Cycling Tasmania: The Insider’s Guide to Cycling the Island

Separated from the mainland, Tasmania is an isolated haven, housing a unique flora and fauna exclusive to its shores. Traversing Tasmania reveals an ever-shifting landscape, even on short bike excursions. 

From extraordinary wildlife encounters to vibrant street markets, serene silence, exhilarating trail rides, and dining experiences, Tasmania offers an exploration of its distinct character. Once crisscrossed by railways and tramways facilitating ore and timber transport, Tasmania’s industrial past now lies abandoned, with many of these routes reclaimed by forests. Yet, some surviving tracks have been repurposed into rail trails, offering flat terrain for walkers and cyclists to explore. Embark on these rail trails for a leisurely journey rich in history and scenic beauty.

When to Go

Tasmania’s East Coast has mild, temperate weather with four distinct seasons. Summer temperatures range from 17 to 23°C (62-73°F), and winter temperatures from 3 to 11°C (37-51°F). The warmest months are December to March, with calm autumn days and winter from May to August. 

Due to its location near the Southern Ocean, the weather can change suddenly. Rainfall varies greatly across the island, from 626mm annually in Hobart to 2400mm on the west coast. Wear warm, waterproof clothing to prepare for sudden weather changes, especially while hiking.

Protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and hats, even when temperatures are not very high. Check weather and fire conditions before heading into the wilderness and know where to find shelter in case of emergencies. 

Top Tasmania Cycling Routes

North East Rail Trail 

Distance: 50 km with 719 m elevation gain

The North East Rail Trail offers a leisurely bike ride along a former forestry railway line. It showcases serene fern glades, striking rock formations, peaceful forests, and picturesque farmlands near Scottsdale. This trail provides a safe and enjoyable off-road biking experience, although it does involve crossing several highways. It’s a perfect way to spend a peaceful day exploring the charming scenery of North East Tasmania.

Two In Tasmania North East Rail Trail, Tasmania

Montezuma Falls

Distance: 27.9 km with 983 m elevation gain

The route follows an old mining tramway through cool temperate rainforests to Tasmania’s highest and longest waterfall, the 114m Montezuma Falls. It offers various sections, from a short 11km round trip starting from the Upper end of the track to a challenging 55km round trip starting and ending in Zeehan.

The main segment covers a 14km stretch from Melba Flats to Montezuma Falls, where you’ll encounter mud, share the path with 4WD vehicles, and navigate through deep washouts. A single-file suspension bridge leads to the falls, where you can continue on foot via the Green shared walking trail to the Montezuma Falls carpark, which is equipped with toilets and picnic facilities. Please note that this trail is primarily used by recreational 4WD enthusiasts and is not maintained for mountain biking.\

West Coast Tas Montezuma Falls Mountain Bike Track

Blue Derby loop

Distance: 28.9 km with 891 m elevation gain

Nestled amidst forests of towering ferns and myrtle in north-east Tasmania, the mountain bike trails at Blue Derby offer something for riders of all skill levels and fitness abilities. This 125-kilometer route promises riders plenty of berms, jumps, and smooth flow. The terrain here provides exceptional grip, resulting in an unparalleled riding experience across Australia. 

The trail network features up and downhill sections, designed in the enduring style. Situated near the welcoming former tin-mining town of Derby, approximately a 90-minute drive northeast of Launceston, riders will find a vibrant atmosphere. Derby’s main street is lined with bike shops, rentals, shuttle services, workshops, as well as a variety of rider-friendly accommodations and dining options.

JohnnyTheG The BEST trail in Blue Derby | Tasmania Australia

Mawson’s Hut Replica Museum loop from Mount Stuart

Distance: 41.4 km with 433 m elevation gain

Located on the waterfront in Hobart, near the wharf where the SY Aurora embarked on Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-14, stands the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum. This exceptional small museum offers visitors a glimpse into the daily lives of Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic expeditioners who endured two winters in Antarctica, known as the windiest place on Earth and the true home of the blizzard.

The bike ride to the museum is considered intermediate, requiring good fitness levels. The route mainly consists of paved surfaces and is suitable for riders of all skill levels.

White Hills Winery Loop

Distance: 34.8 km with 437 m elevation gain

This pleasant ride begins in the heart of Launceston and takes you through the picturesque farmlands surrounding the city. Starting at Brickfields Park, you’ll pass through bike-friendly streets, then venture into the countryside to explore the lush green farmland, with an optional stop at Josef Chromy’s vineyard for lunch or snacks. The route is suitable for cycling all year round.

Enjoy the tranquil beauty of the farmlands, observing sheep grazing peacefully and ascending the scenic White Hills. The descent offers an exhilarating ride. Once you turn onto Relbia Rd, you’ll soon arrive at Josef Chromy’s vineyard.

At Josef Chromy, savor the ambiance of the original homestead surrounded by landscaped gardens. Taste their fine cool climate wines, sample Tasmanian cheeses, and stroll around the vineyard’s lake, admiring resident swans and waterbirds.

From 11:45 a.m., indulge in a gourmet meal in the restaurant or opt for a platter on the terrace, with heaters for cooler days. If you are concerned about attire, consider packing a change of clothes.

After enjoying drinks and snacks, continue along Relbia Rd, returning to Launceston’s suburbs and eventually the city center, completing a delightful cycling excursion.

Bike-friendly hotels in Tasmania

Country Club Tasmania: Country Club Ave, Launceston, Tasmania 7250 link | instagram

Hotel offers bike rental.

Cradle Mountain Hotel: 3718 Cradle Mountain Road, Cradle Mountain TAS, Cradle Mountain 7310 link | instagram

Hotel offers bike rental.

Where to eat

The Picnic Basket: 176 Channel Hwy Taroona Tasmania 7053 Australia instagram

Aroma’s Fine Foods & News: 272 Charles St, Launceston TAS 7250, Australia link | instagram

Bike rentals

1. Roll Cycles: 93 Harrington St, Hobart 7000 link | instagram

2. Hobart Bike Hire: 1B Brooke Street, Hobart Waterfront, Tasmania 7000 link 

If you’re contemplating a cycling trip to a specific location, write to us in our WhatsApp community. We’ll create a guide to help you take an informed decision on whether to embark on the adventure or consider another destination.

Read more about adventuring in Australia:

7 Best Sydney Bike Rides with Josh Kwan & Anthony Nguyen

Cycling Australia: Exploring Geelong and the Surf Coast

Discover Australia’s Most Breathtaking Cycling Routes

Cycling Sydney: Six Unmissable Routes to Explore the Region

Your Complete Guide to Cycling in Melbourne

Australia’s Top Hiking Trails You Must Experience

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