Launceston to Underwood
Begin your adrenalin-fuelled trip with a visit to Hollybank Treetops Adventure, just 20 minutes from Launceston. Zipline from tree to tree 30 metres above the ground and stop for breath at the cloud stations (perches in the trees), before taking off again. Some stretches of zipline are 400 metres long. This is old-school flying fox fun. Not into soaring through the wilderness? Take a Segway option on the forest floor and explore the forest without having to take a step.
Worked up an appetite? Head up the road to Lilydale Larder and enjoy the rustic décor and local wines, craft beer and cider.
Stay: The Trig, Mount Arthur for furniture designed by local makers including a glass blower’s work that will blow your mind. Then there’s the outdoor bath. Enough said.
Underwood to Derby
It’s time to hit Derby. This sleepy old tin mining town now hums with mountain bikers. Last year’s Enduro World Series turned on the international spotlight while riders gave it the nod as among the world’s best. If you’re keen on a two-wheeled adventure, bring your own bike or hire in town and get pedaling through temperate rainforest. There’s tracks like Big Chook, Dam Busters and Flickety Sticks to career down. Or Return to Sender might take your fancy.
It’s not all about downhill thrills. Dismount and check out the intriguing Trail of the Tin Dragon. It’s a chance to brush up on Aussie history and learn about Tasmania’s tin mining heritage. The cemetery is worth a peek, European graves face east and the Chinese graves face west, complete with a restored burning tower as per cultural tradition.
Rather hit the accelerator? Join Kookaburra Ridge Quad Bike for a Tassie bush adventure exploring secret gullies and open plains on a fully auto ATV so there’s no need to be a pro.
Put your curiosity to the test – join the brave and take a skinny dip at Mathinna Falls. Few can say they’ve done so and winter is a rather invigorating time to take the plunge.
Eat/drink/stay: Head where the local brews flow at the Weldborough Pub. There’s a backpacker style hut out the back named The Hilton – it doesn’t quite live up to its counterpart, and sometimes comes with a complimentary possum visiting the roof.
Derby to Launceston
Remember that Dam Busters trail you rode down? Now it’s time to head to the Little Rivers Brewing Company in Scottsdale to sample the Dam Busters Pale – it packs a punch much like the trail it salutes.
Also en route is Ralph Falls, one of the island’s 60 Great Short Walks. The falls cascade 90 metres over a sheer ledge, making it one of Tassie’s highest falls. It’s right by Ringarooma where there’s an old church brimming with mining and agricultural history.
Don’t miss the carved trees at Legerwood. This avenue of trees was planted in honour of the local young men who didn’t return from World War 1. In 1999, when the trees became ‘unsafe’, rather than cut them down, a chainsaw carver was employed to bring the soldiers alive through sculpture.
Style it up: Make it a full three-day mountain bike adventure by joining the Blue Derby Pods Ride. Stay in private pods, sit by a crackling fire and enjoy an equally enticing local menu.
Easy rider: BYO your own bike (it’s easier than you think). There’s a bike assembly area at Launceston Airport. If renting a vehicle, AutoRent Hertz vehicles have racks to fit the bike. Alternatively you can hire a bike at Derby.
If you have a bit of time to kill before your flight, stop at Josef Chromy Wines in Relbia. You deserve that glass of bubbles! And with views across the lake, it’s a magic spot to ‘cheers’ your adventure trip before heading home.