Tasmania is famous for our world-class mountain biking trails. With an abundance of natural forests and tracks to discover, it’s the best way to get out amongst nature and enjoy some breathtaking scenery. Whether you’re just starting out and still finding your groove, or a more seasoned rider, there’s a bike trail for all abilities to enjoy right across Tasmania.
With two young adventurous boys, we’ve tested many of the local riding tracks around Launceston, albeit being slightly restricted over recent months and having to resort to creating our own trails through the vineyards to keep the boys occupied during lockdown. But if you’re heading to Tasmania for some mountain biking fun, we’ve highlighted some of the must-visit bike trails to explore.
With COVID-19 restrictions still in place in some areas, many of these trails have only just reopened, so be sure to check before you make the trek out to hit the dirt.
Northern Tasmanian Trails
Blue Derby Network
Perhaps the most famous Tasmanian mountain biking area is the 125km of trails in the temperate rainforest in North-East Tasmania forming the Blue Derby Network in the old mining town of Derby. Since being custom-built in 2015, this has become a biker’s paradise, with an abundance of trails to explore right on the doorstep of town. Blue Derby was home to the Enduro World Series (EWS) in 2017, 2018 and 2019, shining the international spotlight on this part of our little Apple Isle. Cruise to the top and tear down the tracks at pace! You’ll soon see what all the fuss is about.
Although Blue Derby is top of the list for the true mountain biking professionals, there’s also lots for families to enjoy. There is a flat scenic loop around Lake Derby, and from the trailhead, Route One is a fun one, with approximately 6km of easy-grade trails taking roughly an hour to complete. The tunnel trail is always a highlight for the young ones! There’s also a fantastic large sealed pump track for the kids. When it’s time to relax, the local cafes don’t disappoint!
There is no cost to access or ride the trails. There’s a nominal cost if you want a shuttle lift to the Black Stump, which we absolutely recommend for its spectacular view. Plus, because it’s only an hour and a half from Launceston Airport, it’s an easy destination for a long-weekend adventure. (It’s best in springtime from September onwards.) Staying for a weekend, you can support some of the local businesses, which very much welcome guests and love seeing their little town transformed into a global mountain biking hotspot.
There’s now unrestricted access to the trails and Derby camping grounds for locals in Tasmania so it’s time to get out and about again. Keep up to date with the latest developments and openings on the Blue Derby Facebook page. Alternatively, plan your trip in advance and download the app on Google Play or the Apple Store.
Details: Ride Blue Derby
Hollybank Mountain Bike Park
Hollybank Mountain Bike Park is only 20 minutes north-east of Launceston. There are three main trails to explore, which suit a range of abilities. Those who are not faint-hearted can challenge themselves with the rocky and rugged Juggernaut track, a 10km downhill adventure. It’s the track that’s got the experts talking; its tight twists and terrain guarantee an exhilarating ride in the wilderness! Slightly less challenging is the 4km intermediate Tall Timbers trail featuring sustained climbs and descents and lots of curves and drops.
For those not quite so brave, the 5.5km No Sweat loop passes through a wide range of vegetation and terrain with no significant climbing and an all-weather trail surface that makes it ideal for year-round riding pleasure. There is also a skills area with a pump track and a jump track.
Visitors have free entry to the Hollybank Park, and if you want to take a break from the mountain bikes, there’s also a zipline, Segway tours and tree ropes. Plus, when your legs need a rest, our Holm Oak Cellar Door is a short 40-minute drive away – a perfect way to end the day with a glass of Tasmanian Pinot Noir in front of the fire!
Details: Hollybank Wilderness Adventures
Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area
If you’re limited in time or looking for something more accessible around Launceston, one of the most popular local riding spots is in the Trevallyn Recreation Area. Bordering the world-famous Cataract Gorge, there’s everything from fire trails to fun single track. The network includes 8 kilometres of purpose-built single track stretching from Gorge Road to Hoo Hoo Hut.
Along with mountain bike trails, the reserve offers walking tracks, horse trails, rock climbing, windsurfing and orienteering facilities. It’s spectacular and a place that the whole Duffy family enjoys.
Details: Tasmanian Government
Kate Reed Reserve Nature Recreation Area
The Kate Reed Nature Reserve Recreation Area is another network of tracks with something for everyone near Launceston. It features a series of unsealed trails with more than 20km of single track and some great berm trails that are now signposted. Its wide fire trails make it great for beginners and families, but there’s plenty of opportunity for more experienced riders to flex their muscles on the single track. It’s also the home to Silverdome, Tasmania’s main velodrome so it’s certainly a hub for all things bike-related.
Details: Tasmanian Government
St Helens Mountain Biking Trails
Near the picturesque Bay of Fires, these trails have some of the most spectacular scenery in Northern Tasmania. Meander through a series of stacked loops just south of the St Helens Township or explore an epic 42km wilderness trail that starts at the top of Blue Tier and winds down to Swimcart Beach in the internationally acclaimed Bay of Fires National Park.
Take a virtual spin with legendary rider Hans Rey, who explores the magnificent Bay of Fires Trail from Blue Tier to St Helens.
Details: St Helens Mountain Bike Trails
Mount George – George Town Mountain Bike Trails
Only 35 minutes’ drive north of Launceston, the new world-class Mount George trail network features 80km of purpose-built mountain bike trails on the flanks of Mount George and in the Tippogoree Hills. The area caters to every skill level; you’ll find lots of Green Circle (easy) family-friendly trails, Blue Square (intermediate) trails, Black Diamond (difficult) trails and even Double Black Diamond (extreme) trails for the ultra-daring. Add to this George Town’s first-rate surf and swimming beaches, and you’ve got yourself a must-visit destination!
Southern Tasmanian Trails
Maydena Bike Park
Located in the Derwent Valley (also home to some fabulous wineries) only 80 minutes from Hobart is the Maydena Bike Park. Opened in January 2018, this full-service bike park has more than 62 individual gravity trails to explore and boasts a massive 820-metre elevation – the highest of any bike park in Australia. Designed and built by renowned trail company Dirt Art, the park features a shuttle uplift service, bike hire, a bike school, events and tours. There’s something for everyone, with a top-to-bottom beginner trail, a wilderness ride and a ‘Go with the Flow’ trail to test even the most diehard speedsters! There’s also a great cafe at the base, where you can watch riders on the sealed pump track hone their skills.
We recommend pre-booking your ticket so you’ll have as much time on the trail as possible once you get here. Don’t miss a stop at The Summit – the lookout gives you spectacular views of the rugged South West Heritage Wilderness Area.
Book online here.
Details: Maydena Bike Park
North South Track – Mt Wellington
For the adventurous, the 10km North South Track on Mt Wellington features an awesome descent. The trail takes riders from a signposted carpark at The Springs, halfway up Mt Wellington, down to the Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park. Enjoy the local views – and capture them on your GoPro! – so you can relive your adventure down the track.
Details: Flow Mountain Bike
Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park
Only 20 minutes from Hobart, the Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park provides mountain bike opportunities for all levels, with a wide range of trails, including cross-country, downhill, mountain cross, dirt jumps and north-shore-style tracks.
Details: Glenorchy City Council
Meehan Range Nature Recreation Area
The Meehan Range on the Eastern shore of Hobart has been a popular mountain biking destination since the early 1980s. There’s a mix of trails, from shared-use tracks to fire trails. Steep and challenging conditions make this a spot for more experienced riders, so it’s worth adding to your ride list if you’re up for an exciting escapade.
Clarence Mountain Bike Park
In the Meehan Range only 15 minutes from Hobart, the Clarence Mountain Bike Park includes 40km of single track, including an impressive skills park, pump track, dirt jumps and a range of trails catering to beginners, intermediate cyclists and advanced riders.
Details: Clarence City Council
This ride follows a four-wheel-drive track over the back of the Saw Back Range to the old mining town of Adamsfield and then back again. It’s quite technical as you climb the track through some spectacular myrtle forests. In addition to having a challenging track, the area is quite remote, with poor phone coverage, so be sure to bring some friends to ensure a safe ride. Allow a day to explore this cross-country terrain and trail.
Details: Tassie Trails
Maria Island National Park
It’s slightly off the beaten track and requires a little planning, but a trip to Maria Island National Park is one to put on your must-visit list. It’s nothing short of spectacular with its combination of historic ruins, dramatic sea cliffs and 30km of tracks and trails. There are no shops and no cars, so it’s the perfect place when you’re looking for a great getaway.
Many of the roads are suitable for exploring the island. More experienced cyclists may want to head south to reach the remote areas with slightly more difficult terrain. Bring your own bike across on the ferry from Darlington (don’t forget your helmet!) or hire one when you get there. The passenger ferry to Maria Island runs from Triabunna off the Tasman highway; the trip from Triabunna to Darlington takes approximately 45 minutes. View the timetable here.
Best Tasmanian Mountain Bike Trails for Kids
“Tasmania is the perfect location to get the kids into mountain biking, with most areas having a great progression of trails for the kids to cut their teeth into,” says former Australian mountain biker Zoë King. “There are plenty of places with skills areas and pump tracks where even the youngest of kids can have a go. Derby would have to be my favourite – truly offering something for everyone!”
There are so many trails to explore throughout Tasmania that we can’t capture them all, but a good Tassie map can help you discover them. If you’re heading our way, we’d love you to visit our Cellar Door. Tasmania may be becoming renowned for its mountain bike trails, but our little island’s wines are pretty special, too! We’d love to take you through our Holm Oak range.