April 17 We Cracked The Nut (Day 203)

Today is a perfect day to explore “The Nut” so we traveled west to the small town of Stanley which is nestled at the base of the ancient volcanic core.

The Nut and the small town of Stanley looking south from the historic site of Highfield across Godfreys Beach.

The view south from the flank of the Nut.

We chose to forego the chairlift and hike the steep trail switchbacks to the top of the butte! The views were fantastic!

The view north back towards Highfield across Godfreys Beach.

The hike up to the top and around the “Circular Head”, as it was named in the early 1820’s, was in the open grasslands. As we rounded the south section of the loop trail we entered a forest that is regenerating. The top of the Nut was cultivated with potatoes after the native eucalyptus forest was cut and rolled off the top to be used as firewood in colonial times. Native bush is being restored and native wildlife is returning!

A picture and information about the pademelon that is returning to the forested areas!

We finished the 4 mile hike back down the steep trail and drove over to the local “caravan park” to check in.

We got a site right at the rocky beach under the Nut!

We walked along the rocky shoreline the short distance to a seafood restaurant for dinner and returned after dark to spot a few tiny penguins settling into their burrows among the rocks for the night! We didn’t disturb them so we couldn’t get good pictures, but this is a great place for spotting the ‘fairy penguin’, the only penguins that visits Tasmania and breeds here! It is the same species that is found in New Zealand and is known as the little blue penguin there.

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