1. Blue Derby
Ninety minutes east of Launceston is the new capital of mountain biking in Australia. The Blue Derby trail network surrounds the former tin mining town of Derby and extends to the nearby Blue Tier mountain range.
Over 100km of dedicated bike trails now greet riders of all abilities. Cruise around the lake or explore the green trails, work your way up to blue trails or the more experienced riders will enjoy the black and double black runs that were built for the Enduro World Series (EWS). Catch round 2 of the EWS is on 30 March 2019.
Catch a shuttle to the top or climb with your mates. If you love mountain biking, the Blue Tier trail is a must-do.
2. Maydena Bike Park
Situated in the Western Wilds, only 80 minutes from Hobart, lies Tassie’s newest sensation, the Maydena Bike Park. The full-service bike park offers gravity riding in stunning wilderness. Opened in January 2018, Maydena is being hailed as a game changer for Australian mountain biking. With more than 50 individual gravity trails and future plans to include an epic 25km wilderness trail, this is more than just a quiet little ride.
Boasting a massive 820m of vertical elevation – the most of any bike park in Australia – the park can happily fill the boots of beginner through to advanced riders. The trails are a mix of hand-carved technical single-track and machine-built flow and jump trails. If jumps are your thing, the lower park has some of the biggest hits in Australia.
It’s important to pre-book your ticket, which will give you as many shuttle trips as you can handle to the trailhead at the summit. At the 1100m summit, there’s a café and lookout with expansive views of the rugged Southwest Wilderness World Heritage Area. Select your trail and drop away. The combination of trail (multiple trailheads down the hill) is virtually endless.
En route to Maydena, treat yourself to a meal at one of Australia’s best regional restaurants, The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery in New Norfolk, or check out one of Tassie’s most loved waterfalls, Russell Falls in Mount Field National Park. The region also has some great spots for kayaking and Tassie Bound can offer you a short or long tour.
3. North-South Track, Hobart
The summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington looms large behind the riverside city of Hobart and mountain bikers are drawn to it. Enjoy the run down from The Springs along the North-South Track.This is some of Hobart’s best riding, with a bonus Instagrammable backdrop, made easily accessible thanks to a handy shuttle bus with bike racks to get you to the top of kunanyi/Mt Wellington. After your ride, visit Mona to see eye-popping art, or call into the Hobart Brewing Company which has seven beers on tap and a ‘CANimal’ that will let you take your favourite drop with you straight from the keg.
4. Clarence Bike Park, Hobart
The Clarence Mountain Bike Park, or ‘Meehan’, is another local favourite for Hobart riders. The Clifftop Track has amazing views from the top of the Meehan Range back across the Derwent River to the city. Take the (Meehan) loop or head back down to the park via the Corkscrew, DH trail or K’s Choice (green trail). The park has a brand new jumps course and pump track. A toilet and wash facilities are being added soon, so for the time being, you will need to bring your own water for your ride. On weekends there’s a coffee van at the trailhead.
5. Trevallyn and Kate Reed, Launceston
Lucky Launceston riders have two newly revamped networks on their doorstep. Both the Trevallyn and Kate Reed trail networks are located in nature recreation areas on the edge of town, with Trevallyn being only 4km from the city centre.
Skirting the top of the scenic Cataract Gorge, the Trevallyn trails make great use of the terrain and elevation. There’s single-track with berms and features, and also shared access trails to get the kilometres up. The network provides flow on the edge of the city and regularly hosts local enduro and marathon events.
Kate Reed is a little further out, but it is the first network you reach if coming from Launceston Airport. The compact trail network features a mix of sandy soils and single-track and man-made rock gardens. Perfect for an after-work spin or an intro to Tassie riding.
Saint John Craft Beer in St John Street is one of the best bars for a drop and has a handy food van out the back.
Having a rest day? J.Boag and Sons offer a great history and beer tour, or you can stroll, eat and learn with a Taste.Walk.Talk foodie tour of the city.
6. Hollybank MTB Park
Only 20 minutes north-east of Launceston, Hollybank Mountain Bike Park has easy-to-ride loops, wooden berms and a skills area. Those seeking a challenge can tackle the Juggernaut track, a 10km downhill descent (20km loop). Adrenaline junkies can hop on a Segway or zipline tour at neighbouring Hollybank Treetops Adventure or hit a trail of the cool climate wine variety on the Tamar Valley Wine Route.
7. Wild west MTB trails – wild old school trails
The west coast of Tasmania has many ‘old school’ trails along former railways and prospecting routes. Check out the descending Sterling Valley track near Rosebery, or the mellower Montezuma Falls Track. Climies Track from Trial Harbour to Granville Harbour connects the two shack towns and is exposed to the wild weather that helped give the Western Wilds its reputation. Following your ride, walk along Ocean Beach or cruise down the Gordon River through World Heritage rainforest.
8. Penguin MTB Park and Dial Range
The Penguin MTB Park is small, but what it’s lacking in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Ride an old disused speedway, a corkscrew bridge, north shore features and massive berms. Once you’re through, head to Dial Range for longer tracks with higher elevations. This rugged area is a mixture of former forestry trails and old wooden tramways – an infrequently ridden world of climbing and descending that will soon have more trail added.
After your ride drive to Burnie where you can pour, wax, and seal your own bottle of whisky; drop into places along the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail; and tag along on a free penguin tour.
9. Maria Island National Park
Historic ruins, sweeping bays, dramatic sea cliffs and plenty of stories await. Maria Island is a national park as well as a natural wildlife sanctuary – but don’t expect to find hard-core mountain biking trails here. The main attraction of exploring Maria Island by bike is getting off the grid. Maria is great for those with little mountain biking experience, a keen sense of adventure and a desire to explore a place free from the confines of modern life. With 30km of tracks and trails on the island, a mountain bike that can handle loose sand, mud and rocks should guarantee you’ll see it all.
There are no shops on the island and no cars. The only traffic you might encounter is a wandering wombat or hopping kangaroo. Oh, and you may get a bossy honk from a Cape Barren Goose if you don’t follow the island road rules – so give way to wildlife. Stay on the island overnight at Darlington Probation Station, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site rich with Australian convict history. A short ride from Darlington will take you to the Painted Cliffs. Explore the island by e-bike with Tas E-Bike Adventures.
Here’s a handy map [PDF 1.6MB] showing the locations Tasmania’s mountain bike trails.
Travelling with your bike
Travelling to Tasmania with a bike is easy. Grab a bike bag (or a bike box from your local bike store) and pick up some flights. Remember to factor in the bike weight. If you land at Launceston Airport, there’s an area to assemble your rig, and you can rent a vehicle with bike racks from AutoRent Hertz. The team at Crank-E MTB in Hobart can also rent you a tailgate pad or bike rack, or private transfers are available.
Campervans offer a cosy alternative, and the Spirit of Tasmania from Melbourne to Devonport has room for bags, bikes and your car, so you can just drive straight on to the boat in Melbourne and hit the trails as soon as you arrive in Tasmania.
Mountain biking future – coastal descents and heli-biking
There’s a swag of mountain bike projects in the pipeline. They include the West Coast Mountain Bike Trails, the Wild Mersey Mountain Bike Trails (stage 1 has just opened with stage 2 opening May 2019). Dial Range network expansion, Bay of Fires Descent and St Helens Trail Network. Did we mention heli-biking? Now that’s epic!