TASMANIA’S SOUTH IS REMOTE,
RUGGED, WILD AND UNSPOILT.
Folklore has it that Tinderbox was named so by Joshua Fergusson, a tobacco grower in the 1820s, who found a small silver tinderbox on his property near the beach. It was inscribed in French, so was likely to have belonged to one of the crew of the French explorers such as Bruni D’Entrecasteaux.
EXPERIENCE TASMANIA’S FINEST BEACHES AND COVES
Fossil Cove is an absolute gem to discover and a lovely bush walk from the retreat, down through forest with silver and black peppermint gums, wattles, heaths and endemic shrubs. Once on the beach, you’ll be in awe at the abundance of shells and the picture postcard dramatic natural rock arch, made from Permian mudstone – go at low tide and you can walk through the arch into a neighbouring cove. Look for the dark bands of dolerite in the rock which forced its way between the layers of mudstone years ago.
TINDERBOX IS HOME TO MANY ENDANGERED BIRDS
Did you know the whole of Tinderbox Peninsula contains important white gum forest – critical habitat for the endangered forty-spotted pardalote? And that from August to January it’s Wedge Tail Eagle nesting season on the ridgeline behind us? Look and listen out for Tasmanian Nativehen, Black-headed and Yellow-throated Honeyeaters, Yellow Wattlebirds, Dusky Robins, Brown Falcons and Whistlers all of which are common to this area.
There are great walks to do when you come to stay, down to Fossil Cove and up along the Tinderbox Hills Track, a 3.6 km return walk along the ridgeline offering spectacular views over Storm Bay and North West Bay.
Image credit: Alan Fletcher, Tassiebirds
BRUNY IS A MUST
(Lunawanna-allonah to the Aboriginal Southeast Tribe)
If you have the time, you’ll love a day trip to Bruny from Tinderbox Retreat, as it’s only a 20-minute drive to the ferry and a short, (and thankfully calm), 20-minute ferry ride to the island. Leave early (there’s a ferry every hour) to make the most of your time on the island as it’s 100kms long and has earned itself a stellar reputation for great food (fresh berries, hand-made cheese, single malt whiskey and the freshest of oysters), spectacular views out over wild ocean, lighthouses to climb, sand dunes to marvel at, seals, whales, dolphins and fairy penguins to spot, and exciting birdlife – including black-faced cormorants, swift parrots and the world’s largest population of the endangered and ever illusive forty-spotted pardalote.
GOLF, TENNIS & SNORKELING ALL ON YOUR DOORSTEP
Golfers will love a round at North West Bay Golf Course, a 6,108m scenic course just 10kms from the retreat. Best to book your round in advance, visitors pay $30 green fees for 18 holes and $20 for 9 holes.
Learning to snorkel, scuba dive or keen to try a night dive? You’ll often find perfect conditions at Tinderbox Marine Nature Reserve, famed for its abundant marine life – picture yourself up close with bigbelly seahorses, draughtboard sharks, pale octopus, and Southern rock lobster, as well as colourful sponges and soft corals. Take a night dive along the edge of the reef and if conditions are good you may see volutes and gurnards.
Guests after a hit of tennis can drive down to the courts at Pierson’s Point, 5 mins from the retreat and enjoy a bit of exploring too and discover the remains of a military base from World War Two, that housed 200 staff – both soldiers and civilians.
SATURDAYS ARE ALL ABOUT WANDERING SALAMANCA MARKETS
Get up early and allow a whole morning to lose yourself in the delights of one of Australia’s largest outdoor markets – from sunrise onwards over 300 stalls set up in front of the sandstone historic warehouses along Hobart’s waterfront. Your senses will be in overdrive as you listen to the buskers and chat to the makers selling their home wares, clothing, jewellery, seasonal produce, artwork, leather goods, soaps and skincare. Eat and drink as you browse, as there’s artisan coffee, cheeses, bread, wines and spirits as well as amazing paella to try.
Image credit: City of Hobart and Alastair Bett
ON A CLEAR DAY, THE SUMMIT OF MT WELLINGTON IS THE PLACE TO BE
It’s a little over half an hour’s drive from the retreat to Mt Wellington (known to indigenous Australians as kunanyi, meaning ‘mountain’) but it’s worth it for the dramatic drive up to the summit through rainforest, sub-alpine flora and glacial rock formations.
Once you’re on the viewing platform you’re treated to a phenomenal panorama of the World Heritage Wilderness Area above Hobart, over to Bruny Island, South Arm and as far as the Tasman Peninsula.
As there are no entry fees or opening/closing times you can spend your time leisurely exploring and bush walking – you can even have a BBQ up there!
Image credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman
HISTORIC PORT ARTHUR IS WELL WORTH THE DRIVE
A visit to these convict ruins make a fascinating day trip, with tragic stories told on the guided tour of Tasmania’s dark history. The incredible beauty of the place and the absolute horror of its history will forever stay etched in your mind. The drive there takes a couple of hours so set off early so you can grab a coffee en route and have time to stop off at Eaglehawk Neck on the shore of Pirates Bay, to marvel at the natural geological wonder of its tessellated pavement.
Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority
15 MINUTES TO THE NEAREST CELLAR DOOR – NANDROYA WINES
Tasmania is one of Australia’s finest cool climate wine regions, famed for its Pinot Noir which is why we leave you a complimentary bottle for you to enjoy during your stay. But going to a cellar door for a personal wine tasting is a whole other experience and one that Nandroya Wines is happy to facilitate for you during your stay. Their cellar door is open September to May, (as they prune during winter), Wednesday to Sunday 12:00 to 5:00, but guests of Tinderbox Retreat can have a private tasting any time – just by ringing ahead.
GAZE UP IN WONDER
Southern Tasmania is home to some spectacular night skies and hunters for the Aurora Australis will be familiar with Tinderbox as we’re fortunate that the Southern Lights are quite commonplace here, year round, not just in winter.
While an Aurora sighting can’t be guaranteed during your stay, if one occurs, you can see it from the back of the hill behind us… if you are lucky enough to get there at the right time, the viewing spot is only 5 minutes from Tinderbox Retreat. Remember, to see the colour, you’ll need an SLR camera so you can adjust the shutter, ISO and aperture.
Image credit: Philip Hirst