Kane Naaraat and Pinkbike.com
Kane Naaraat and Pinkbike.com
Travel Tip

9 Mountain Bike Trails To Shred

Troy Grundy
​Riders worldwide are making tracks to Tasmania - an island at the world's edge covered in wild mountain bike trails with ribbons of dirt tracks passing some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. And it's not just mountain-biking trails drawing people to Tasmania; tantalising food and wine trails and more recently beer and whisky trails are making their mark. To nail your trip on and off the trails, tuck these insider tips firmly in your back pocket.

1. Blue Derby

Blue Derby is a network of trails that surround the town of Derby and reach up to the nearby Blue Tier mountain range.

The transformation of Derby from a tin-mining frontier town to the new home of Australian mountain biking has been wildly successful, largely because the trails encompass everything mountain bikers love. Cruise to the top of the hill. Tear downhill as fast as you can. Repeat.

In April 2017 it hosted a round of the Enduro World Series (EWS), the first time the event has been held in Australia. It has helped cement Derby as a must-ride destination for those that want to test themselves on the trails built for the world’s best riders, or those that just want to cruise around the lake.

Mountain biking a trail in Derby made famous by the Enduro World Series
Kane Naaraat and Pinkbike.com
The Trouty Trail, Blue Derby

Dambusters trail takes its name from the 1929 disaster when the Cascade Dam burst, wiping out the riverbed and half of the township of Derby. Ride the forest trails or the famous exposed riverbed.

The Blue Tier Trail cuts through the mountain ranges it’s named after, descending to Weldborough Pub – just in time for a hearty counter meal and a huge selection of craft beer sourced from local Tasmanian microbreweries.

Want to taste a local brew at the source? Head to Little Rivers Brewing Co. in Scottsdale for an Xtra Pale Ale – a beer developed for the Enduro World Series. Need to brush up on your Australian history? Learn about Tasmania’s tin-mining past at the Derby Schoolhouse Museum. The EWS will be back on 30th March 2019.

2. Maydena Bike Park – Tassie’s newest sensation

In the Derwent Valley, only 80 minutes from Hobart lies Tassie’s newest sensation, the Maydena Bike Park. The full-service bike park offers gravity riding in spectacular wilderness. The park opened in January 2018 and is being hailed as a game changer for Australian mountain biking. There are more than 30 individual gravity trails/35km of trails with plans to expand to around 100km (including an epic 25km wilderness trail).

Boasting a massive 820m of vertical, the most of any bike park in Australia, the park can happily fill the boots of intermediate 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.

Maydena bike park mountain biking derwent valley tasmania
Kane Naaraat and Pinkbike.com
Sandier soils on the Pandani trail

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 rugged South West World Heritage Wilderness 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 / Mount 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. Note:  access to Glenorchy Bike Park from The Springs is not possible at the moment. Track is closed at is currently closed at New Town Rivulet.

Mountain bikers riding obstacles on the North South Track on Mt Wellington near Hobart
Flow Mountain Bike
The North-South Track

This is some of Hobart’s best riding with a bonus Instagrammable backdrop.

Before your ride, McVilly Café and Cycles on the docks provides great food with riders in mind (brownies wrapped in foil for your jersey pocket), as well as a bike hire and service shop. After your ride, visit Mona to see eye-popping art, or call into the Hobart Brewing Company with seven beers on tap and a ‘canimal’ that lets you take your favourite drop with you.

4. Clarence Bike Park, Hobart

The Clarence Bike Park, or ‘Meehan’, is another local favourite for Hobart riders. The Clifftop Track has amazing views back across the Derwent River to the city. Take the (Meehan) loop or head back down to the park via the Corkscrew or DH 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.

Mountain bike riders on a track with Hobart in the background
Flow Mountain Bike
Clifftop Trail with Hobart in the background

5. Trevallyn and Kate Reed, Launceston

Lucky Launceston riders have two newly revamped networks on their doorsteps. 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 km’s 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 offers a great history and beer tour, or you can stroll, eat and learn with a Taste.Talk.Walk 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 10 kilometre downhill descent (20km loop). Adrenaline junkies can hop on a Segway or zip line tour at neighbouring Hollybank Treetops Adventure or hit a trail of the cool climate wine variety on the Tamar Valley Wine Route.

A mountain bike rider going off a jump at Hollybank MTB Park near Launceston
Flow Mountain Bike
Test your skills on the wooden features

7. Wild West MTB Trails – Wild Old School Trails

The west coast has many ‘old school’ trails along former railways, and prospecting routes. Check out the descending Stirling 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 west coast’s wild weather.

Following your ride, walk along Ocean Beach or cruise down the Gordon River through World Heritage rainforest.

Person crossing the swinging bridge on the Montezuma Falls Track carrying mountain bike
Flow Mountain Bike
Crossing the swinging bridge on the Montezuma Falls Track

8. Penguin MTB Park and Dial Range

The Penguin MTB Park is small, but where 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. Historic ruins, sweeping bays, dramatic sea cliffs and plenty of stories await, 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 – 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. Further up the east coast at Freycinet National Park, swap two wheels for four and explore the Freycinet National Park on a quad bike.

Locations

Here’s a map [PDF 1.6MB] of the locations of mountain bike trails in Tasmania.

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. 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 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 Project, Wild Mersey Mountain Bike Trails, Dial Range network expansion, Bay of Fires Descent and St Helens Trail Network. Did I mention heli-biking? Now that’s epic!

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