May 23, 2024

Take to the Tassie trails

Mountain biking fan? Then Tasmania is the island getaway you need in 2024.

Picture enthralling descents taking you from the top of a mountain down to a vast stretch of sea or traversing in rainforests blanketed in moss and terrain that ranges from granite to the type of hero dirt that’ll give you an epic story to tell your mates back home.

Almost 10 years ago the Blue Derby network put Tasmania on the map for the mountain biking world. Since then many trails have emerged and expanded across the state for you to enjoy.

Venture east, west, south, or north, and the allure of an all-weather track is waiting, inviting you to embark on cross-country escapades or adrenaline-pumping downhill rides - white knuckle style.

Below are a few of the trails that turned Tassie’s mountain biking reputation up a gear, including one that is only 15 minutes drive from the airport (if you’re itching to hit the pedals as soon as you land here in Launceston).

Blue Derby

Total trail distance: Over 85 kms
Difficulty: Mixed green, blue, black diamond and double black diamond
Distance from airport: 1 hr 30 mins (100km)

Grab your bike, pack the rental car (friends and family optional - but we promise they’d love it too) and depart for the legendary old tin mining town that is Derby. With 125 kms worth of enduro style tracks for you to explore and something for every skill level, a day is always well spent on the trails at Blue Derby.

The signature Blue Tier trail cuts through its namesake mountain range and descends to the Weldborough Hotel, where riders can catch their breath post ride with a hearty counter meal. If you’re after a trail closer to town the Flickity Sticks track has an impressive collection of berms while the Kingswall track mixes forest trails with an old mining water race.

If you’re looking to take things a little slower before hitting the road be sure to reward yourself at the iconic Floating Sauna at Lake Derby. Brave the cold and take a plunge in the local lake before warming up in their floating wood-fired sauna. Best bit? The insta-worthy lakeside views you get to admire from the sauna window while debriefing about your day on the trails.

Credit: Blue Derby on Instagram

Derby MTB Blog

Trevallyn Reserve

Total trail distance: 47 kms total across all three tracks
Difficulty: Mixed green, blue and double black diamond
Distance from airport: 15-30 mins

If you’re searching for a fun day out for the whole family that doesn’t include too much time hearing “are we there yet?”, be sure to add Kate Reed Reserve to your mountain biking itinerary. Located in the hillside suburb of Trevallyn, home to the Launceston Cataract Gorge and other local hotspots like the Trevallyn Bakery (baked goods are essential after a long ride), it’s the ideal place to take to the trails if you’re riding with the whole family or if you don’t feel like travelling far from town.

Kate Reed MTB b Log

St Helens

Total trail distance: 66 kms
Difficulty: Mixed green, blue and black diamond
Distance from airport: 1 hr 55 mins

If you want to take in stunning coastal scenery while touring down the trails the St Helens Mountain Bike Trails will be your best bet. For trails that marry the best bits of the coast we suggest the 27 km Dreaming Pools track, a wilderness trail that offers a remote journey through the backcountry, with cooling rock pools along the way if you want to stop for a dip.

The crème de la crème of this area however is a bit further north from the trail head. The epic 42km Bay of Fires Trail offers a rare chance to mountain bike from mountain to sea - and not just to your average beach either. Beginning high on the Blue Tiers, you’ll plunge through rainforest and climb through and over granite boulders before emerging on what is classified as one of the best stretches of white sand in the world, in the Bay of Fires at Swimcart Beach. Be sure to pack your bathers (or if you’re game take a plunge in your lycra!) to cool off after the long ride.

Image Credit: St Helens MTB on Instagram

St Helens MTB Blog

George Town

Total trail distance: 70 kms
Difficulty: Mixed green, blue, black diamond and double black diamond
Distance from airport: 50 mins (63 kms)

Nestled on the eastern bank of the Tamar River, just a short drive from Launceston Airport, lies George Town, home to George Town Mountain Bike Trails built up of networks, Mount George and Tippogoree Hills with the two combined offering up 100 kms of trails for you to take on.

Mount George is a small but mighty network with feature-packed trails and excellent shuttle-ability. The Tippogoree Hills has more elevation and longer trails that take you across rugged mountains, offering sustained descents and panoramic vistas over the East Tamar Valley. George Town offers plenty of accommodation and food options if you’re wanting to stay closer to the trail heads here too - win, win.

Image Credit: George Town MTB on Instagram

George Town MTB Blog

Wild Mersey

Total trail distance: 47 kms
Difficulty: Mixed green, blue and black diamond
Distance from airport: 1 hr 15 mins (101 kms)

Located along the stunning Meander River, Wild Mersey is filled with world-class trails in a mixed landscape that is suited for both MTB novices and keen mountain bikers looking for a challenge.

With the three interconnected trail networks of Latrobe, Railton and Sheffield you can expect impressive switchbacks and flowy trails that take in peaks and descend to the Mersey River flats. Thirsty post ride? Head to the nearby Seven Sheds Brewery in Railton for an artisan beer on tap or Spreyton Cider Co for a refreshing local cider.

Image Credit: Wild Mersey MTB on Instagram

Wild Mersey MTB Blog

Keen to shred some more?

If you’ve tackled all of the trails above or are just looking for more inspiration then check out Discover Tasmania’s page on Mountain Bike Riding here.

Australia Pacific Airports (Launceston) acknowledges the First Nations people and Traditional Owners of Tasmania including the Land that Launceston Airport operates on. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to all other First Nations People.