Hire a mountain bike and explore the trails in Hanmer Forest, a botanic paradise where exotic and native trees live in harmony.
Hanmer Forest provides a glorious backdrop to the resort town of Hanmer Springs, which is an attractive year-round holiday destination.
The forest was established in 1901 with species that grew in the montane areas of central Europe - black pines, Norway spruce, deciduous larch, alders, oaks and silver birches. Radiata pine and Douglas fir were also planted for timber production. Native and exotic garden species have since joined the originally planted species to create a mixed forest that is of considerable scientific interest. In autumn, the vivid colours of deciduous European trees are brilliantly displayed against the rich greens of native trees. The forest is criss-crossed with recreational tracks for hiking, mountain biking and horse riding.
If you're looking for an all-day adventure, the Mount Isobel Track takes around six hours to complete. The route begins at Clarence Valley Road carpark and wanders through European and Japanese larches before ascending to subalpine scrub and open grassland. At the summit you'll enjoy panoramic views of Hanmer Basin and beyond.
A popular short track is the Woodland Walk, which starts about one kilometre along Jollies Pass Road. This pleasant walk, suitable for families, passes through typical woodland forest, meadowland and stands of exotic trees including Douglas fir, poplar and redwood. It features a stream, flax wetland and ponds with plenty of bird and aquatic life.