On your Bike! 5 of Tassie’s Best Mountain Biking Tracks
Blue Derby Trail Network
The 80km Blue Derby trail network, just over an hour’s drive from Launceston, quickly became a must-do for riders when it opened in 2015. The facilities are top-notch with a café, showers and toilets, and a bike-wash facility, and everything is well-signposted. But the main draw is, of course, the network itself – 22 trails that range from moderately challenging to jaw-dropping, covering all sorts of terrain and catering to the fussiest rider. You’ll pass rivers and waterfalls and through dense temperate rainforest, catching glimpses of the surrounding national park stretching into the distance. For a true test, attempt the 1km Shear Pin trail, considered by some to be the most intense track in Tassie.
Tasmania is full of spectacular vistas, none as striking as the Central Highlands plateau, which is dotted with lakes and fringed by dramatic mountains. The highlands are an ecosystem unto themselves, known for intense weather (think snow and storms) and wildlife (the wombats here are ferocious). Feel like exploring? Book a room at the only accommodation in the vicinity, Thousand Lakes Lodge, and borrow an e-bike. Although the surrounding terrain is relatively flat, the roads and tracks are rocky, so you’ll need that electric engine if you want to travel more than a couple of kilometres.
Hollybank Forest Reserve
The beauty of the Hollybank Forest Reserve trail network is its central location – just 20 minutes’ drive from Launceston. The reserve contains a mix of native and European vegetation, which gives it a different atmosphere to other tracks in the north of the state, but there are still plenty of areas that feel totally “wild”. There are 20km of trails of varying degrees of difficulty, including the family-friendly No Sweat loop and the super-scenic Tall Timbers. Keen riders may wish to head directly to Juggernaut, a 10km challenging descent, or the extremely tricky Ginger Ridge.
Adventurous riders, long-distance fans and those unafraid of mud should seriously consider a trip to Montezuma Falls on Tasmania’s west coast (beyond Cradle Mountain, if you’re travelling from Launceston). This part of the state is often shrouded in mist or cloaked in rain and big puddles are unavoidable. There’s a gorgeous stretch across button grass plains and a fun section that follows the path of an old railway track, plus the falls themselves, which cascade 104 metres. It’s possible to ride uninterrupted for 55km to the falls, starting and finishing in the town of Zeehan.
North South Track
Descending Hobart’s Mount Wellington on the carefully constructed North South Track is like taking a condensed trip through the entire state of Tasmania. There’s rainforest, meadows and dramatic rock formations, plus views of Hobart and the ocean beyond. The trail has won praise for its versatility – it’s safe enough for less-confident riders, but can also be ridden at speed by pros (there are several side loops with more challenging features). The simplest way to experience the track is to arrange for a tour operator to drive you up the mountain with your bike. From the bottom, you can ride back to central Hobart.