The Channel region is home to some beautiful nature reserves, all within an hour’s drive from Hobart. Discover a network of trails suitable for hiking, mountain biking, dog walking and horse riding. Stretch your legs amongst the trees, take in amazing bush and water views, spot birdlife and other wildlife, and try your hand at nature photography.
We’ve listed nine bushland reserves to explore in Kingborough. Please drive slowly to protect our special Tasmanian wildlife.
1. The Peter Murrell Reserves
The Peter Murrell Reserves form a ‘bush island’ with several different access points at Kingston, Blackmans Bay and Tinderbox. The network of trails include tracks suited to hiking, family adventures, dog walking, mountain biking, and horse riding.
The reserves are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Catch the stunning wildflower display from late winter through to summer, including an impressive 37 orchard species.
2. Coningham Nature Recreation Area
Enjoy stunning views of the Channel’s bays and hamlets as you walk along the coastline and up the hilltop in the Coningham Nature Recreation Area. The reserve is great for hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, photography, orienteering, and beachcombing. Culturally, the area is highly valued by the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.
Several threatened plant and animal species reside here, including the endangered swift parrot and forty-spotted pardalote.
3. Snug Tiers Nature Recreation Area
Chase waterfalls in the Snug Tiers Nature Reserve. The popular Snug Falls Track (1 hr/2 km return) gradually descends through bushland to the fern-lined gully beneath the falls (dogs are allowed on-lead). There are some nice lookout points along the way and native orchards bloom in spring and summer. Birdwatchers might spot eastern spinebills, yellow throated honeyeaters, green rosellas, strong-billed honeyeaters, and the pretty pink robin.
For something more challenging, hike to Pelverata Falls (2 hrs/6 km return). Discover one of Tasmania’s tallest waterfalls, plunging 114 metres at the head of a large gorge (best seen in winter). Slippery Falls can also be spotted in the distance along the way. It can get icy and snowy in winter, so please walk and drive carefully.
4. Barretta Reserve
Barretta Reserve is located south of Margate (accessible via the Channel Highway or Slatterys Road). The bushland is surprisingly diverse, and supports three threatened plant communities: silver peppermint forest, dry black peppermint on sandstone forest, and black gum forest. Explore the open bushland via a network of tracks (there is also a linked track to Harts Hill).
5. Boronia Hill Reserve
The Boronia Hill Reserve at Kingston is a delight to explore, so close to Hobart. The bushland reserve is home to many native herbs and ground orchids, as well as threatened plant communities. See what you can spot on the Boronia Hill Flora Track (1 hr/4 km return), which winds through pretty peppermint and white gum woodland.
The track to Boronia Beach (1 hr/2 km return) takes you around the headland through large blue gums and sheoaks. Enjoy stunning views of the Derwent River out to the Iron Pot and Eastern Shore. The secluded beach is a hidden gem, with sheltered waters great for snorkelling.
6. Manuka Hills Reserve
The Manuka Hills Reserve is located in the hills above Kettering. Drive to the reserve via Mathinna Road or walk in via the Manuka Hills Track (1.5 hrs/3.6 km return). Enjoy amazing views of the d’Entrecasteaux Channel and kunanyi/Mt Wellington, admire threatened dry silver peppermint forest, and watch for white-bellied sea-eagles soaring over the water.
7. Nierinna Creek Reserve
The Nierinna Creek Reserve runs along the creek at Margate (accessible via Lawless Road or Burnaby Drive). The reserve is home to majestic old growth trees, wet blue gum forest, and wet stringybark forest. The park-like area at the Burnaby Drive end features majestic black gums and white gums and a bird watching dam.
The Nierinna Creek Track (2.5 hrs/6.2 km return) is a vigorous walk, winding through green grassland, natural bushland and shady fern gullies. The track is also accessible for horses and bikes. This walk can be combined with the Margate Rivulet Track or the Kaoota Tramway Track.
8. Peggys Beach Reserve
Peggys Beach Reserve is located on the coast at Electrona. This reserve has significant Aboriginal heritage values. The bushland contains black peppermint forest with a diverse understorey, including smoky teatree, sunshine wattle, sagg and the spreading herb running postman.
9. Tinderbox Hills Reserve
The Tinderbox Hills Reserve is accessible via Estuary Road, Blackmans Bay. Birdwatchers will be in their element, with the threatened forty-spotted pardalote in patches of white gums, threatened swift parrots potentially feeding in the blue gums in spring and summer, and bush birds throughout the year.
The Tinderbox Hills Track (1.5 hrs/3.6 km return) follows the ridgeline up through open bushland, with impressive views across Storm Bay and North West Bay. The track is popular with hikers, horse-riders, and mountain bikers. Dogs are allowed on-lead from April to June, but are prohibited from July to March to protect wedge-tailed eagle nesting season.
Check out the region’s national parks:
6 Reasons to Visit the South Bruny National Park
85 Things to Do with Kids in Southern Tasmania
Explore the Peter Murrell Reserves
Dog Friendly Exercise Spots in the Channel
Nature Hit: 35 Walks South from Hobart
Best Walks in the Huon Valley & Far South Tasmania
6 Stunning Walks on Bruny Island
Snug Falls Track | Jess Bonde