Tasmania has a global reputation for superb mountain biking, fuelled by an expanding network of world-class trails through wilderness and the support of entire towns dedicated to mountain bikers.
Only an hour’s drive from the major airports and ferry terminal, many of the island’s bike parks are served by shuttles, and tour operators and car-hire companies have bike racks at the ready. So whether you prefer a purpose-built flowy single track or a gnarly gravity ride, choose your own mountain bike adventure in Tasmania.
Here’s the low-down on the best trails.
Carved through forest in north-east Tasmania, the trails at Blue Derby cater to all skill and fitness levels. With 125 kilometres of purpose-built trails, expect loads of berms, booters, jumps and flow. There are shuttle services from Derby’s town centre to the Blue Tier, Atlas and Black Stump trails, all of which are fast and flowy, descending between giant ferns and myrtle. About 90 minutes’ drive north east of Launceston, the former tin-mining town of Derby has a great atmosphere and caters specifically for mountain bikers, with group accommodation options and plenty of bike storage.
There aren’t many places in the world where you can ride from the mountains to the sea. The Bay of Fires Trail starts at the Blue Tier trailhead, near Derby, and ends at the east coast. This epic 42-kilometre ride traverses rainforest and sub-alpine terrain, climbs through giant granite boulders and emerges on the white sand at Swimcart Beach. Also in the region, the St Helens Stacked Loop Network offers scenic routes for all experience levels on a whopping 66 kilometres of trails with eight stacked loops. The trailhead is at Flagstaff, a few kilometres from the town of St Helens, and it’s easily accessed via a signposted Townlink trail. There’s a shuttle service from St Helens to the start of the Bay of Fires Trail. Together the Bay of Fires Trail and the St Helens Stacked Loop Network form the St Helens Mountain Bike Trails.
Welcome to the largest gravity park in the southern hemisphere. Located in the Derwent Valley, just over an hour’s drive from Hobart, Maydena Bike Park has more than 62 trails and a massive 820-metre vertical elevation. There are shuttle services to the top of the mountain and riders can mix and match their experience with the trail junctions. Steep and technical for the most part, this park is best suited to experienced riders, though there are some family-friendly rides through the rainforest.
Wild Mersey Mountain Trails is a network of more than 100 kilometres of trails near the town of Latrobe in the north. This is adventure riding at its best. Expect serious switchbacks and flowy trails as you climb peaks and descend to the Mersey River flats. Head further west and try the trails at Kelcey Tier, Penguin Mountain Bike Park and the Dial Range.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your bike, venture into the wilderness, shred the trails and wrap up the day with a locally brewed beer and a hearty meal.
Looking for tailored two-wheel experiences on smoother roads? Tasmania's compact size and shape make it arguably Australia's finest state for cycling. From gourmet day tripping to multi-day touring, there’s a dazzling range of riding experiences on offer.
Popular cycle routes traverse all corners of the island. For a coastal adventure, start near Bicheno on the east coast and pedal past fishing villages and vineyards, dairies and berry farms toward Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay. Or plot a wilder, hillier course from Cradle Mountain to Queenstown through the central highlands.
Taste Tasmanian pinot on a pedal between the vineyards of the Huon or Tamar valleys. Take a gentle cycle tour through rural landscapes, roll down kunanyi/Mount Wellington to Hobart, or brave the steep heights of Jacobs Ladder on Ben Lomond, in the north east. Or, simply get to know the city from the saddle.