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Explore the pristine bays and quirky character of the north-east, and discover why the mountain biking world has fallen under its spell.

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Day 1: Launceston to St Helens

Feel the flow on Derby's famed mountain bike trails. Vertigo MTB rents bikes and operates shuttles to trailheads. There are easy trails that leave from the heart of town.

Swing into the forested hills and farmland of Pyengana Valley. At its head, set out on foot for the 15min walk to 90m-high St Columba Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls on the island.

Biking, hiking - it's surely time for eating, right? Pyengana Dairy Farmgate Cafe serves platters and meals starring its own farmhouse cheeses. Find a table on the deck and watch the cows wander in and out of the milking shed as you eat. The nearby Pub in the Paddock – literally, a pub sitting in a paddock – is one of the oldest hotels in the state and a good spot for lunch.

Head for the hills for the night and find ultimate isolation at The Keep, a glamorous fortress tower atop the Blue Tier, or glamp in a bell tent at Bay of Fires Bush Retreat.

Day 2: Around St Helens

Jump on your bike. Spend a day on the St Helens Mountain Bike Trails – perhaps a mountains-to-sea ride on the 42km Bay of Fires trail. Or view larapuna from the water with Bay of Fires Eco Tours – this is one of the country's most magnificent stretches of coastline, and includes the Bay of Fires. The tours run from October to May.

Follow water with wine at Priory Ridge Wines, with a cellar door in a 1920s shearing shed on the outskirts of St Helens. Consider lunch at Sco & Co. and Lifebuoy Cafe, and dinner at any of the local restaurants.

Take an evening stroll along the cloud-white sands of the Bay of Fires.

Stay overnight at St Helens or the Bay of Fires.

Day 3: St Helens to Bicheno

Take the high road, climbing off the coast to St Marys and the unique Cranks and Tinkerers Museum, featuring one man's collection of, well, pretty much everything.

St Marys' quirky spirit is tangible over lunch at Purple Possum Wholefoods and Cafe, which has a gallery of local art and a bric-a-brac shed. But, really, you're here for the homemade soups and rhubarb cake.

Return along Elephant Pass Road to the shores and make for Bicheno. If the tide is low, it's often possible to walk across the exposed sand spit to Diamond Island at Bicheno's northern end, or if there's a swell you'll likely find the Bicheno Blowhole doing its thing.

The dictionary definition of "fresh seafood " could well be "right beside the boat ramp at Bicheno". That's where you'll find dinner at the Lobster Shack.

Stay the night at Bicheno for the chance to view little penguins marching ashore with Bicheno Penguin Tours.

Day 4: Around Bicheno

Indulge in a delicious pastry with your morning coffee at Little Bay Patisserie or a full breakfast at Food and Brew before setting sail with Bicheno's Glass Bottom Boat. The 40min trip on the state's only glass-bottomed boat takes advantage of Bicheno's translucent waters and plentiful marine life.

Have fish and chips for lunch from Tasmanian Coastal Seafoods before setting out for our Fabulous Freycinet itinerary on the Great Eastern Drive.

King Island coastline

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