Bonnet Hill (North)
|Time from city||20 minutes|
|How to get to the climb: Follow Sandy Bay Road south through Taroona.|
Bonnet Hill (South)
|Time from city||35 minutes|
|How to get to the climb: Ride the Northern approach, then down the Southern side.|
I am fortunate that Marc Durdin who runs a blog in Tasmania has allowed me to post some of the climb reviews that he put together around Hobart.
Images and words Marc Durdin
Bonnet Hill is one of the most popular climbs in Hobart. Bonnet Hill lies on the Channel Highway between Hobart and Kingston, just south of Taroona. This is the usual commuting route for most riders from Kingston.
It is also very popular in bunch rides.
Bonnet Hill is not a difficult climb. Though the Southern approach is somewhat steeper and longer than the Northern side.
The defining landmark of the Northern approach is the 150 year old Shot Tower. For aperiod of time was the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. The builder of the Shot Tower practiced by making a small tower on his house first. This was before constructing the full tower. And all without any formal learning on how to do it. The Shot Tower slides into view shortly after leaving the last houses of Taroona behind. There is some dissension on where the climb “officially” starts for competitive purposes. Most riders I know mark the start when they pass the southern end of the Taroona Hotel.
The road winds about before reaching the Shot Tower. This is the “hardest” bit of the climb, and still not hard. Soon after passing the Shot Tower you’ll come across a neglected bike lane. It’s fine to ride on a mountain bike but if you are on thin road tyres you’ll probably prefer to stick to the car lane. From there it’s an easy climb to the summit. Unless you are trying to do it at 30 km/h!
The Southern approach starts with a steep 14% pinch called “Golf Course Corner”. It doesn’t last long, but it does take the wind out of your sails! From there, the climb continues at a much more reasonable gradient. With some great views over Storm Bay on your right.
It is a little harder than the Northern approach, but it’s still not a huge climb.
I find that both sides of the climb can be done without much difficulty in the big ring. With an average gradient of less than 5% in both cases. Being a popular climb, there are lots of riders competing for KOM honours. The only issue with this climb is that there can be a fair amount of traffic at some times of day. There are no overtaking zones on either side of the hill, and the road is quite narrow. However, as the speed limit is 60 km/h. There are plenty of places with enough visibility to safely pass, this does not typically pose a big problem. As a little courtesy and awareness go a long way.