Ready, set, ride
Stu Gibson is known for his award-winning surf photography. But when he’s not catching waves, he loves to head out on his bike.
Mountain biking in Tassie has taken off recently, with trails for all skill levels. We asked Stu to share some of his top places to ride and a few of his action shots.
The trails at Derby are so much fun. It’s amazing riding through lush, green rainforest, and past rivers and giant man ferns. Derby is a historic mining town that has been completely transformed into a world-class tourist destination. It has its own unique vibe, similar to a ski town with people riding around everywhere. There’s something for everyone – camping, a pump track for the kids and trails for any skill level.
There are plenty of places to ride around Hobart. The trails in the lower foothills of Mount Wellington/South Hobart are popular, as is the old-school 11km North South Track starting at the Springs and ending at Glenorchy. The Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park itself has fun trails through the bush for all skill levels. The Meehan Range near Mornington/Flagstaff Gully also has a great network of cross-country tracks and a skills park at the bottom.
They call it the ‘gravity park’. Riders are dropped at the pinnacle before making their way down the mountain. There are around 60 different trails to choose from. Advanced riders will love Maydena – it’s the wild western wilderness. It’s large, steep and scary. But for those who aren’t up for that, there are some easier trails along the lower parts of the mountain too.
At Oonah Hill Mountain Bike Trail you kind of feel like the only person in the world. It’s a fun, single trail, with a scenic climb to the top as well as cruisy, flowy sections that most people will really enjoy.
St Helens is home to a new network of mountain bike trails ranging from family friendly to advanced. A favourite is a 42km trail starting at Blue Tier and finishing at Swimcart Beach in the Bay of Fires. It’s an incredibly scenic ride – a rainforest descent, before making your way between huge granite boulders and ending up on the white sandy beach.