Tassie to ride booming economic cycle with new tourist bike tracks

Northern Tasmania tourism will grow by tens of thousands of visitors each year, thanks to the Wild Mersey Mountain Bike Development in the Kentish and Latrobe regions.

Liberal Senator for Tasmania Wendy Askew said this weekend saw the opening of the first of a series of upgrade stages to improve tourism infrastructure for cyclists in the region.

“With nearly $2 million from the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government going into the overall project, we expect local businesses to capitalise on the growth of recreational and wilderness tourism, with a projected annual increase of 138,000 visitors once the whole project is complete,” Senator Askew said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the full project would see the creation of 100 kilometres of scenic river and mountain trails across the two municipalities, in addition to improving cycling infrastructure across the region.

“Today we celebrate a number of elements now available for use in Railton, including a 25-kilometre track to the Warrawee Conservation Area, a new changeroom block including showers at the trailhead and even a pump track at the local Goliath Park,” Mr McCormack said.

Mayor Tim Wilson of Kentish Council said Kentish municipality was delighted to welcome the Wild Mersey trails into Railton.

“There are now 32 kilometres of trails open for riding, and planning is well underway to continue the trail network on to Sheffield and up around the Badgers Range,” Cr Wilson said.

Mayor Peter Freshney of Latrobe Council said it was rare to find the Wild Mersey carpark at Warrawee Reserve empty.

“People are coming from across the region and state to ride these trails and as the trail network grows – now to Railton and soon to Sheffield – so does the interest in Wild Mersey from mainland and overseas riders,” Cr Freshney said.

This project was jointly funded with the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government investing $300,000, Kentish Council $220,000, Latrobe Council $125,000 and Tasmanian Cycle Tourism Fund $600,000.