25 September, 2020

Go AWOL on Tassie's epic MTB trails

Sail south with your mountain bike and discover why Tasmania is two-wheeled heaven on these top mountain bike trails.

With its wild and varied landscape, from rugged peaks to rainforest and untamed coastlines, Tassie seems made for mountain biking – aka MTB. Its potential has been recognised in recent years with the construction of some world-renowned trails, so get on your bike and shred ‘em before everybody else does!

Gnarly northern trails

Only have time for one hot spot? Make it Blue Derby, which instantly turned a faded mining town into a mountain-biking destination when this network of purpose-built trails opened in 2015. Two years later it put Tasmania on the MTB map when international riders arrived for the first Enduro World Series stage hosted in Australia.

This ever-expanding trail network currently clocks in at 125 kilometres, winding through an epic landscape of granite boulders, giant tree ferns and pristine streams. From easy warm-up and beginner options to double-black diamonds like Detonate and Shearpin, there are trails to suit everyone.

Not far away, just outside Launceston, the private Hollybank adventure park includes three mountain-bike trails, from the aptly named No Sweat to jaw-dropping Juggernaut. If its 10-kilometre steep, rocky descent isn’t enough, try this trail’s short, extra-gnarly optional extras loaded with chutes, drops and turns.

Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails (Image: Stu Gibson/Tourism Tasmania)
Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails (Image: Stu Gibson/Tourism Tasmania)

Shred the south!

Although it’s right on Hobart’s doorstep, kunanyi / Mount Wellington offers some of Tasmania’s wildest rides, including the North-South Track – Wellington Park’s ultimate MTB adventure. Take in va-va-voom views and maybe optional technical sections including log rides and jumps, or just bomb down the mountain. Either way, allow time at start or finish in the public Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park. It has trails to suit all skill levels, including a black diamond that’s wide enough for four riders to tackle its big jumps and bermed corners together.

Not far from Hobart, the private, gravity-focused Maydena Bike Park has 60-plus trails to try. From easy flows perfect for beginners and families to technical tracks best left to pro-level riders, it’s got everything – including a mountain-summit cafe and on-site accommodation.

Maydena Bike Park (Image: Kane Naaraat/Pinkbike/Tourism Tasmania)
Maydena Bike Park (Image: Kane Naaraat/Pinkbike/Tourism Tasmania)

Eastern MTB adventure

One of Tasmania’s newest trails takes you from mountains to sea – the Bay of Fires in fact, where beautiful white-sand beaches are lapped by cobalt-blue water and scattered with rocks covered in vivid orange lichen. St Helens Mountain Bike Trails’ top option, this awesome 42-kilometre ride starts at Blue Derby’s Blue Tier trailhead (so plan a mega ride across the north-east if you can). It mostly descends to the east coast, but there are also some climbs through granite boulders. The varied vistas, from rainforest and sub-alpine terrain to that first glimpse of the bay, are breathtaking.

Gravity Isles MTB Shuttles can get you and your gear from the seaside town of St Helens to the trailhead, and also help out if you want to add the St Helens Mountain Bike Trails’ purpose-built stacked loop trails.

St Helens Mountain Bike Trails (Image: J Da Seymour Photomedia/Tourism Tasmania)
St Helens Mountain Bike Trails (Image: J Da Seymour Photomedia/Tourism Tasmania)

Whip it in the west!

Immerse yourself in the wild west’s rainforest on a fairly easy rail trail leading to Montezuma Falls, whose 104-metre cascade is Tasmania’s highest. The only real challenge will likely be mud, but you can up the ante with trail extensions that add up to 55 kilometres there and back.

If you want raw coastal adventure and are in good shape, your best bet is Climies Track linking the remote villages of Trial Harbour and Granville Harbour. This old 4WD track is now pretty much only passable by bike and boots, so expect everything from creek crossings to rocky sections. Plus plenty of hills adding up to a 1000-metre ascent, and probably big blasts of Southern Ocean wind too.

Montezuma Falls (Image: Flow Mountain Bike/Tourism Tasmania)
Montezuma Falls (Image: Flow Mountain Bike/Tourism Tasmania)


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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