This month, we decided to celebrate one of the greatest things in life, travel and adventure holidays! Throughout September, we have been counting down the Aussie Grit Apparel top 5 active travel and adventure destinations.
We can’t wait to hear what your favourite destination is too, we will have a special, quirky prize to give away at the end of the month so comment on our Instagram or facebook account, tweet or even email us.
This week we’ve reached number one, our favourite travel and adventure destination, enjoy!
Number 1: Blue Derby, Tasmania
Coming in at number one on our list, our pick for the top active travel destination in the world is Derby, Tasmania.
The small town of Derby has been completely transformed in recent years with the introduction of an incredible 85+ kilometre network of mountain bike trails locally in 2015. Opening the world-renowned trails has brought economic growth to the area through adventure tourism and local Tassie businesses have thrived as a result.
The legendary purpose-built trails are called Blue Derby and offer a stunning setting for mountain bike riders who travel from around the world to enjoy the thrill and challenge, not to mention the beautiful native bushland setting.
In 2017, Derby hosted a round of the Enduro World Series. It was the first time the event has been held in Australia.
At the beginning of the month, we mentioned a quirky prize for our favourite social media entry for great travel and adventure destinations. This prize will be a selection of items from some of these great local Tasmanian businesses; there’s still time to get your entries in via social media.
Where to run – Dam Busters is a 9.3 km, high elevation trail that provides a challenging run around the stunning Cascade Dam.
This glorious trail runs through eucalypt forests, over clear water and past moss-covered rocks. If you stop for a minute to listen, you’ll hear the sounds of a beautiful forest that is distinctly Australian.
Dam Busters ascends to a fantastic view of the lake before a challenging descent back down to Devilwolf.
Source: Ride Blue Derby
Where to stay and ride – Our recommendation for where to ride and where to stay are one in the same since you can enjoy both at the exclusive Blue Derby Pods Ride.
Blue Derby Pods Ride offers a unique experience and is a proud partner of Aussie Grit Apparel. The stunning Pods are nestled in the heart of the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails network so your accommodation includes the riding trail, right on your doorstep.
The three-day Blue Derby Pods Ride experience includes guided rides, stunning accommodation and fine Tasmanian food and wine in the evenings as you look from the dining room over the Tasmanian Blackwood trees and down to the Cascade River valley below.
Source: Blue Derby Pods ride
Where to refuel – Two Doors Down Café is close to the mountain bike trails and offers a relaxed atmosphere with great service.
Don’t forget to pack – Your Aussie Grit Apparel bike shell. If you’re headed to Blue Derby Pods Ride, the team have some bike shells available for riders to trial.
Number 2: Aspen Colorado
Aspen is a remote area in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The town itself has a historic, old world charm and the surrounding area is a stunning outdoor playground for Mountain Biking and Trail Running.
It makes number two on our list of top active travel destinations as a favourite of our founder Mark Webber who recently visited the area for the Leadville 100 MTB and the rest of the Aussie Grit Apparel team.
The town is positioned along the Roaring Fork River with an elevation of just below 2,400 m above sea level. The population of Aspen (6,658 in the 2010 census) is often swelled by a high tourist population, drawn to the stunning landscape, potential outdoor activities and charm.
Where to run – For a tough run, try the Sunnyside Trail. This 16.1km track provides a mix of flat and steep sections and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
This trail run is not for the faint hearted and offers spectacular views but little time to catch your breath. Since the area is elevated, make sure you give yourself a bit of time to adjust to the altitude before setting off on a tough run.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture
Where to ride – Take an adventure down the doubletrack on Richmond Ridge Road. This 19.8km trail goes to the top of Aspen Mt Summer Road, at the Sundeck restaurant, all the way to Taylor Pass at the southern end.
Don’t forget to pack plenty of warm clothes and food and water if you’re going on an adventure in the area.
Source: MTB project
Where to refuel – There is no shortage of good eateries in the Aspen core so we’ve picked four of our favourites! For quality but relaxed Italian dining, you can’t go wrong with Campo de Fiori at 205 S. Mill St which has indoor and outdoor dining areas and is always packed in the evenings. The White House Tavern at 302 East Hopkins Ave is small and intimate which means they don’t take bookings. But, if you’re prepared to wait (or take a stroll around town) the staff will ring you when a table becomes available. A great lunch-time destination offering premium sandwiches and burgers. Across the street at 319 is the Meat and Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop (deli). Another one where the wait/queue for a table is worthwhile as they offer a seasonal menu with flavours and dishes from Asia, Europe and the Americas. The deli counter has a wide selection of speciality cheeses, meats and freshly baked bread. And, if you’re looking for the best coffee and breakfast menu in Aspen, do not go past Victoria’s Espresso Bar at 510 E. Durant Ave. Owned and run by an Australian/Canadian couple, Victoria’s is really the only place in Aspen that offers European/Australian-style brekkies and their in-shop baked pastries are delicious. Also, Vegemite and Marmite are available to spread on your toast, plus yummy Anzac biscuits!
Where to stay – Aspen is an expensive destination but if budget isn’t a consideration, the town has some great hotels and our pick is the Limelight Hotel in the heart of downtown Aspen at 355 S. Monarch St. It has everything you’d expect from a top hotel including airport and about town shuttles, cruiser and fat bikes for exploring Aspen on two wheels, outdoor pool and hot-tubs, gym, rooftop terraces and great accommodation. In dog-friendly Aspen, it’s essential that your four-legged companion gets the best attention too and Limelight welcomes dogs. You can also get all the advice and local knowledge you need from the front desk by speaking to the hotel’s own adventure concierge. If you’re looking for more affordable accommodation, nearby Snowmass Resort has plenty to offer along with heaps of family orientated activities.
Don’t forget to pack – Temperatures can rise to 34 degrees Celsius in Aspen in the Summertime so if you’re planning a Summer adventure, don’t forget to pack your Aussie Grit Apparel Trail T-Shirt or Top in Womens.
Number 3: Wanaka New Zealand
Wanaka is a stunning resort town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand.
The town is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park and is at the end of Lake Wanaka and the start of the Clutha River. Its positioning makes it an outdoor activities mecca in both the Winter and the Summer.
Along with the rest of the Queenstown-Lakes District in the south of New Zealand, Wanaka’s location amongst mountains and lakes makes for some spectacular trails to explore by bike and by foot.
Where to run – The Spotts Creek Track is 15.4km of stunning scenery. While many runners call it a day after a tough ascent to the summit of Roy Peak, you can make a day of it and keep running.
To complete the full Skyline Track route, you can follow the ridge line over to the summit of Mt Alpha then descend south towards Cadrona for some more incredible views. You can arrange a shuttle back to Wanaka from Cardrona Valley Road or turn it in to a long day out and make your way back on foot.
Source: Trail run project
Where to ride – There are many incredible places to ride in Wanaka, especially in the Summer. To start exploring the region, we recommend the 14km Upper Clutha River Track.
The track starts at Albert Town Bridge and features an awesome network of century-old gold mines.
Where to refuel – If you’re taking our ride recommendation, the Luggate Hotel is located on the Upper Clutha River Track. Here you can enjoy a nice pub meal and take in the view.
Where to stay – Accommodation prices in the area can fluctuate a lot between peak ski season and the summer, for the best value at hotels and on the trails, we recommend visiting Wanaka in the warmer months from September – May.
Our pick for accommodation is the Oakridge Resort which is 2km from Lake Wanaka but boasts beautiful facilities including pools for recovery if you decide to tackle the Spotts Creek Track.
Don’t forget to pack – The weather in New Zealand’s South Island can often be cold, if you’re visiting outside of summertime, don’t forget to pack your Aussie Grit Apparel Thermal Gilet.