Mountain biking, Maria Island National Park, Tasmania © Flow Mountain Bike
10 Mountain bike trails to shred in Tasmania
Riders worldwide are making tracks to Tasmania. An island at the world’s edge, the wild mountain bike trails here pass some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet.
By Troy Grundy and Carly Spek
There are some serious trails shifting Tasmania's mountain biking reputation up a gear. But whoever said ‘the fun is over at the end of the trail’ didn’t ride this island. Adrenaline-pumping adventures are just minutes away. Here are some of Tassie’s top trails.
Blue Derby Network
The Blue Derby Network is a set of trails that surround the town of Derby. Once the centre of a tin mining boom, these days it’s the mountain bikers carving up the dirt. Two of the notable trails are Dam Busters and Blue Tier. The Dam Busters trail takes its name from the 1929 disaster when the Cascade Dam burst, today allowing riders to descend through the forest and exposed riverbed to Derby. Follow the locals' lead and cool off with a swim underneath Mathinna Falls.
Hollybank Mountain Bike Park
Launceston is a great base to ride the Hollybank Mountain Bike Park. It's just a twenty-minute drive from the city at Hollybank Nature Reserve and offers easy-to-ride loops and wooden berms. Those seeking a challenge can tackle the Juggernaut track, a 10km (6mi) downhill descent. After, hop on a segway or zip line tour with Hollybank Wilderness Adventures and hit a trail of cool-climate wineries on the Tamar Valley Wine Route.
Maria Island National Park
Maria Island is covered entirely by a national park and natural wildlife sanctuary. Historic ruins, sweeping bays and dramatic sea cliffs await, but don’t expect to find hard-core mountain biking trails here. Maria Island is great for those with little mountain biking experience. There are no shops or cars on the island – the only traffic you might encounter is a wandering wombat or hopping kangaroo. Stay on the island overnight at the historic Maria Island Penitentiary.
North-south Track, Mount Wellington
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 halfway up the mountain along the North-South Track. This is some of Hobart’s best riding, and the Instagrammable backdrop is just a bonus. Afterwards, take a brewery tour at the historic Cascade Brewery and visit Mona (Museum of Old and New Art) to see notoriously unusual art.
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 forested trails, motocross trails and wooden tramways. After your ride, drive to Burnie where you can pour your own bottle of whisky, take the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail and tag along on a free penguin tour.
Wild West MTB Trails
Tasmania's rugged western region is called the 'wild west' for a reason. This remote region has many ‘old school’ trails along former railways as well as prospecting routes. Check out the descending Stirling Valley Track near Rosebery or the easier Montezuma Falls Track. Climies Track offers a challenging 35km (22mi) out-and-back trail along sand, rocks and creeks. Following your ride, walk Ocean Beach or cruise down the Gordon River through World Heritage-listed rainforest.
Maydena Bike Park
In Tasmania's Derwent Valley, about a 1.5-hour drive from Hobart, is Maydena Bike Park. The park's gravity trails take full advantage of the 820m (2,690ft) of vertical elevation available on site, making for an epic network of long-distance descending tracks. Designed for riders of all abilities, Maydena offers trails ranging from technical and challenging to wide and even. They even offer lessons for families and beginners. While you're here, consider visiting Mt Field National Park, which is full of trickling waterfalls, huge fern forests and wildlife.
Mt Owen is an experienced rider’s paradise. The bare mountain boasts an extensive network of clear trails that make for a thrilling descent. For sweeping views and the toughest trails, you can book a shuttle from Queenstown that will take you to the upper mountain. If you’re looking for a more relaxed ride suited to all skill levels, enjoy an easy pedal from town to Tramway Street and explore the lower mountain trails.
With trails ranging from easy to advanced, the Silver City network promises a picturesque journey for riders of any ability. Located just outside of Zeehan (known locally as the Silver City), the trails will take you through rolling hills to the peaks of the Heemskirk Range for unrivalled views of Tasmania’s wild west. If you’re up for a challenge, continue to Oonah Hill for an exhilarating 3km (1.9mi) ride down from the summit on a purpose-built track.
Soar through the wilderness at the Wild Mersey, a stunning and diverse network of tracks spread across three towns for beginner to advanced riders. Begin at Warrawee Reserve for cruisy, winding tracks through Latrobe. Connecting to both Warrawee and Sheffield networks, Wild Mersey’s Railton trails have everything from fun little runs to more technical adventures.