The proposed Trail is what’s known as a ‘point-to-point closed loop trail’. This means people can commence at a particular point and finish at another point on the Trail. Or, they can complete the loop and finish at the point they started. At a planned distance of over 100 kilometers, many people will be picked up and taken back to their accommodation at night and then recommence the next day. These pick up and drop off points are expected to be on or around every 20 km and outside of existing shack settlements. Other aspects of the trail include:

  • The proposed Trail route is on Hydro Reserve land or land managed by Hydro Tasmania. This keeps users out of the fragile protected area to the north and ensures it remains on the shore of what is an existing working Hydro asset. The only time the Trail enters an area outside of Hydro Reserve land is to follow an existing track, which in these instances is for less than a 500m in total.
  • Walkers can use the trail in either direction.
  • For mountain bike users the trail will be both directions from Tods Corner to Liawenee, however from Liawenee the Trail will be designed to be ridden in a clockwise direction.
  • The trail is for mountain biking in a cross country or enduro style. It is not a gravity trail as seen at Derby and Maydeena. Sections are long and flat with good visibility.
  • The Trail will be between 1.6 to 1.8m wide with a firm and stable surface and will be designed similarly to a walking track Class 2 under the Australian Standard AS2156.1 – 2001 Walking Tracks – Classification and Signage

The Great Lake Adventure Trail proposal is currently with the landowners/managers – Hydro Tasmania and PWS. They are assessing several key issues, including the final route of the Trail to ensure that the use of private landowners is not compromised in any way, as well as the method of and specification of the construction of the Trail itself. It’s expected that responding to these issues will take a considerable amount of time.

Yes. Any approval for the Trail will need to include all safety issues for users, including keeping users of the Trail safe from the use of the land by hunters. A Safety Plan will need to be developed and agreed with the Gaming Regulator.

A condition to develop any Trail in the area will include formal plans for:

  • the management of flora and fauna
  • the management of any Aboriginal Heritage Sites
  • the ongoing maintenance of the Trail
  • waste collection and disposal
  • first responder response during an emergency
  • the provision of information and signage of the heritage and environmental protection of the Trail by all users, including the management of dogs

With these management plans in place, the area around the Great Lake will be maintained to a higher level than it currently is. With people walking on and maintaining the Trail on an almost daily basis, it’s expected that illegal camping, poaching, and fishing methods as well as undesirable use of the area will be considerably less than in the past.

We believe that the people who will use the trail want to enjoy and experience the natural environment. And similar trails in other places haven’t attracted people intent on damaging other peoples’ property. Apart from maintenance and the collection of garbage, no motorised vehicles apart from e-bikes will be allowed on the Trail.

Yes. The planned siting of the Trail is very close to the water’s edge on land either owned or managed by Hydro Tasmania, which is already used by many people to fish and to walk along. Although numbers will increase in some areas along the Trail, it’s not expected that the number of people spread over the length of the Trail will create any congestion.

While the Trail designers were briefed to not use the existing 4WD tracks and access roads, there may be some sections of these tracks that will end up being incorporated into the Adventure Trail. If this is the case, the existing tracks used for the Trail will remain open for any public use.

There are no plans for huts to be developed along the trail at this stage. There is scope for private landowners to establish businesses on their land to service visitors to the Trail. These will need to be discussed with the Council and may be subject to a Development Application.

Free parking will be available at the Miena Village site for visitors who choose to start the Trail at that point. There have also been initial discussions around a pick-up and drop off service from Miena Village, with pick-up points at or around every 20km, located away from any existing shacks. A bus would service the western shore, with a suitably designed boat servicing the eastern shore.

Bike hire won’t be like what’s seen in major cities. Like other mountain bike destinations, bike and e-bike hire will be subject to a significant cash bond which is a proven deterrent to people not returning them.

Provided there is the level of interest required, all the anticipated employment positions will be from the local area. Local civil contractors would be recruited to assist in the construction and ongoing maintenance of the Trail. There are also anticipated ongoing job opportunities in hospitality and retail.

There will be many ongoing opportunities for public consultation during the Trail’s planning process. We also welcome any direct contact by email at

The surface of the Trail will not be suitable for horse riding.

While there are no plans at this stage to make the Trail an enduro event destination, the Trail will be constructed to a level where competitions can be held on sections, or all of the Trail, depending on the event.

The two proponents of the project are:

Jason Garrett

The Central Highlands has been my home or my home away from home for almost 40 years. My father and grandfather have also had a great affinity with the Central Highlands having lived and fished up here. For this reason you could call me a Highlander; I’m certainly not from the Heartlands.

I can still remember fishing trips with my father, cousins, uncle and grand-father where we sat around a fire listening to stories of the Shannon Rise, the Lagoon of Islands, and Lake Sorell in their glory days.

Like me, my father owned a pub up here, the Derwent Bridge Hotel, and it was here that I learnt to ride my first bike in the late 1970’s riding from Derwent Bridge to Lake St.Clair as I wasn’t allowed on the highway. Bike riding up here is exhilarating and very enjoyable and is something I have done for more years than I can count.

My father developed property and fishing ideas with the development of London Lakes and Highland Waters; his ideas were visionary, ahead of their time and brought international tourists to the Highlands – including the 1988 World Fly fishing Championships. I have fished these lakes and rivers since I was a boy, I  have represented Australia in fly fishing, and I am highly involved in growing the sport of competitive fly fishing including my involvement with the Commonwealth Championships in Tasmania in 2012 and the World Championships in 2019.

My working life has seen me leave the Plateau on occasions but my first job was as a cadet engineer at the Hydro based out of Tarraleah. I was fortunately enough to have advised the Government on the development of the iconic Three Capes Track on the Tasman Peninsula and it is this understanding that drives me to see the successful implementation of the Great Lake Adventure Trail – a wonderful, environmentally sensitive approach to combining a bike riding and bushwalking theme; something this destination is crying out for and something that can be used by locals and visitors alike.

Very occasionally really great ideas come along and this is one which we should embrace and shape so we get it right.. As Highlanders we pride ourselves on being adaptable to the elements, this is just another example of how we need to embrace our past and improve our surroundings. What a great idea.

James Johns

Born and educated in Tasmania, I joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1986 as a Quartermaster Gunner, returning to Tasmania via a stint on the family farm in the Wimmera after 6 ½ years service.

My family were in the automotive industry and heavily involved in community projects around Tasmania.  The importance of community service was always strong and saw us funding and supporting projects, disproportionate to the size of the business; from medical research and arts, to funding sporting teams that represented the state on the national stage.

After 10 years back in the state I followed a career path into professional sport, again out of the state, spending 11 years in Rugby League as a Development and High Performance Coach and 3 seasons with the AFL in AFL Operations, establishing the NEAFL competition. I returned to Tasmania in 2014 after my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

On returning I was shocked with the reported low levels of education and employment opportunity throughout the state but especially in rural and regional Tasmania.  As a family we made a decision to look at ways to diversify into projects that would provide part of the solution for communities in these areas and after selling the automotive business we were able to realise that commitment by purchasing the site on which the Great Lake Hotel and Great Lake General Store are located.

My connection with the Central Highlands is the same as many other recreational users of the area – fishing and walking.  My great grand father and father were keen fly fishermen and I spent time in and around the lakes area with them  while growing up.  That connection to the highlands was strengthened at school through friendships made with families who were farmers or shack owners in the area.

The establishment of an ecologically sound, low impact, natural attraction in the Central Highlands will provide an economic and social stimulus that will benefit the whole of the Central Highlands and surrounding regional towns.  This in turn provides for a more stable regional economy, employment opportunities and pathways from education into employment for the students within our District High schools around the plateau.  My hope is that the Great Lake Adventure Trail will be a way for us to actively be part of the solution to reinvigorate our rural towns.

The proponent families behind the Great Lake Adventure Trail are proud to support a wide range of charities, events, and community groups in the Central Highlands. We are committed to helping build a stronger and more vibrant community.

This support includes:

Highlands Bushfest

  • Trade display exhibitor and sponsor since 2017.

World Fly Fishing Championships

  • Sponsored this event in 1988 and 2019 and provided fishing locations.

School Based Training

  • Hosting a retail work experience student weekly from Bothwell District High School.
  • Commenced discussions regarding hospitality, retail and horticulture placement pathways with Deloraine High School.

Bothwell Rabbits Football Club

  • Ongoing major sponsor of the Rabbits since season 2020.
  • Subsidised supporter transport from Miena to Bothwell for home games and Grand Final 2021.
  • Provide prizes and conducted fundraising raffle every Friday night during football season to raise additional funds.

Miena Volunteer Fire Fighters and Ambulance Organisations

  • Since 2020 provided prizes and conducted the fundraising raffle every Friday night during the summer period to provide funds for both organisations.

Great Lake Community Centre

  • Donated wood for wood raffles and sales to raise operational funds.
  • Provided strategic assistance in grant applications and special event organisation.
  • Provided accommodation prizes for fundraising raffles

Central Highlands Tasmania Wildlife

  • 2019 commenced collaboration for an animal rescue ICU and release facility at Miena Village.  Initial construction drawings completed.

Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation

  • 2020 established a research grant into better supporting people with Multiple Sclerosis in remote and regional areas

Miena Brochure

  • Assisting with the redesign and reprint of the Miena Brochure for distribution to information centres throughout Tasmania

Bothwell Bucks Cricket Club

  • Commenced sponsorship of the three teams from 2021

Great Lake Tie In

  • Supporting the event through providing a Boat Hire Prize for the fundraising raffle toward the Community Hall

Bothwell District High School Leavers Plaques

  • Supported the initiative and provided the plaques for the 2020 Year 10 leavers.

St Michaels Collegiate Boarding Scholarship for Regional and Rural Girls

  • Provided this boarding and educational scholarship for regional and rural girls since 2020.

Sheep Station Cup – Ratho Golf Course

  • Provided prizes for the Golf day since 2020 to assist with raising money for the Bothwell District High School and Leukaemia foundation.

Cancer Council Relay for Life – Bothwell Bunnies

  • Provided prizes for fundraising raffle since 2020.

Pink Up Oatlands

  • Provided prizes for the McGrath Foundation fundraiser.

Our priority since the start of COVID-19 has been to remain open to ensure the local community has access to essential goods through our General Store and Hotel whilst maintaining a high level of compliance with the COVID-19 regulations to keep our employees and customers safe.