In this installation of our bike rides and tours series, we’ll be going over to scenic Tasmania. Despite being the smallest state, e-bike riders and mountain bikers will be delighted to know that Tasmania has the richest history and best scenery compared to all the other Australian states. Plus, Tasmania is known for having the cleanest air in the world!
But before we go ahead to our curated list of bike trails, here’s a quick list of the top attractions you’ll need to visit when heading over to Tasmania for your bike tour:
- Salamanca Market – Hobart
- Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens - Hobart
- Kunanyi/Mt. Wellington
- Museum of Old and New Art – Mona
- Port Arthur Heritage-Listed Historic Site
- Freycinet National Park and Great Oyster Bay
- Cradle Mountain – World Heritage Wilderness
- Cataract Gorge
- Blow Hole and Tasman Arch
- The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Top Rail Trails in Tasmania
Rail trails are abandoned train corridors which have been transformed into mixed-use paths, typically for walking, running, horse riding and, of course, biking. Bike riders enjoy coursing through rail trails because the paths are usually easy-sloping, to accommodate the trains that used to pass through them. Plus, they wind through historical sites, including old train stations and railway towns.
North East Tasmania Rail Trail
Location: Scottsdale, 62km Northeast of Launceston
Surface: Fine Gravel
Start/End: Scottsdale to Tulendeena (Billycock Hill)
What to Expect?
This picturesque trail will take you through lush forests against the surrounding mountain backdrops. The gravel surface is friendly and suitable for all weathers, whether you’re on a mountain bike or touring bike. You’ll be passing through two well-marked highway crossings, and you’ll see numerous signs along the way which provide background information on certain areas of the railway. There are currently plans to extend the trail 42km back to Lilydale Falls, including a section passing through an 800-metre tunnel.
Attractions and Amenities
- Scottsdale is a major regional centre which houses several facilities for visitors, including accommodation options, a free camp site, a supermarket, bakery and a microbrewery.
- The tourist information centre has an electric vehicle charging station, as well as a small bike shop behind it.
- Sculptures and Legerwood Station Site
- Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails are Nearby
- Access Points are through Scottsdale, Tonganah and Tulendeena
Scottsdale to Tonganah (10km)
- Head south from Scottsdale rail station park and cross Ellenor and King Streets to exit the town.
- The trail descends through farmlands and heads behind the old timber mill at Lings Siding.
- After crossing the Tasman Highway, the trail descends to its lowest point to the Great Forester River at Toganah.
Tonganah to Tulendeena (Billycock Hill) (16km)
- A gentle but steady climb from Tonganah to the former station of Tulendeena will take you to the top of Billycock Hill.
- Head to the town of Legerwood via the Snake Track.
- There will be no toilet facilities between Tonganah and Legerwood.
- The first part of the trail goes off from the corridor and diverts to some old clay mining pits.
- Follow the signposts when you get to this area.
- The next section will take you on a climb until you see the farmlands below.
- When you get to the highest point, you’ll be able to look down to Bass Strait and see the mountain peaks at Flinders Island.
- Short-term shelters are available at the old Trewalla, Kamona and Tulendeena station sites. Water is also available at Kamona.
- From Tulendeena, ride down through Snaketrack road into Legerwood.
- Legerwood has limited facilities, but the station site has toilets and a souvenir shop which sells coffee, tea and other drinks.
- Go back to Scottsdale the same way you came up.
- Cruise downhill all the way back to Tonganah.
Montezuma Falls Rail Trail
Location: Zeehan Area, 296km from Hobart
Surface: Compacted earth, Fine gravel
Start/End: Williamsford to Melba Flats
What to Expect?
The trail will wind through lush rainforests, housing leatherwood, myrtle and sassafras. The trail was formerly the Dundas Tramway which used to run from Zeehan to Williamsford. What was once the busy mining town of Williamsford is now being reclaimed by the bushland. 4-wheel-drive vehicles are allowed on the 14km stretch between Melba Flats and Montezuma falls.
- Access Points from Williamsford and Melba Flats
- 105-metre-high Montezuma Falls
- Lush Rainforest
- Williamsford Mining Town Ruins
Williamsford to Montezuma Falls
- Trail starts from a well-marked area at Williamsford.
- After the first 500 metres, a track leading to the original tramway formation is accessible.
- The trail leads to a gentle descent to Montezuma Falls.
- To get to the falls, follow a track to the left just before the bridge.
- From the falls, you can go back to Williamsford the same way or cross the footbridge to Melba Flats 14km away.
Montezuma Falls to Melba Flats
- After crossing the footbridge, you’ll come across a car park.
- After 4km, you’ll reach the turnoff and the Ring River Track.
- Continue straight, crossing several creeks and timber bridges.
- At Melba Flats, you’ll reach the Murchison Highway (A10).
- You can go back the same way or take the highway to Williamsford.
Hobart Intercity Cycleway
Location: Hobart area, 1km from Hobart
Start/End: Hobart to Claremont
What to Expect?
A sealed-surface trail will run from the Hobart Regatta Grounds on Queens Domain, linking the northern suburbs with the city’s centre. This is past the Botanic Gardens and the Runnymede Historic House. The views will be mostly urban landscapes, containing colourful murals and the Tasmanian Transport Museum. The trail runs beside an active railway which connects Claremont with the Port of Hobart. There will be few road intersections, making this a popular route for recreational bikers.
- Tasmanian Transport Museum
- Cadbury Factory at Claremont
- Many Heritage buildings
- Hobart historic waterfront and Constitution Dock
- Cascade Brewery
Railton to Sheffield Rail Trail
Location: Northern Tasmania near the Great Western Tiers and Mount Roland, 259km from Hobart
Surface: Compacted Earth
Start/End: Railton to Sheffield
What to Expect?
- Winds through the picturesque Northern Tasmania countryside.
- Follows an old railway corridor, except for a short section at Railton End.
- One access point is 200 metres up on Johnston St.
- Another access point from Railton Road.
- Steam Train at Sheffield every First Sunday of the Month
- Sheffield Murals
- Railton Topiaries
- Sheffield Heritage Railway
- Sheffield Heritage Museum
The section from Railton to Sheffield is part of the massive “Tasmanian Trail” (more on this later) and traverses a variety of landscapes. The trail follows the route of the old line that used to run from Railton to Roland and gives spectacular views of Mount Roland.
North Mount Lyell Rail Trail
Location: South of Queenstown: through Lynchford and over Mt Jukes, 290km from Hobart
Surface: Compacted Earth
Start/End: Bird River to Kelly Basin and Pillinger
- Historic Railway Route inside the World Heritage Area
- Kelly Basin and Pillinger are Historic Town Sites
- Trail Section on Bird River is for Walking Only
- A full-Day’s Walk to Pillinger
More Tasmanian Rail and Bike Trails
If you’re not ready or too eager to take on longer rail trails, you might want to check-out these shorter ones, which are just as capable of giving you a great riding experience and majestic views.
- Don to Devonport Cycleway (11km)
- North West Tasmanian Coastal Cycleway (10km)
- Melba Flats to Zeehan Rail Trail (9km)
- Wielangta Tramway Trail (6.5km)
- Spray Tunnel and Comstock Tramways (6km)
The Great Tasmanian Trail
Inspired by the Bicentennial National Trail, this massive coast-to-coast trail in Tasmania runs 480km from Dover in the south to the town of Devonport in the north. Shared by walkers, horse-riders and bikers, taking on this trail will be both peacefully scenic and challenging. The entire stretch links small villages, gravel paths and forest trails and is marked almost 95% of the way.
The trail consists of 15 sections, and each one is approximately a day’s ride on a bike. Several sections feature campsites of varying qualities. Although trail coordinators are working on installing water tanks, toilets, tables and tent sites for each section. The trail from Devonport will pose a gentle grade while it runs alongside the Mersey River. Moving onto the Cluan Tiers and the Great Western Tiers and climbing to the Central Highlands will present a rougher terrain.
The trail, then, passes through the Great Lakes Region across the highlands, all the way to Derwent River. When you get to New Norfolk, the trail leaves the riverside and climbs towards the mountain pass to the Huon River as it navigates around the “back” of Mount Wellington.
Towns to Pass Through:
- Arthurs Lake
- Bronte Park
- Bushy Park
- New Norfolk
- Cluan Tiers
- Great Western Tiers
- Arthurs Lake
- Bronte Park
- Derwent River
- Huon River
- Button Grass Plains
Push Further and Stronger with Electric Bikes
If you want to maximise the distance you cover during your tour in Tasmania, an electric bike will be your best option. Not only will it extend your range but increase your capacity for hauling camping gear and supplies, as well. Electric Bikes Brisbane has an excellent selection of Adventure and Touring Bikes, as well as Mountain and Trail Bikes to choose from.
Alternatively, you may reach out to us during your most convenient time, and we can help you choose a model best-suited for your preferences.
In the meantime, why don’t you check out our other Rail Trail Blogs: