North-South Mountain Bike Track
Picture this. You're 700-metres above sea level on a mountainside, breathing in icy air tinged with a rainforest scent. On one side there are breath-taking views over South-Eastern Tasmania, on the other there is the towering Organ Pipes of kunanyi / Mt Wellington. It's just you and your mountain bike and 10 kilometres of downhill trails in front of you.
Welcome to the North-South Mountain Bike Track, a trail of extremes.
The track starts at the Springs, a grassy picnic area and car park 14 kilometres from Hobart and roughly seven kilometres from the top of the mountain. The start is a 20-min drive from Hobart city or a 60 to 90-min uphill ride for an intermediate rider. It’s a good idea to organise a car shuffle at either end of the track.
The first section of the track to Junction Cabin doesn't descend too far. The path quickly enters a thick rainforest, interspersed with exposed rocky escarpments. It jolts you from a mix of short flowy sections, little climbs, technically awkward rock gardens and muddy bog. For the advanced rider there are some purpose built log drop offs and rollovers if you dare.
If you can force yourself to stop along this section you'll find yourself in the middle of one of the most awe inspiring and captivating geographic locations on earth. This is the Tasmania you wanted.
From Junction Cabin the rainforest and cold weather is left behind. The slippery technical sections are replaced with fast flowing, hard packed single track and fire trail. Gum trees replace the ferns and there's a feeling you've left the mountain for the surrounding hills. But honestly this is not the case.
The downhill section has started and you won't be able to wipe away the smile all the way to the Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park.
It's a one to two hour downhill ride through every type of terrain Tasmania can offer. Tranquil and still rainforest to wild, wind swept, rock screes. Sleet and snow gives way to sun drenched paddocks.
And then you'll want to do it all again.