Circular Head

Map of the Circular Head region

Located on the north-west edge of Tasmania, and served by the circular head council, Circular Head is one of the most pristine areas in the world. The Circular Head municipal area covers 4,917 square kilometres.

Forestry plantations and agricultural land dominate the area which, along with the aquaculture industry, provide Circular Head’s main employment and income. Circular Head boasts one of the longest coastlines of any Tasmanian municipal area, with golden sands and rugged rock faces.

Circular Head is the largest dairying and prime beef producing area in Tasmania. Other industries include fishing, oyster and abalone farming, tourism, processing of many raw products including vegetables, timber, meat, milk, and the major iron ore pelletising plant at Port Latta.

regional and economic profile If you are considering the Circular Head region of north-west Tasmania as a place to live the Council has produced a 120-page full-colour report, “Regional & Economic Profile”. This profile can be downloaded as a pdf file (33MB) from the council’s website or you can request a printed copy from the Circular Head Council.

The most north western point of the Tasmanian mainland is a place called Cape Grim, it was a place of great calamity, shipwreck and dispossession of native tribes. More information about Cape Grim.


Population: 3,500

Located 135 kilometres from Devonport and 84 kilometres from Burnie, Smithton is primarily an industrial and administrative centre for the surrounding district. It has a timber mill and a potato processing plant.

A $32 million veneer mill is under construction at Smithton. The mill is due for completion in late 2008 and will employ 50 full-time workers producing high-value ply products from Forestry Tasmania’s regrowth forests.

Smithton has sporting facilities including an indoor heated swimming pool, and a basketball, squash and volleyball centre. Other popular sports include golf, football, hockey, netball, indoor and outdoor lawn bowls, cricket and tennis.

Smithton and the surrounding district are serviced by the SES, Ambulance, Police and Fire Brigades. The Smithton District Hospital is a general and nursing hospital.

(See distances by road chart.)


Population: 600

The historic town of Stanley is the main fishing port and last major township on the north-west coast of Tasmania. Stanley sits on the tip of a peninsula that juts into Bass Strait. Located 22 kilometres from Smithton, 125 kilometres from Devonport and 212 kilometres from Launceston, it is a classified historic town full of beautifully preserved buildings. Stanley huddles under an ancient flat-topped rocky outcrop or volcanic plug called The Nut.

Wildlife lovers can cruise to see fur seals on Bull Rock and there are also opportunities to see platypus and fairy penguins.


Population: 350

Tasmania’s westernmost settlement. The beaches and rocky outcrops of Marrawah are hauntingly beautiful, particularly at dusk, and the seas can be huge. An annual surfing competition, the West Coast Classic, is held at Green Point Beach. The beach at Marrawah is one of the world’s consistent spots for sideshore wind and it is popular for windsurfing.

The Nut, Stanley
The Nut, Stanley. The Circular Head region of north-west Tasmania is sea change heaven.
© Tourism Tasmania and George Apostolidis