The Best Motorcycle Routes in Tasmania

Welcome to Tasmania! The little Australian island is one of our absolute favourite places to ride and we know you’re going to love it too! So to help you get the most out of it, we’ve plotted and explained the best motorcycle routes and rides around the island here…

Motorcycle Travel Tasmania

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The Best Motorcycle Routes in Tasmania

Tasmania is a mecca for motorcycle travellers and an absolute must for every Australian biker. The little island state disconnected from Australia’s mainland 10,000 years ago and now sits 150 miles south in the Southern Ocean.

It was left to its own devices turning wild, unpredictable, and filled with freaky animals. It’s raw, rugged, remote and brimming with misty mountains, gravel tracks, stunning roads – it’s biking nirvana.

We loved riding around Tasmania. So, we pulled together this guide with our favourite routes and what we reckon are the best roads throughout the island.

For more info on Tasmania, check out the below guide. But for now, let’s get to the best roads!

READ MORE: Motorcycle Travel Guide for Tasmania

Western Explorer

Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area to Zeehan

This is a primarily off-road route along the west coast of the island – and it’s one of the very best in Tasmania. You’ll get a real and immediate feel for the island’s rugged backcountry.

There’s a main asphalt road right up to the starting point on the map, that’s where you turn off and start the gravel. You’ll find a sign stating there’s no phone signal or petrol, so be prepared and take your time on this road. It’s not difficult terrain and easy gravel riding, but can be slippy when wet.

Marked on the map is the Pieman River barge located in Corinna. Corinna is an old gold mining town with amenities such as accommodation, a little restaurant, food and water. There was no petrol when we were last there.

You’ll need to pay to cross the river on the barge (tickets are bought in the main building) and can then continue to Zeehan. Once across the river, there’s only a few more miles of gravel before it turns to tarmac.

We camped a few miles short of Corinna at a free spot, then arrived in Corinna early, filled up our waters, bought a coffee, parked the bikes and went for a walk. There are some stunning marked trails around there and it’s worth spending a few hours mooching about the old town.

Jacob’s Ladder

Ben Lomond Road

Motorcycle Travel Tasmania

We heard whispers of the infamous Jacob’s Ladder before we even set foot on Tasmanian soil. Phrases like ‘the most dangerous road in the world’ were thrown around. Steep gravel hairpins with no barriers and endless drops into the abyss…. Of course, we had to go and ride it. And don’t worry, it’ nowhere near as bad as people say and there’s no way it’s one of the most dangerous roads in the world either!

Jacob’s ladder is a zig-zagging road leading up to Ben Lomond’s plateau. The dramatic section of road itself is very short, gravel and has hairpins with a steep ascent (maximum of 13% at the steepest point), so take your time and enjoy it. There’s a cool viewpoint right at the top where you can park and walk out over to the edge.

It’s southeast of Launceston, and to get there you ride through the Ben Lomond National Park and through beautiful forests. It is gravel, but hard packed and easy riding. However, in winter the road may be impassable as there are signs everywhere saying between June and September snow chains are needed.

Bruny Island

Southeast Tasmania

Bruny Island is an island located off the southeast of Tasmania and well worth the visit. It’s a cheap and easy 15-minute ferry ride to a rugged little island. You can ride around it on tarmac or take the gravel tracks and explore.

It’s worth riding as far south as you can go to the lighthouse and then criss-crossing the island to Adventure Bay using the logging tracks. The Bay was named after British Royal Navy Captain Tobias Furneaux’s ship. He landed here in 1773 after heavy fog separated his ship Captain James Cook’s ship on Cook’s second Voyage of Exploration. The island is also famous for its cheeses, oysters, chocolates and wines. There’s some excellent hot chocolates there too!

Queenstown Loops

Zeehan, Queenstown and Strahan

Motorcycle Travel Tasmania

Once you’ve ridden the off-road Western Explorer to Zeehan, you’ll be left with a brilliant tarmac riding loop heading back into the middle of the island. Head south to Strahan and then the B24 to Queenstown and stop for a coffee. From here you can ride north back to Zeehan making a loop, or ride east to Derwent Bridge and stop off at Nelson Falls along the way. You’ll also end up on the famous 99 Bends Road once you’re out of Queenstown on the Lyell Highway to Derwent.

Gordon Dam

Gordon River Rd, Strathgordon

Motorcycle Travel Tasmania

Gordon Dam is the tallest dam in Tasmania and seriously impressive – and the ride there is beautiful too. You’ll ride along the Gordon River Road and through National Parks and World Heritage Areas.

Unfortunately, it’s not a loop road and there’s just one way in and one out. You’ll enter from Westerway and ride about 100km to the dam. It can get very cold along the route due to elevation, but it is a stunning ride with some beautiful and wild changing scenery. What makes this route so good is that there is a stunning camp spot along the way called Teds Beach. You’ve also got the incredible Tall Trees to strain your neck at too. Make sure you have enough fuel, food, water and warm clothes for this section and consider camping at Ted’s Beach. You’ll find more info about the campsite in our Tasmania Motorcycle Travel Guide. 

The Nut

Stanley, northwest Tasmania

Motorcycle Travel Tasmania

Stanley is a picturesque fishing town in the north west of Tasmania. There are beautiful little roads surrounding it – perfect for exploration. You’ll find ‘The Nut’ there, which is a 12-million year old extinct volcanic plug, a colony of fairy penguins, gorgeous cafes and colonial buildings.

Elephant Pass

East Tasmania

This was closed when we were there, but we have heard great things about it. It runs from St Mary’s to Chain of Lagoons along the A4 on the northeast coast. Expect a beautifully twisty tarmac ride with little traffic.

Putting it all together

If you liked these routes and are trying to figure out how to link them all together, then we recommend you read our Tasmania Tour guide next. It’s a downloadable Google route Map of our exact nine day ride around the island – including all of the above roads and tracks. And don’t forget to check out our Motorcycle Travel Guide for Tasmania after for loads more info on riding there. 

READ MORE: The Ultimate Tasmania Motorcycle Tour

Read more on motorcycle travel in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand

Thanks for checking out the Best Motorcycle Routes in Tasmania guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on motorcycle travel in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand that we recommend you read next. 

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Are you planning a motorcycle tour in Tasmania? Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below. 

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