Tasmania Travel Tips: A Weekend Trip to Stanley from Hobart

Stanley is a sleepy town situated on the north-west coast of Tasmania. It has a handful of quaint hospitality venues and a wharf area, but the big attraction of Stanley is The Nut; an ancient volcanic plug with a 2 km path  around the edges.

Last weekend, we loaded up the camping gear to take the 180mi/290km drive to Stanley from Hobart for a weekend getaway with nature, camping, and, of course, food!

Interested in taking a weekend getaway to Stanley? Be warned, it’s a lot of hours in the car, but completely doable!  I’ve got you covered with a solid itinerary that’s rather ambitious, but quite rewarding.

Day One

8:30 am: Let the journey commence. See ya later Hobart!

Many many podcasts along switch back mountain roads later….

Great Lake Region

12:15pm: Stop 1: Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm

After scenic, long drive along switchback mountain roads in the Great Lake Region, we finally got to Elizabeth Town for our first stop: Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm.

Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm

Raspberry season has officially commenced in Tasmania (pretty shrew of me to be missing out on winter this year), and this farm is located on a gorgeous property featuring a lake, a nice outdoor seating space, and an expansive patch of raspberries. The venue was packed on the sunny, warm afternoon, so we got a container of raspberries to go and bolted when we learned there was no pick your own (AKA eat as much as you can) option.

12:40pm: Stop 2: Van Diemans Land Creamery

Right across from Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm is Van Diemans Land Creamery. While the larger building was closed for renovation,  we couldn’t resist a couple scoops.

Van Diemans Land Creamery

Van Diemens Land Creamery serves up wickedly fresh ice cream that makes it from the cow to consumer in under 24 hours. Its humble beginnings started on a Tasmania dairy farm 15 years ago where Paul Amourgis milked the cows and Jan Amourgis made the ice cream. They took their product across the state to various events to build their brand, and now you can get a scoop at various restaurants and delicatessen’s as well as at their brick and morter shops at the Hobart waterfront and Elizabeth Town.

Let me tell you, this ice cream is nothing short of perfection. It is unbelievably creamy with rich, complex flavors that are beautifully subtle without being overwhelmingly sweet.

12:45pm: Stop 3: Tasmanian Food and Wine Conservatory

Tasmanian Food and Wine Conservatory

The Tasmanian Food and Wine Conservatory serves up beautiful meat and cheese plates featuring fresh Tasmanian products. We sprung for a platter with food from the Northwest region. I had no idea what that meant, but Jeremy seemed to think it was the right call. The highlights included the feta in a chili oil, pickled fennel, hot mustard, and the smoked salmon with a ginseng rub. No meat and cheese platter is complete without wine, so we got a glass of subpar Riesling followed by  a glass of exceptional Pinot Gris.

While the board was perfectly fine, was it worth $45AUD per person? Sadly, no. The two smoked sausages were average at best and the prosciutto was nothing to write home about. Not to mention, there was useless pile of greens in the middle that did nothing more than fill up space.

3:30: Stop 4: Boat Harbor Beach

Boat Harbor Beach
Boat Harbor Beach

We stretched out our legs while marveling at the outrageously blue water at Boat Harbor Beach. While you may hear “Australia” and think “beach”, the water off the coast of Tasmania is absolutely freezing. It’s nice to look at, but diving in without a wet suit is a bold move.

5:30pm: Stanley!!!!

Stanley, Tasmania

We weren’t anticipating the drive taking so long but we finally made it to Stanley a whopping 9 hours after leaving Hobart.

TIP: Albeit scenic, driving through the Great Lakes region tacks on a hefty amount of time to the journey.

The Nut

We headed straight to The Nut and took the ridiculously steep 430 m track up to the top  for stunning views of the little town below.

Stanley

There are limited hospitality venues, but we popped into a local wine bar for a couple of glasses of vino, enjoying the sun that was still intense at 6:30 pm.

Time wasn’t on our side with sunset on the horizon, so we raced to the nearest grocery store in Smithton to get stuff for a fire along with marshmallows and Tim Tams (camping necessities) before racing to Black River Campsite to pitch the tent and get the fire going.

9pm: All Settled In

Black River Campsite

Nothing beats sitting next to a toasty warm campfire with good conversation and a bag full of marshmallows. Plus, we remembered the  sleeping bag this go around….

Day Two

7am: Let the Day Commence

We woke up, took down the tent, and packed up in a record 15 minutes before heading back into Stanley to  do the full loop around The Nut. The prospect of tackling  the steep incline without  coffee seemed daunting, but hey, no pain no gain.

The Nut

The loop around the Nut is lovely with stellar  views and an interesting change in terrain across the 2 km. Plus, we saw a handful of pademelons, one of which was pregnant. The only drama was the intense wind on the northern side that just about knocked us over. Luckily, no valuables were lost!

The Nut

8:30am: Breakfast: Leather and Wood Café

Leather and Wood Cafe

My  caffeine headache was in full swing, and we ran into Leather and Wood Café for a couple couples and basic egg, bacon, and cheese roll. The coffee tasted like heaven, but the roll left something to be desired. The bacon (exactly what we call ham in the US)  was far too fatty with no flavor, there was hardly any cheese, and the single fried egg got lost in between the thick bun.

Instead, we should have gone to Moby Dick’s breakfast bar, which was jammed full of locals enjoying eggs and pancakes. Well, you live and you learn! Hell, a trip to Macca’s would have even been better!

After taking a lap main street, we hopped back in the car to commence the 5hour drive ahead.

11am: Ulverston

Our main pit stop was Ulverston, another pleasant north coast town.

Thirty Three Cups Cafe

We stopped in at the Cradle Coast Growers and Makers Market to  listen to a live bluegrass band before getting coffee and pastries at Thirty Three Cups Café.  The carrot cake was delightfully spicy with ample cinnamon and nutmeg, and the white chocolate strawberry bar was like eating a dense, delicious cookie dough bar. Perhaps not the healthiest source of sustenance,  but at least it was delicious!

3pm: Back to Hobart

We powered through the drive to home to shower and change before heading to a Christmas party for Jeremy’s work.

Talk about a full weekend!

Final Thoughts….

Taking an overnight trip to Stanley from Hobart is quite the trek, but it’s a fun adventure that’s certainly worth having. Tasmania may be small, but the terrain across the island diverse, and half of the fun on our long haul adventures is simply the journey. From driving through sleepy towns to halting to a stop as echidnas cross the road, our first camping trip to the northern coast of Tasmania was a wild success!

Want more getaways out of Hobart? Check out these ideas!

An Epic Camping Adventure: Fortescue Bay, Cape Hauy, and Sneaky Nighttime Visitors

We headed to Fortescue Bay on the Tasman Peninsula for a camping adventure full of nature, wildlife, s’mores, and a few dramas along the way.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hadn’t heard of Tasmania’s ‘Nut’ before, but it looks incredible (if slightly bizarre). Cool pictures, all the food looks lovely

    Like

  2. ive been researching tassie a little and was surprised by the driving times. but it is not flat and the roads are windy! hadnt heard about that Table Mountain copy in Stanley! looks cool!

    Like

    1. The driving times can be very deceptive if you take the scenic routes. Be particularly cautious of ventures to the western side of the island; we got stuck winding through super winding mountain roads with no gas station in sight for a few hours!

      Like

Leave a Reply to Katie Askegaard Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s