Catriona is nocturnal wondering in one of Tassie’s most dramatic spots. Welcome to Stanley.
Stanley is an historic town on a peninsula extending into Bass Strait and is the main fishing port on the north-west coast of Tasmania. Its well-preserved buildings have been given National Trust classification.
Streets are lined with craft and pottery stores, tea houses, cafes and galleries. It's incredibly hard to not want to take home something homemade from Tasmanian timber.
Apart from being naturally beautiful, having no traffic lights or parking meters, Stanley is a town where visitors are immediately made to feel welcome and right at home. It is quiet and tranquil and many locals say a lot of the town's energy comes from The Nutt.
This rocky outcrop which resembles a cake was spotted by Matthew Flinders in 1798 and it is believed to be 13 million years old, formed when lava shot from the earth's surface and cooled to form basalt. It rises over 150m above Bass Strait and its top spans 35ha. Three of its sides are sheer and it sits on the end of a 7km isthmus.
Wildlife biologist, Michelle Foale, is passionate about the north-west of Tasmania. She takes Hollow Bones eco-tours from Burnie and Stanley, the latter taking in Tarkine Forest.
The day trips explore the 377,000ha which has not yet been declared a state forest or national park and logging continues.
On Michelle's tours you learn about the abundant local bird life and see the tracks, traces and habitat of many ground dwelling species.
Thirty kilometres south of Stanley, Michelle has a Devil's Supper. She will collect you or you can drive yourself to the property … the latter being the cheaper option. When you arrive at dusk Michelle shows you the set up to where she will be coaxing the devils. She has a number of sites as she doesn't want the animals getting into the habit of going to the same place over and over.
The group settles in the old cottage to enjoy drinks and snacks while playing the waiting game. (A four-course dinner package is another option).
Road kill is placed in a forest setting and when the devils arrive the group quietly sets up in the viewing shed to watch the show. This is one of the few places you are able to see the critters in the wild, and they appear 95 percent of the time.