Riding the mountain
The City of Hobart's Riding the Mountain report, endorsed by council, is the City’s blueprint for expanding the mountain bike network in the lower foothills of kunanyi/Mt Wellington.
It includes plans for new tracks that will create a unique experience for local and visiting mountain biker riders.
The plans were developed through extensive community consultation and the expertise of local mountain bike riders and track consultants.
The four key goals of the blueprint are to:
- Improve the functionality of the current mountain bike track network by addressing key gaps.
- Increase the types of rides available to cater for a broader range of riders.
- Establish multiple riding circuits and loops of varying levels of difficulty and distance.
- Where possible, provide new recreational links for non-riding trail users such as bushwalkers and trail runners or separate use where appropriate.
Development of the report included a review of the existing formal mountain bike track network on kunanyi / Mount Wellington. The review found that:
- Shared use of tracks by runners, walkers and mountain bike riders in some cases compromises the safety and experiences of all users.
- There is a significant lack of connectivity between existing mountain bike tracks.
- Many existing tracks formally open to mountain bikers on kunanyi / Mount Wellington are either fire trails or walking tracks that have been converted to shared use. The current riding experience is fragmented in comparison to other areas of Tasmania where purpose-built mountain bike track networks have been established.
Serving local and tourism needs
Riding the Mountain identifies the potential to establish 37 kilometres of new tracks to improve Hobart’s existing track network and deliver trails built to international standards that will serve local and tourism needs.
These new tracks have the capacity to deliver a better recreational experience – a well-connected mountain bike network that invites riders to explore the mountain’s natural beauty, is safer and more rewarding for a wider range of riders.
The draft plan was released for public consultation in April 2020 and received overwhelming support from those who provided a response to our Your Say Hobart survey.
The survey was widely circulated and asked people to identify with one of the following user types: mountain biker, trail runner or walker.
Of the 596 responses received:
93% of mountain bikers supported the draft plan
72% of trail runners supported the draft plan
52% of walkers supported the draft plan.
The final plan responds to the feedback received during the consultation process and was developed with the help of a Project Advisory Group comprising local mountain bike riders representing a variety of riding needs.
Local tour operators, Glenorchy City Council and the Wellington Park Trust have contributed to the plan and the Hobart Walking Club, Pandani Bushwalking Club, students of South Hobart Primary School and local trail runners have also been consulted.
The report provides the basis to prioritise the City of Hobart’s mountain bike expenditure and seek further external funding.