Cycle Tasmania, Road Ride, Stanley Loop Ride
A gentle lap out from one of Tassie’s prettiest tourist towns, with constant views of the coast and the curious volcanic remnant called the Nut. Convict and settler relics add to the interest. The route can be cycled in either direction, but anticlockwise - as described here - provides the best views of the Nut.
The ride is entirely on sealed roads, making a short climb onto a low ridge before cruising flatly across its top and descending back into town.
Roads around Stanley go to nowhere but Stanley, keeping traffic to a minimum, especially on Dovecote Road and White Hills Road.
Stanley is eight kilometres off Bass Highway, and around 80 kilometres from Burnie. Redline Coaches runs a weekday bus service from Burnie to Stanley.
Food and Drink
Among the small chain of eateries on Church Street, the Stranded Whale has good light fare and coffee.
Having seen the Nut from most angles, take the steep walking track (or chairlift) to its summit. The track is accessed from Harrison Terrace at the end of Godfrey’s Beach.
In the northwest corner of the state, the tourist town of Stanley sits on a filament of land poking like a hair into Bass Strait. At its end sits one of Tasmania’s iconic natural sights: a 152-metre-high volcanic plug of rock once known as Circular Head but more commonly known now as the Nut. This ride starts at the foot of the Nut, beside the Stanley marina, just beyond the centre of town, skirting Tasmania’s oldest sea port as it rounds the enormous rock - the green ridge you can see across the water is the one you will shortly climb.
Passing through the town, with its homes huddled like debris at the base of the Nut, the ride turns onto Dovecote Road where, after 400 metres, the climb onto the low ridge begins, rising past the Seaview Inn and up to views over the town and the Nut, which looks a little like Uluru with a seaside address. It’s a reasonably steep (and short) initial climb before the road rises more gradually along the ridge top to a wooden lookout tower with good views to the Nut and west along the coast. From here the road cuts across the rural peninsula, turning onto White Hills Road and beginning the return towards town.
About 800 metres along this road you will pass Highfield Historic Site, an 1830s Italianate mansion that was once home to the managers of the royally chartered Van Diemen’s Land Company. Tours are available if you’re up for a history lesson. At the bend just ahead are the evocative remains of a convict barracks, also built in the 1830s, that once housed around 40 prisoners.
The best views of the Nut come as you descend from the barracks, with the bend ahead offering a look along the length of Godfrey’s Beach to the flat-topped rock, before the road coils down behind the beach and back into Stanley, this time through the main street, where the ye-olde town is striped like a boiled sweet. Just past the town centre, Church Street merges with Wharf Road, swinging gently back around the Nut to the port.
8.423 km / 5.234 mi
102 m / 335 ft
102 m / 336 ft
72 m / 238 ft