From Burnie with its industrial heritage and busy port, the Bass Highway follows the coast westward, almost always within sight of Bass Strait Massive bluffs nudge out into the sea. Table Cape, just beyond Wynyard, flat-topped and fertile, with flowering tulips carpeting its fields in spring; Rocky Cape, with its native orchids, bushwalks and sea cliffs; and Circular Head, where the historic village of Stanley snuggles up against the steep-sided Nut.
At Boat Harbour and Sisters Beach, green fields sweep down to the water. Stanley was established in the early days of the colony as the base for the Van Diemenís Land Companyís grazing operations in the far northwest. Its fishing and farming history is echoed in the villageís sturdy stone cottages, and in the graceful facade of Highfield, built in 1832 for the companyís Governor and agents. Continue west to Smithton, centre for the regionís productive agricultural and thriving forestry operations. From here, you travel through the rich dairylands of Edith Creek and deep into the tall forests of the north west, before returning to the coast.