Tinderbox Ride

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.

Terrain

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

Traffic can be busy between Kingston and Kingston Beach, thinning as you cross towards Blackmans Bay and all but evaporating beyond here.

Access

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.

Side Trip

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.

 

More Details

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. 

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 From the Kingston Hotel on Channel Highway, begin east on Beach Road (C623) - there’s a bike lane at the start but it lasts for only 200 metres.
  • 0.4 Continue straight ahead on Beach Road at the traffic lights
  • 0.9 Turn left onto Balmoral Road, following beside Browns River and veering left towards the beach
  • 1.7 Turn right onto Osborne Esplanade, riding beside Kingston Beach
  • 2.5 Stay on this road as it changes to Mount Royal Rd, beginning the steep climb out from the southern end of Kingston Beach
  • 3.0 Turn left onto Roslyn Ave
  • 3.9 Turn left into Blowhole Road, rolling down past the Blowhole and along the edge of Blackmans Bay beach
  • 5.3 Turn right onto Illawarra Road
  • 5.4 Turn left onto Wells Parade
  • 5.8 Turn left onto Suncoast Drive at the roundabout
  • 7.0 Turn left onto Tinderbox Road
  • 12.8 Oxley Lookout
  • 14.1 Turn left onto Fergusson Avenue, descending to the shore and the Tinderbox Marine Nature Reserve
  • 14.3 Return along Fergusson Avenue
  • 14.6 Turn left onto Tinderbox Road and begin the steep climb out from the coast past Tinderbox Vineyard
  • 15.5 Dirt road begins
  • 18.5 Dirt road ends
  • 20.2 Turn right on the C623 towards Kingston
  • 22.4 Turn left onto Roslyn Avenue and go straight ahead at the roundabout
  • 23.3 Veer right, staying on Roslyn Avenue, at the roundabout
  • 25.9 Go straight ahead at the lights, joining Beach Road, returning into Kingston beside the golf course
  • 26.4 Finish back at Channel Highway beside the Kingston Hotel
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    26.439 km / 16.428 mi

    Total Distance

    606 m / 1,988 ft

    Total Ascent

    606 m / 1,988 ft

    Total Descent

    139 m / 457 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Gravel
    Various
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 2-4 hrs
    Fitness Level: Medium
    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
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 26.4
    Elevation Gain: 548
    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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