THE newest tourism venture at Maydena is on track to provide a unique pedal-powered experience of the state’s forests with the official launch of the Railtrack Rider by Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans on Saturday.
Believed to be an Australian first, the Railtrack Rider consists of six four-wheeled, lightweight vehicles powered by pedal action along a 2.5km section of disused rail track between Maydena and the site of the former station in the Florentine Valley. Forestry Tasmania and the Tasmanian Community Fund financed the development of the attraction through the Maydena Community Association.
The Railtrack Rider further diversifies the range of attractions at Forestry Tasmania’s newly established “Maydena Adventure Hub”, which offers a full day of activities including tours to the spectacular Eagle’s Eyrie, trike tours and day walks into the South-West Wilderness.
Stopping points on the Railtrack Rider include the former silos that contained cement brought down by train from Railton and delivered from the silo by trucks 24 hours a day to build the hydro dams at Strathgordon and Scotts Peak. A further peek into the past reveals the spur line that originally had wooden rails and the remains of bridge over which logs were carried from the Florentine Valley in the early 20th century to be processed at Maydena. There is also an unusual hollow tree with ferns growing from it and which has been nicknamed the Tasmanian Tiger Kennel.
The Railtrack Rider was developed by the Maydena Community Association which worked with project coordinator Geoffrey Williams and Piers Hooper. Mr Williams said the project was testament to the skill and ingenuity of the local community. “Brett Johnston (a former Boyer fitter and turner) from New Norfolk Mowers and Cycles made the axles and fitted them as well as the modified disk brakes,” he said. “The frames were welded by Former InCat worker Terry Edwards who is a neighbour of mine, and the seats have been recycled from the Maydena Primary School.”
Mr Williams developed the independent suspension using modified recycled valve springs from car engines. “The riders are a bit like big billy carts on rails,” he said. “They are completely safe and provide a great ride.”
The Railtrack Rider is part of a range of exciting forest adventure activities on offer at Forestry Tasmania’s latest tourism venture, Maydena Adventure Hub.They include stunning views at Eagles’ Eyrie Lookout 1100 metres above sea level, travelling in the all terrain four wheel drive bus, trike hire, tracking the Tassie tiger, wilderness and day walks, and gourmet lunches.
Tickets for the Railtrack rider are $18 for adults and $10 for children between 8 and 15. Bookings are required. Phone 1300 720 507 or 6288 2288, or book online at www.adventureforests.com.au