6 mountain bike trails to shred in Tasmania
Riders worldwide are making tracks to Tasmania. An island at the world’s end covered in untamed mountain bike trails with ribbons of dirt tracks traversing some of the most magnificent landscapes on the globe.
By Troy Grundy
There are some significant routes taking Tasmania’s mountain riding reputation up a notch. But whomever claimed ‘the joy is ended at the end of the trail’ didn’t bike this island.
Adrenaline boosting activities are simply minutes from trails. Jump on a quad bike and search out isolated beaches, soar above the forest canopy, raft untamed rivers and abseil Gordon Dam.
BLUE DERBY NETWORK
Blue Derby is a network of paths that encircle the town of Derby. Once the epicenter of a tin mining boom, these days it’s the mountain bikers cutting up the soil.
The Blue Derby Network has revolutionized mountain riding in Tasmania, and Australia, forever. The routes incorporate everything mountain riders adore. Cruise to the top of the slope, rip downward as quickly as you can. Repeat.
Two of the prominent trails are Dam Busters and Blue Tier. The Dam Busters route draws its name from the 1929 tragedy when the Cascade Dam broke, wiping away the riverbed and part of the settlement of Derby.
Ride the woodland and exposed riverbank and conclude with a white-knuckle descent to Derby.
Blue Tier route passes across the mountain ranges it’s named for, dropping to Weldborough Pub.
Just in time for a substantial counter lunch and a vast range of artisan beer supplied from local Tasmanian microbreweries.
Want to experience a local beer at the source? Head to Little Rivers Brewing Co. in Scottsdale for a Dam Busters pale — it packs a punch, much like the path it’s named for.
If you feel like cooling down after your bike, follow the locals example and take a dip below Mathinna Falls.
HOLLYBANK MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK
Launceston is an excellent base to enjoy the Hollybank Mountain Bike Park. It’s simply a twenty-minute trip from the city with simple to ride loops and wooden berms.
Those wanting a challenge may tackle the Juggernaut course, a ten-kilometre (six-mile) downhill plunge. A short journey north-east from Launceston will get you to Hollybank Nature Reserve where you’ll discover the track.
Adrenaline enthusiasts may embark on a segway or zip line excursion with Hollybank Wilderness Adventures or hit a trail of the cool-climate wines on the Tamar Valley Wine Route.
MARIA ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Maria Island is protected totally with a national park and natural animal refuge. Historic ruins, vast beaches, spectacular sea cliffs and lots of tales await, but don’t expect to find hard-core mountain riding courses here. The biggest appeal of touring Maria Island by bike is going off the grid.
Maria is perfect for individuals with minimal mountain riding expertise, a strong sense of adventure and a desire to discover a location free from the limits of contemporary life.
With 30 kilometres (18 miles) of tracks and trails on the island, a mountain bike that can withstand loose sand, mud and rocks should assure you see it all.
There are no stores on the island, and no automobiles. The only traffic you could meet is a roaming wombat or jumping kangaroo. You may even receive a bossy honk from a Cape Barren geese if you don’t observe the island traffic regulations – give way to animals.
Stay on the island overnight at the Maria Island Penitentiary, a historic structure that previously held criminals. A short ride from Darlington will take you to the Painted Cliffs, best seen at low tide to enjoy the rich hues.
NORTH-SOUTH TRACK, MOUNT WELLINGTON
The top of kunanyi (Mount Wellington) looms huge behind the riverfront metropolis of Hobart and mountain bikers are attracted to it. Enjoy the run down from The Springs along the North-South Track.
This is some of Hobart’s greatest riding with a bonus Instagrammable background.
Afterwards, enjoy a beer tour at the historic Cascade Brewery, visit Mona (Museum of Old and New Art) to witness eye-popping art, or test your nerves abseiling Gordon Dam.
Come dusk pull up a seat in Salamanca Place. You can’t get beyond Jack Greene for a substantial burger and local craft beer.
PENGUIN MTB PARK AND DIAL RANGE
The Penguin MTB Park is modest, but where it’s missing in number it makes up for in quality. Ride an ancient unused racetrack, a corkscrew bridge, north shore features, and big berms.
Once you’re finished travel to Dial Range for longer courses with greater heights.
This tough environment is a blend of forestry trails, motocross courses and wooden tramways – a seldom traveled path of ascending and descending.
After your ride, head to Burnie where you may pour, varnish and seal your own bottle of whiskey; drop into sites along the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail; and tag along on a free penguin tour.
For a chilling experience make your way to Cradle Mountain for a canyoning trip with Cradle Mountain Canyons that’s off the charts.
WILD WEST MTB TRAILS
Tasmania’s rocky western area is dubbed the ‘wild west’ for a reason. This rural location includes several ‘old school’ paths along defunct trains as well as mining routes.
Check out the descending Stirling Valley trail at Rosebery, or the mellower Montezuma Falls track.
Climies Track from Trial Harbour to Granville Harbour links the two shack settlements and is exposed to the West Coast’s unpredictable weather.
Following your ride, visit Ocean Beach or sail down the Gordon River through World Heritage rainforest.
MAYDENA BIKE PARK
In Tasmania’s Derwent Valley, approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Hobart, lies Maydena Bike Park.
The park’s gravity trails take full use of the 820m (2,690ft) of vertical elevation accessible on site, allowing for an amazing network of long-distance descending tracks.
Designed for bikers of all levels, Maydena provides trails ranging from tricky and tough to broad and even. They also provide classes for families and novices.
While you’re here, try visiting Mt Field National Park, which is full of cascading waterfalls, enormous fern woods and animals. The quick drive to Russell Falls from the tourist centre is an excellent location to start.
Topic: mountain bike trails to shred in Tasmania
I am arguably the most popular Australian writer of all time. I am from the town of Karrinyup in rural Western Australia. When I was young, I was fascinated by the unique landscape of Australia, and I decided to support himself by writing books about the Australian landscape.
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