Cycle Tasmania, Sightseeing Ride, Inveresk Trail & Heritage Forest
Road-free, family-friendly ride from Launceston’s arts district to a park created with cycling in mind. There are good views of the North Esk River and a playground midway if you have the munchkins in tow.
Unsealed but smooth bike paths along a flood levee beside the North Esk River then looping around a rubbish tip turned green.
All the tracks on this ride are shared with walkers and can be fairly busy so give plenty of notice of your presence.
Inveresk Precinct is immediately across the North Esk River from the Launceston city centre. From town, take Tamar Street across Victoria Bridge.
Food and Drink
In the Inveresk Precinct, mellow Blue Cafe has a quality breakfast or lunch menu, plus good coffee and cakes.
Bone up on Launceston culture at ride’s end with a visit into the Queen Victoria Museum in the Inveresk Precinct.
The ride begins by Victoria Bridge, at the edge of the Inveresk Precinct, from where the Inervesk Trail proper runs atop a flood levee beside the North Esk River. Cycling on this wooden boardwalk is not allowed, however, so unless you fancy pushing your bike for a kilometre or so, the best way to start is through the Precinct, which is a former industrial site and rail yard converted into an arts district.
The ride passes by the doors of the Queen Victoria Museum, the Academy of the Arts and, for those who think sport is art, Aurora Stadium, the football oval used by the AFL on its Tassie forays. The grounds in front of Aurora Stadium were once the site of a cycling track, though there’s no evidence of it now. Just beyond the oval, turn up onto the Inveresk Trail, which is now simply a dirt track, looking down from the levee onto the river and the farmland on the opposite bank.
If the Inveresk Precinct had an inglorious start to life, it has nothing on the Heritage Forest. This 42-hectare park was once the Mowbray Swamp and was used as a rubbish tip before a recent facelift transformed it into the grandly named Heritage Forest. It doesn’t yet resemble a forest, more a savannah, though it does contain an arboretum with all 27 Tasmanian eucalyptus species. The park is rolling-pin flat and is crisscrossed with tracks.
The ride described here takes the long road, looping around the park’s outer edge, past sports fields and out to the main recreation area, which contains a BBQ shelter, toilets and (most importantly if you’re on a family ride) a playground. About 500 metres past the BBQ shelter, in another corner of the park, you’ll pass a makeshift BMX track if you fancy playing about on some jumps and tight bends. The ride continues through the park, veering past wattle trees and a semblance of forest before exiting back out onto the levee and returning to the Inveresk Precinct along the outward route.
6.601 km / 4.102 mi
38 m / 126 ft
38 m / 126 ft
11 m / 36 ft