This 21-km cycle to the top passes through temperate rainforest, sub-alpine flora and beautiful glacial rock formations. At the top you will have panoramic views of Hobart which extend to South Arm, the Tasman Peninsula and Bruny Island.
kunanyi is the indigenous, Palawa kani, name for Mount Wellington, and for many days prior to taking on this Hors Categorie climb you will have had kunanyi as your backdrop. It is ever-present above Hobart, either shrouded in mist or looming with its cliffs and communications tower (this tower has been there over 50 years but is not particularly popular!)
From our hotel MACQ01 we head inland through the city. It is about 3km of city riding past a few excellent cafes (note Ginger Brown cafe for your return if in need of a good coffee and fuel up!) before we hit suburbia. However it is at iconic Cascade Brewery where the climb genuinely begins as you switch back up through bush and upper class suburbia and the views quickly grow. The gradients here are not too high but the occasional double-digit does pop up on the GPS!
Out of the suburban hills and turning right onto Pinnacle Road, where signs point up to the mountaintop the hill climbing begins for real. With 11km to go, the road thins and the bush is dense and climbing consistent! It is lovely but there are tourist buses and the occasional dash of mountain bikes heading only down the hill, not working like you to climb up!
At about 4km up Pinnacle Road a carpark opens up around you at Springs Wellington Park. Take note of the shipping container on the right – it is Lost Frieght Cafe which makes an excellent stopping point on the way down.
From here the roads open up and the views are spectacular but hard to concentrate on as the average gradient increases to 7-10% for a testing 4 km. The wind can pick up here too but it is an amazing road. This road traverses the cliff line and when you are back on the ground in Hobart you will look back up in wonder at where you were! As you make the big turn from heading east to heading west you have 2km remaing and it is epic harsh Australian terrain – almost Ventoux like when climbing from Bedoin and you head across the moonscape towards its own tower at the top.
The top can have spectacular views or you can sit above or in the clouds and see nothing! Either way a worthy test and unique almost worldwide to be able to climb such a beast from a capital city. Make sure you bring a jacket and take care on the descent, the surface isn’t great and you have climbed over 1250m from sea level so tired legs, cold hands etc! Take care and well done for conquering one of Austlralia’s premier climbs!
Great photos by Ralph, not so good by Sam!