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.

Terrain

Unsealed but smooth bike paths along a flood levee beside the North Esk River then looping around a rubbish tip turned green.

Traffic

All the tracks on this ride are shared with walkers and can be fairly busy so give plenty of notice of your presence.

Access

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.

Side Trip

Bone up on Launceston culture at ride’s end with a visit into the Queen Victoria Museum in the Inveresk Precinct.

 

More Details

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.

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start at the northern end of Victoria Bridge, riding north on the path beside the rail tracks through the middle of the Inveresk Precinct.
  • 0.7 Beside the woodchopping arena, ride up (or push up) onto the flood levee beside the North Esk River.
  • 1.4 Immediately before the right-hand bend in the river, turn down left onto a sealed track.
  • 1.6 At the track’s end, turn right into the Churchill Park sports complex and turn immediately right again onto a dirt road, riding beside a baseball field.
  • 2.1 The track veers around left at the end of the soccer pitches.
  • 3.0 Past the BBQ shelter and toilets, take the track to the right.
  • 4.3 As you return back in sight of the sports complex, just past the nursery, turn right.
  • 4.5 Turn left onto a dirt road.
  • 4.8 Ride straight ahead on the sealed road, returning to the entrance to Churchill Park sports complex.
  • 5.0 Turn left onto the sealed track, climbing back up onto the flood levee.
  • 5.8 Beside the woodchopping arena, drop off the levee, joining the path beside the rail tracks through the middle of the Inveresk Precinct.
  • 6.6 End the ride back at Victoria Bridge.
  • Trail map

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    6.601 km / 4.102 mi

    Total Distance

    38 m / 126 ft

    Total Ascent

    38 m / 126 ft

    Total Descent

    11 m / 36 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: <1 hr
    Fitness Level: Low
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 6.6
    Elevation Gain: 40
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber

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