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. Get the timing right and be in Tassie for the Farm Gate Festival, when producers and makers swing open their gates throughout the Tamar Valley, 24-25 November.
Tonight stay at 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 to soak those tired muscles. Enough said.
Underwood to Derby
On the way to Derby, don’t miss Clover Hill Wines. This sparkling house is all style, one of the few in Australia making sparkling in the traditional method. From here, it’s on to Derby, a sleepy old tin mining town now humming with mountain bikers. The international spotlight shone brightly during 2017’s Enduro World Series, riders among the worlds’ best giving it the nod.
If you’re keen on a two-wheeled adventure, bring your own bike or hire in town and get pedalling through temperate rainforest. There’s tracks like Big Chook, Dam Busters and Flickety Sticks to career down and 20 kilometres of new green trails (easiest grade) too.
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.
If you feel like hitting the accelerator, join Kookaburra Ridge Quad Bike near Bridport for a Tassie bush adventure. Explore secret gullies and open plains on a fully auto ATV so there’s no need to be a pro. Heading to the east coast instead? Stop in at the pretty Mathinna Falls. If no one is around, take the plunge and have a skinny dip.
Tonight, 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 packed 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 brought 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 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 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.