Stanley Loop Ride

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.

Terrain

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.

Traffic

Roads around Stanley go to nowhere but Stanley, keeping traffic to a minimum, especially on Dovecote Road and White Hills Road.

Access 

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.

Side Trip

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.

 

More Details

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.

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start by the Stanley port, next to the cool stores and the Stanley Seaquarium and ride south on Wharf Rd.
  • 1.9 Turn right onto Dovecote Rd.
  • 2.6 Veer right, staying on the sealed road.
  • 3.3 At a sharp bend, pass beneath a ridge-top lookout tower.
  • 4.4 Turn right onto White Hills Rd, heading towards Highfield Historic Site and Stanley.
  • 5.2 Pass Highfield Historic Site.
  • 5.6 Pass a roadside pull-out with views along Godfrey’s Beach to the Nut and Stanley.
  • 6.2 Pass the Godfrey’s Beach car park.
  • 7.9 After cycling through Stanley, turn left onto Wharf Rd.
  • 8.4 Finish back at the Stanley port.
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    8.423 km / 5.234 mi

    Total Distance

    102 m / 335 ft

    Total Ascent

    102 m / 336 ft

    Total Descent

    72 m / 238 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Gravel
    Various
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: <1 hr
    Fitness Level: Low
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 8.4
    Elevation Gain: 130
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber

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