Cycle Tasmania, Mountain Bike Ride, Tinderbox Ride
A wonderfully remote ride near Hobart, looping around a small wooded peninsula with great beaches, a snorkelling trail and expansive views along the Derwent River. If you're on a road bike you might prefer to ride out-and-back to Tinderbox along the Derwent, avoiding the dirt section. Bring a snorkel and flippers for the snorkelling trail.
Some steep climbs in and out of bays and around the toe of the Tinderbox Hills, bracketed by some contouring sections across the slopes.
Traffic can be busy between Kingston and Kingston Beach, thinning as you cross towards Blackmans Bay and all but evaporating beyond here.
Kingston is around 16 kilometres south of Hobart’s city centre, reached on Channel Highway, through Sandy Bay and Taroona. Tassielink’s Dover coach service stops by the Commonwealth Bank in Kingston and picks up by Denison House for the return to Hobart. Bikes must be prebooked.
Food and Drink
Kingston and Kingston Beach have plenty of refreshment possibilities, but the most enticing stop is Beach Cafe on Blackmans Bay, its glass frontage staring out through the mouth of the Derwent River. Breakfasts here are sublime.
Boronia Beach is a hidden treasure, nibbled into the headland between Kingston Beach and Blackmans Bay. There’s a walking track to the beach from beside the sailing club at Kingston Beach.
This ride begins in Kingston, at the southern limit of Hobart’s suburbs, rolling straight down Beach Road towards Kingston Beach, one of Hobart’s prettiest strands. You can simply stay on Beach Road, popping out halfway along the beach, but it’s worth winding around on Balmoral Road (which is likely to be as full of ducks as vehicles) for a lingering look. Beside the road, separating it from the golf course, is the suitably named, pollution-prone Browns River.
Cruising beside Kingston Beach for 800m, you can briefly ignore the steep climb out, rising 80 metres be- fore dipping again towards Blackmans Bay. The most beautiful approach to this beach is along Blowhole Road, where a sea arch beside the road turns into a spray gun during rough seas. Blackmans Bay is every bit as gorgeous as Kingston Beach and has a similar climb out around the Suncoast Headland. The reward for effort is the view back to the bay and the cliffs that separate it from Kingston Beach. Past the headland, the road joins quiet Tinderbox Road, contouring along its wooded slopes with regular views upstream; Hobart’s suburbs look so close yet feel so far away.
At Piersons Point, stop at Oxley Lookout, where a WWII fort stares across to nearby Bruny Island, before the flying descent down to the Tinderbox Marine Nature Reserve. Set below slopes once covered in tobacco but now striped with the vines of Tinderbox Vineyard, the reserve features a 100-metre-long snorkelling trail along the sandstone shelf at the base of the cliffs at the beach’s western end. Eight submerged information plaques tell the underwater story.
On a fine day, the D’Entrecasteaux Channel can be a highway of boats. It’s another solid climb out from Tinderbox but with more gorgeous views, this time through the channel and across to the agricultural lands of North Bruny Is- land. Encased in scrub, the return ride is less spectacular (though there are glimpses of Mount Wellington and Cathedral Rock) and includes a three-kilometre stretch on a good dirt road, but it’s almost marginally less hilly. There’s a steep descent back into Blackmans Bay, and a good final view of Kingston Beach as you wheel around towards Kingston on Roslyn Avenue.
26.439 km / 16.428 mi
606 m / 1,988 ft
606 m / 1,988 ft
139 m / 457 ft