Queenstown, Tas

Destination overview

For some time, Maydena was an outlier in Tasmania’s west, but that is no longer the case with the 35km trail network now open in Queenstown.

Situated on the slopes of Mt Owen, burly gravity descents rumble down the mountain, while XC/Trail loops at the base give riders an introduction to the terrain above.

Ride Mount Owen

Copper mining initially brought settlers to the region. The smelters used to process the copper ore released sulphur fumes into the atmosphere, killing off the vegetation on the mountain, and any trees that remained were cut down to fuel the fires. With no root systems to hold the hill together, all of the topsoils washed away, bringing the gravely under layer to the surface.

Still almost entirely bare, Mt Owen is a confronting reminder of this industrial past. But, with 800m of vertical drop, it has also created an extremely rugged canvas for singletrack, and with no vegetation to get in the way, the views from the top are wholly unobstructed.

The trails off the summit are shuttle access only, and the terrain is rugged, exposed and unforgiving — even the blue trails are more of a dark blue, and beginners need not apply.

However, there are beginner-friendly and intermediate loops on the lower slopes that take riders to the top of Little Owen for a bite-sized portion of what lay above.

The trailhead is only 1km from town, accessed by a paved bike path.

Eat, drink and adventure Queenstown

For being so remote, Queenstown has a thriving cafe scene, and there are a surprising number of local watering holes — all that’s missing is a brewery.

Also being so remote, there are hikes, national parks, drives, white water rafting, scenic railway tours and more.

While you can get to Queenstown by public transport, it doubles the length of the journey, so for the time being, you’re better of renting a car.

 

Gallery

Region Trail Map

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