Highfield Histroric Site
At this restored colonial homestead learn about the beginnings of the Van Diemen’s Land Company and European settlement in Tasmania’s northwest.
Highfield Historic Site is a landmark for Tasmania’s colonial heritage. It contains the grand house and estate of one of the country’s early settlers. Completed in 1835, this remarkable homestead looks out toward the unusual peak of the Nut, a volcanic bluff, and the sweeping sands of Godfreys Beach. Explore the historic estate and admire its restored early colonial architecture. Stroll through the English-style gardens and find out about the region’s turbulent history.
The house was built for Edward Curr, the chief agent of the Van Diemen’s Land Company. This early wool-growing venture incorporated convict and free settler labour to clear and cultivate land around Circular Head and the rich pastoral grounds beyond. As you approach the estate, you’ll see the historic Highfield House against a backdrop of the flat-topped Nut. Enter the main cottage and chat with the site’s attendants to get an introduction into the estate’s history.
Roam between the restored rooms of the homestead, noting its remarkably intact architecture. Read the interpretive plaques that tell the stories of Curr and his family, as well as the growing company. Outside the cottage, you’ll find several other preserved historic sites, such as the estate’s chapel, barns and stables. Visit the workers’ cottages and the convicts’ barracks. Learn about the region’s Parpeloihener and Pennemukeer Aboriginal people, who suffered violent clashes with the Van Diemen’s Land Company as it expanded throughout the state’s northwest.
Stroll around the lawns and take in views of Circular Head, the town of Stanley and surrounding wharves and beaches. Combine your visit with a trip to Godfreys Beach and wander along the stretch of sand, watching the surf crash on the shore. Ride the chairlift or walk up to the peak of the Nut to look out across Highfield House from above.
Highfield Historic Site is a 5-minute drive north from central Stanley. Guided tours are available to large groups. The admission fee covers access to the different sites around the estate. The site is open daily between September and May, with closures on weekends in June, July and August.