Tinderbox – a perfect hidden cove near Hobart

Tinderbox cove looking west to the vineyard

This is surely one of the prettiest little coves in all of Tasmania.

Tinderbox sits at the northern edge of North West Bay at the top end of the d’Entrecasteaux Channel across from Dennes Point on North Bruny, and adjacent to Storm Bay and the mouth of the River Derwent. By road, it lies between Howden and Blackmans Bay.

Tinderbox cove looking south down the d'Entrecasteaux Channel
Tinderbox cove looking south down the d’Entrecasteaux Channel

The beach is tiny but perfect and the sandstone ledge on the western edge sits above a marine reserve where I have seen sea dragons and other aquatic creatures while snorkelling just offshore.

Yachts moored at Tinderbox
Yachts moored at Tinderbox

There are a few yachts moored in the bay and familys picnic and play on the beach.  A handful of houses and shacks (rapidly being renovated) enjoy views down the Channel, and the historic home watches over Pinot noir vines growing at Tinderbox Vineyard on the steep east-facing slope.

Tinderbox Vineyard's pinot noir vines enjoy a sunny position on the east-facing slope of the cove
Tinderbox Vineyard’s pinot noir vines enjoy a sunny position on the east-facing slope of the cove

Apparently the area is named for a story in which a sterling silver tinderbox was found on the beach by a Captain Joshua John Fergusson, the skipper of a trading vessel in the 1830s. He went on to establish a farm of the same name in the area.

I gleaned this information on the area’s nomenclature from the website www.placenames.tas.gov.au, which also suggests that the Aboriginal word for this area is ‘renna kannapughoola’.

Tinderbox cove, looking north east
Tinderbox cove, looking north east

On a glorious day like last the one on which I visited recently, it would be hard to think of a more delightful spot to enjoy the day.

Historic home above Tinderbox cove
Historic home above Tinderbox cove
Sandstone headland at Tinderbox
Sandstone headland at Tinderbox
Yachts moored at Tinderbox, with a view across to Dennes Point
Yachts moored at Tinderbox, with a view across to Dennes Point