Hobart’s Top 10 Climbs, #8: Longley to Neika

Huon Rd: what’s around the next corner?

This is the third post of a series on some of the great road cycling climbs around Hobart. You can be notified of new posts in the series by following me on Twitter.  The order of these climbs is completely my own whimsy.  No doubt you’ll disagree with me: leave a comment to tell me what I got wrong.  Do go and ride these climbs 🙂

Now for the climb! Longley International Hotel is a famous little pub at the base of this climb. The pub features as the starting point for the annual Wellington Challenge time trial to the summit of Mt Wellington, a 1100m climb, with the current record holder being Richie Porte, who did the climb in 2008 in 49:51, with an astonishing average speed of 25.43 km/h. In this post I only look at the first third of the climb, as the Mt Wellington climb itself will be a separate post.

The climb from Longley to Neika is very pleasant, low traffic, with mostly farmland scenery just starting to edge into the mountain forests as you approach the top. The climb is not particularly steep, averaging 5.7%, but it is long enough at 5.5km that you’ll have to work to make it to the top. The turnoff to Leslie Vale is roughly at the 40% point, which makes a nice milestone. Until you reach this corner, your views will be focused on the North West Bay River valley as it winds its way around the back of the Wellington plateau from Wellington Falls down to the sea.

After the turn-off, you continue climbing on the other side of the ridge. The views are now massive vistas of Storm Bay and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel between the Tasmanian mainland and Bruny Island. I particularly enjoy the two corners which have a divider in the centre of the road; they are also great waypoints and once I pass the second one, I know I am near the top of the climb. The gradient is relatively consistent, until a slightly steeper ramp at the very end as you approach the old Neika Schoolhouse.

I can’t think of much more enjoyable riding than this climb on a sunny summer morning!

This road is also wonderful for descending, without any overly steep corners and a decent surface. Just watch out for damp shaded sections and leaves, even in summer.  (Note: roadworks in recent weeks has trashed the surface and left lots of mud on the road…  I hope they clean up their mess.)

Your Challenge: ride this climb entirely over your heart rate anaerobic threshold.

Coming up in my next post, a climb that is not in the foothills of Mt Wellington

Longley to Neika
Distance 5.5km
Category 3
Elevation 314m
Gradient 5.7%
Maximum Gradient 8%
Time from city 45 minutes
Traffic low
Strava http://app.strava.com/segments/629095

How to get to the climb: The nice way: Take the “commando” route south through Kingston and turn right towards Sandfly just before Margate. Cross the Huon Hwy and turn right into Longley. This route takes more than 45 minutes — just take Davey St and stay on the same road until you get to Longley for the short route.

Longley Pub (or Longley International Hotel)

The valley at the base of the climb

Your climb starts here!

The first third of the climb is lined with sparse gums

Leslie Rd to the right will take you towards Kingston

The climb continues

If you are taking it easy, enjoy the views.  If you are trying to beat Richie’s record, here’s a view that you missed…

And more views

Evening light

Onward and upward

Lots of shaded (damp) corners

Waterfall on the way

Near the top here!

And there’s the crest!  Sprint!

The climb in winter — a little more treacherous!

Early morning descent

Descending Huon Rd with my daughter

Other posts in this series:

7 thoughts on “Hobart’s Top 10 Climbs, #8: Longley to Neika

  1. Marc, you might want to change ‘…turn right towards Sandfly just past Margate.’ to ‘…turn right towards Sandfly just before Margate.’

    Oh, and I’m famous now!

    Ant

  2. Pete, thanks, yes riding in the snow (on my roadie no less) was a bit tricky, in bottom gear and rear firmly in the saddle to maximize traction. Slow but because of that not too treacherous. Going down there in the snow though, that was interesting…

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