Cycle Tasmania, Mountain Bike Ride, Montezuma Falls
Listed as one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks, this is a rare walking track that is also open to mountain bikers. Following an old tramway beside Ring River, it burrows through rainforest to the state’s tallest waterfall. The slushy track and bone-rattling section of sleepers make a mountain bike the only option.
Gently sloped track with a rough and often damp surface.
Vehicle free, though the track is shared with walkers.
The Montezuma Falls car park is 8.5km from Rosebery. Travel south on the Murchison Highway for two kilometres and turn left onto Williamsford Rd. It’s a lightly trafficked ride from Rosebery, though mostly uphill.
Food and Drink
There are no eateries along or near the track.
At the end of the track, walk (or wobble) out onto the suspension bridge across the Ring River for good views tinged with a touch of seasickness.
The short track to Montezuma Falls follows a section of the old North East Dundas Tramway, which once linked mines in the thickly forested valley to smelters in Zeehan. Built in the 1890s, the narrow-gauge tramway transported goods and people for almost 40 years, making its last run in 1932, 18 years after the closure of the smelters. The track is now open to walkers and cyclists. Permanently shadowed by rainforest, the track surface will invariably be slick with a thin coating of water and mud, though it’s firm beneath.
From the car park, take the bike access track (the track on the left hand side) where, like a well-themed waterfall ride, you cross straight through a small stream and into a corridor of tree ferns. Two hundred metres on, the old vehicle track plunges down a steep and loose slope to a stream – don’t drink from this creek as the water flows down from mine works. The trickiest bit of the track is now behind you...at least until you return this way. Once onto the walking track on the opposite bank, it’s a lovely gentle cruise, with the track bending around the slopes and squeezing through moss-coated railway cuttings and rainforest.
There’s a second stony creek crossing after 1.4 kilometres, with an alternative to push your bike across the narrow bridge (there’s steps at its ends). Past a rest stop (signed as 20 minutes’ walk to the falls), sections of old tramway sleepers make for bumpier going, though it’s often possible to ride just to the side of them through the worst bits. By the time you pass a small mine shaft dug into the rock on the left, you should be able to hear the waterfall ahead. At the end of the track, park up your bike and follow the stepped boardwalk that leads to the base of the falls.
Thought to take their name from the Montezuma Silver Mining Company, Montezuma Falls spill over the escarpment in a thin stream, though don’t come expecting a cooling swim as there’s no pool at the bottom. At 104 metres in height, they are the tallest falls in Tasmania. Retrace your route to enjoy the rainforest in reverse.
8.916 km / 5.54 mi
382 m / 1,254 ft
382 m / 1,254 ft
369 m / 1,211 ft