Tasmanian Trail, Tasmania
Tasmania featured among the Lonely Planet’s top 10 worldwide cycling destinations and for good reason. The little Island offers pretty much everything a cyclist could hope for and is geared up for cycling tourist with bike shops and trail-side cafes aplenty. The Tasmanian Trail is among some of Tasmania’s best long distance tracks and takes you through the heart of Island from Devonport in the north to Dover. Spanning about 480kms (298 miles) of back-country riding which will take you along fire trails and forested roads and tracks. The trail gives you access to ridges with sweeping views of the Tasmanian countryside. Large sections of this trail can be pretty taxing so casual riders avoid.
Beechworth Mountain Bike Park, Victoria
The Beechworth Mountain Bike Park encompassing an assortment of cross country trails as well as jumps, a downhill track and a beginner trail for novices. In short it’s got everything a mountain biker could hope for no matter their level of skill. Set among dusty Victorian forest land the park presents some unique hazards including low traction which contributes to the difficulty of the claustrophobic ups and downs of the downhill track – one of the park’s highlights. Beechworth is among the best riding to be had in Victoria but treat it with respect, water here is scarce. Go with some like-minded friends for a full, rapturous day of riding.
Mt Wellington, Tasmania
Back to Australia’s cycling Mecca. Mount Wellington park offers cyclists of all specialties plenty of options. There is a fantastic mix of MTB and road biking to be had with MTBers free to roam among the trees on more technical sections of tracks set amongst the rolling foothills while road bikers can head up the 11km (6 miles) climb to the summit during which you’ll conquer over 1200m (3900ft) of climbing to gain expansive views of Hobart and Tasmania’s stunning South West coastline.
Forrest is a mountain biking sanctuary. Over 50km (31 miles) of snaking single tracks, the trails around the small township of Forrest were built by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. Some of the best will take you through the dense, dark wood of the Yauger Forest, over a multitude of ascents and down hills of varying degree of difficulty. Most of the tracks are one way and for mountain biking only (need we say more) but there are also great road sections to be had around the town itself if that floats your boat.
Swan River Wine and Food Trail, Western Australia
If, after the last few locations, you need evidence that cycling can be relaxing as well as grueling then consider the 32km (19.8 miles) Swan Valley Food and Wine trail. Devoid of any draining inclines the trail will take you on a full day of gentle riding littered with wineries, stalls selling everything from melons to local honey and trail side cafes. The area offers enough gastronomic delights to occupy you for an entire weekend and beyond and don’t worry about the dangers of overloaded and intoxicated cycling – the wineries will send your purchases home for you so you can be free to amble onwards.
Mount Remarkable, South Australia
The foothills of Mount Remarkable are a mountain biker’s dreamland and are littered with superb mountain bike trails. It’s difficult to describe riding Mount Remarkable without pointing to the name – for mountain biking the area is truly remarkable. The National Park which encloses the mountain is beautiful and home to some of the most pristine outback in South Australia. Among the best trails here is a black diamond run in the Hidden Valley. The track is a short one of around 7km (6.5 miles), the start of which takes up a pretty arduous ascent before firing you down a tight and highly technical downhill track. The place is special and shouldn’t be missed.
Magnetic Island, Queensland
For family or mixed-group rides, Magnetic Island off the Coast of Townsville is perfect. Dotted with short taxing climbs you will find plenty of sections to get your heart pumping and the humid, usually toasty climate will certainly contribute no end to your workout. Undoubtedly, the Island’s main draw is its combination of nice (though sometimes crowded) windy roads and striking desert island style scenery. It’s beautiful – with clear turquoise water and sandy beaches bordered by wild concentrations of tropical trees and on a bike you will possess the means to drink it all in. The entire Island is also a wildlife paradise in its own right and is home to the largest concentration of Koalas in Australia.
The ride to Sassafras is a short but worthwhile section of leafy uphill riding. It is essentially 6km (3.7 miles) of steady climbing on the windy, skin-smooth Mountain Highway with plenty of muscle rupturing options beyond to keep hardcore riders happy. The appeal of completing the uphill trudge is simple: once you’ve tested yourself on this benchmark of a climb you wheel round and enjoy the way back down.
Sparrow Hill, Australian Capital Territory
Sparrow Hill is a superb network of undulating single track for mountain bikers to exhaust themselves on. The possibilities here are nearly endless. There are rock gardens for technical riding and fast, swerving tracks for you to fly around. The tracks are well laid out so you can tear around them without encountering many taxing uphill battles. The result? More energy to expend on highlights such as the aptly named Bobsled. This is must do for any mountain biker who sets foot in the capital.
Cradle Mountain to Strahan, Tasmania
This journey is one of the world’s most impressive medium distance trails. Around 142km (88 miles) long, it takes in Alpine Forests and breathtaking views of Cradle Mountain and Mount Pelion. The beginning of this route is easy and highly rewarding but there is a lack of places to stop so carry water and supplies. You will then climb for 4kms (2.4 miles) through rainforest before hitting the peak of Mount Black and descending back down into Roseberry. Mountain bikers will be able to take in Tasmania’s tallest waterfall Montezuma just south of this quaint mining town. You will probably call it a day around here and freshen up for 20kms (12.4 miles) of hilly rides through more pretty rainforests at the start of day two. You will then encounter a pretty gentle flat section of grassy plains before eventually arriving in the charming coastal village of Strahan. Not to be missed.