Table Cape Ride

Cycle Tasmania, Road Ride, Table Cape

Circuit an ancient volcano, passing through rich farmland and, in season, a palette of tulips. The climbs are short but steep and the roads are narrow but the views are wide.

Terrain

Narrow sealed roads, climbing constantly to the rim of Table Cape before rounding the peninsula for a freewheeling highway descent back into Wynyard.

Traffic

The sealed roads around the cape are narrow but largely limited to farm and tourist traffic, which ramps up during summer holidays and the spring tulip season. Almost five kilometres of the ride is on the busy Bass Highway, though there’s a decent verge.

Access

The ride begins in the centre of Wynyard, 20 kilometres west of Burnie along the Bass Highway. Redline’s bus service between Burnie and Smithton stops in Wynyard.

Food and Drink

There are plenty of eating options along Goldie Street, right by the start of the ride.

Side Trip

There are two good detours along this route: glaciercarved Fossil Bluff, which is rich in fossils; and the Table Cape Lighthouse. The latter is reached on a dirt road.

 

More Details

From the centre of Wynyard it’s a flat roll out of town to the Inglis River. Savour the moment because there are some steep pinches ahead in the 180-metre climb to the rim of Table Cape. The turn-off to Fossil Bluff is immediately past the bridge over the river, and if you’re planning to take this detour, check the tide times because you can only pick around the base of the bluff to fully appreciate the fossils at low tide.

The climbing starts about 500 metres beyond the bridge, ascending in two energy-sapping steps. The most striking thing here, apart from your heart rate, is the rich red soil that speaks of the cape’s volcanic origins. At the top of the two climbs, the gradient eases back to ascend more gently to the crest of the ridge, turning up it to meet Lighthouse Road, where the third, final and toughest climb begins. Near the top of the climb you’ll pass the entrance to the Table Cape Tulip Farm, its flowers blooming each spring into one of Tassie’s postcard images: stripes of colour laid out below the Table Cape lighthouse.

If you’re here in October, check to see if your ride coincides with the Bloomin’ Tulips Festival. Past the tulip farm, the road ends at the Table Cape lookout, high above Bass Strait. From here there are views east past Wynyard and Burnie to the distant Asbestos Range, and west to the 25-metre-high lighthouse just around the cape. If you want to walk to the lighthouse, there’s a track along the cliff edge; the walk takes around 10 minutes. From the lookout, return to the Tollymore Road junction, turning west here and continuing across the cape.

This road threads through a continuing patchwork of fields and then along the cliff edge, descending as a general rule, before a short climb to a roadside lookout with views west to straggly Rocky Cape (the Nut at Stanley is visible through the low gap near the end of the cape). The road turns inland here to meet the Bass Highway. What this highway lacks in coastal scenery it compensates for in a lovely long descent to the Inglis River. Just over the river it turns back into Wynyard.

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Begin in the centre of Wynyard, at the roundabout on the corner of Inglis St and Saunders St, and ride west on Saunders St.
  • 1.2 Cross the Inglis River; the turning for the side trip to Fossil Bluff is immediately after the bridge.
  • 3.6 At the junction with Murdering Gully Rd, veer right with the main road.
  • 4.4 At the junction with Tollymore Rd, ride straight ahead on Lighthouse Rd.
  • 5.4 Pass the turning to the lighthouse, riding straight ahead towards the lookout.
  • 5.6 Arrive at the Table Cape lookout. Turn around here and return along Lighthouse Rd.
  • 6.9 Turn right on Tollymore Rd (C234).
  • 13.1 Turn left onto the Bass Hwy (A2).
  • 17.8 Turn left into Inglis St (C240).
  • 20.5 Finish the ride back in the centre of Wynyard.
  • Trail map

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    20.088 km / 12.482 mi

    Total Distance

    301 m / 987 ft

    Total Ascent

    301 m / 987 ft

    Total Descent

    172 m / 564 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Gravel
    Various
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
    Fitness Level: Low
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Trail Signage: Non Existant
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 20.5
    Elevation Gain: 220
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber

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