy of Stanley Visitor Information Centre.

What are some of the things you can help with that families wouldn’t have assistance with if booking online? Is there anything families should look out for? We know our business. We are fully informed and familiar of each business and company. We are able to ask our visitors what they most want or request from the business/attraction/site they are interested in, to give them the best experience for their dollar. This cant be achieved by online booking.

You hear it getting around; ‘you will get a better deal if you book online yourself, rather than using a travel specialist’. Is this true? We offer bookings through the center. It takes the hard work out of choosing where to stay for many visitors. If there is abetter deal and online, we inform visitors and let them make the decision for the bookings. Generally we see the same deals, some businesses better than online.

What places, activities or experiences do you recommend in your area for young kids?

  • Stanley Seaquarium showcases the local marine life as well as distinctly unusual marine characters. There is also a room for additional learning information. There are Seahorses, Octopus, Sharks, Southern Rock Lobster and Tasmanian Giant Crabs. The seaquarium offers an up close and personal experience for locals and visitors alike.
  • Dip Falls & the Big Tree; spectacular two tiered water falls located at Mawbanna. There are now a new set of wooden steps to the base of the falls. There is a new viewing platform installed in the river that allows visitors to experience a unique view of the falls. Travel over the bridge to experience another viewing platform that overlooking the falls from the top. Most impressive in the winter months. BBQ facilities are available as well as toilets and parking. 1 km drive from Dip falls is the impressive Big Tree. The tree is 17 meters in circumference. The Big Tree is a relative of the Stringy Bark and is over 400 years old. An easy five minute walk will have you from your car to the tree. Open all year and its free.
  • Stanley Seal Cruise: Stanley Seal Cruises offers a 75 minute cruise from the dockside at Stanley around the back of the nut and along to a large rock (haul-out) called Bull Rock. The Australian fur seals use this location to stop and rest or recuperate or have pups while doing their normal route of travel usually from the east coast of Australia. The cruise showcases the Australian fur seals in close viewing while on board the Sylvia C. Bookings are recommended. Prices are: Adults $55.00, Young Adult $30.00, Child up to 15 $18.00, Child $10.00, Family $150.00. Open daily, closed for winter. Cruises depart at 10.00 am and 3.00 pm.
  • Take a day and lap up the attention while at Arthur River on a wilderness cruise with A.R Reflection Cruises or Arthur River Cruises and experience the wilderness by river travel. (Bookings are recommended)
Stanley. Image courtesy of Stanley Visitor Information Centre.

Stanley. Image courtesy of Stanley Visitor Information Centre.

What places, activities or experiences do you recommend in your area for older kids and teenagers?

  • Feel exhilarated and venture to the top of the Nut via the Nut Chairlift (Open 7 days), arelaxing way to experience this unique & beautiful natural formation. Or explore the Nut by foot – Experience wildlife at your fingertips, stand breathless on the viewing platforms and witness 360 degree views that will leave you in awe.
  • Historic Highfield Site: The original cottage was built in 1827 with Highfield House being completed in 1835. Built for the Van Diemans Land Company (which was established in Britain in approx 1823 to extend on their wool growing Merino Wool business). The company was run by the late Edward Curr. His family consisted of his wife & 15 children. Highfield was built by convict labour for a small community, with extensions of the Homestead, incorporating servant’s quarters. A chapel was included and above the chapel a school room. Stables were built and beautiful gardens were established. The restoration of Highfield Site began around 1987 and has restored the original layout of the properties gardens. Highfield offers visitors a self guided tour with maps and interpretation throughout the site. The availability of guided tours is available for School groups. Pricing: $12.00 Adults/Concession $10.00, Child $6.00, Family $30.00 Open daily from 9.30 am – 4.30 pm .
  • The Stanley Discovery Museum: Discover the development of the settlement with photographs dating back to 1858.Memorabilia, photographs, books and relics showcasing the outstanding past history of historic Stanley and surrounding areas spanning 160 years. Open 11.00 am - 3.00 pm daily Sept-May. Appointments by prior arrangement also possible. School groups are welcome.
  • The Stanley Heritage Walk (Under the Nut): An educational and informative self guided walk around the township of Stanley.The walk explores history, architecture and culture. QR code technology enables the user to experience the walk using their mobile devices with the addition of photos and interactive voice recordings of each location.Time frame is approx 1hr 15 mins. Each location has an information board placed to easily read additional details of each property/location. Free: Available all year round.
  • Tarkine Forest Adventures at Dismal Swamp: Is situated in a millions of year old Blackwood sinkhole. It is the largest sinkhole in the southern hemisphere. Dismal swamp is like an art gallery in the wild. There are two ways to venture into the swamp, for those a little more intrepid can take the 110 meter serpent slide winding into the unknown, or you can choose to walk the shorter route to the bottom. There is 1.5km of board walk to experience Dismal by. There is also 3.5km of forest walk. Through the swamp you will find huge ancient trees, rare fungi and orchids, wildlife (i.e. Devils, Quolls, Pademelons, and a multitude of bird life (i.e . rare Robins, Parrots, Wedge Tail Eagles) There is a licensed cafe at the top/entrance of Dismal. Large vehicle parking. Open from September-end of May. From 9.30 am – 5.00 pm. Closed for winter. $20.00 Adult. $6.00 Child.
Arthur River. Image by Kraig-Carlstrom, courtesy of the Stanley Visitor Information Centre.

Arthur River. Image by Kraig-Carlstrom, courtesy of the Stanley Visitor Information Centre.

I have a friend that is booking a 7-day trip to Tassie with her two kids (5 and 9 years). She is time poor and can’t spare the time to see a travel specialist so she makes the most of her nights to plan and book her trip. What advice would you give her? Choose three or four base regions to discover, and travel the surrounding region to discover that particular area. Visit information centres in each area, as they will be able to inform you of any upcoming events and must see locations. The centres will take the pressure off if you are uncertain in any location. Just remember you wont see everything, so make the most of the each area.

Your top three items families should take with them when travelling to Tasmania?

  1. Appropriate clothing. Be prepared for more than one season in the one day.
  2. Good walking shoes. There are many amazing and off beat walking tracks to discover.
  3. Camera. Tasmania is very very photogenic and you wont want to miss all the action.

What’s your top travel tip for a family holiday in Tasmania? Take your time – Tasmania needs to be appreciated, and there is so much to experience. You can’t always do everything in the time that has been allocated, so just make the most of the place, things you do choose to see.

Anything else you would like to add? Tasmania is so very unique. It is a stand out destination that needs to be seen to believed!


So there you have it! The team are a wealth of knowledge and more than happy to help you out! Be sure to call in and say g'day if you're in Stanley.

The Stanley Visitor Information Centre is locate at 45 Main Road, Stanley. You can contact them on (03) 6458 1330, and they are open from 9 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday. Just look for the yellow i!