Hobart’s Top 10 Climbs: Bonnet Hill

Bonnet is another of Hobart’s Top 10 Climbs that has two sides to tackle, but for this post I am going to concentrate on the Northern side straight out of the city. It’s one of the shorter climbs on the list. A popular route with the local roadies and if I get up early enough I can squeeze in two repeats before work.

Length – 2.5km
Average Gradient – 4%

My Best Time – 6:48 6:43


The base of Bonnet Hill is a fast paced 10km ride out of Hobart along Sandy Bay Road towards Taroona, making it great pre-work morning ritual for many.

On the way out take a moment to enjoy cracking water views over the Derwent to the left, but not too long a glance as the traffic can be hectic around rush hour. As you hit the base of the climb settle into a decent rhythm but push hard, this is not a long one.

About half way up the climb you’ll pass the Shot Tower. This structure was built in 1870  for the production of ammunition. Molten lead was dropped from the top of the hollow tower, where the rapid descent and cooling shaped it into pellets. Today you can climb the 318 wooden steps to the top of this popular tourist attraction. Apparently the cafe at the base serves speciality scones with jam and cream that are top notch!

From here there’s a few little pinches to attack out of the saddle, but nothing major as the road snakes up the side of the hill. With an average gradient of 4% and never getting over 7% it’s a good climb to attack hard in the big ring. I quite fancy giving it a smash one day with a healthy tailwind and fresh legs! I’d like a low six-minute time.

At the top you have two options. If you’re late for work simply turn around and bomb it back towards Hobart. Or if you’ve got a bit more time descend the other side into Kingston for coffee by the beach, then turn around and ride back up the Southern side of Bonnet to take in both sides of this local classic climb!

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