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Tangara is an Aboriginal word meaning, 'Let's get away together' and is the name given to this Tasmanian multi-user recreational trail network. In the Clarence municipality, the network covers from Cambridge and Five Mile Beach to South Arm.


The Tangara Trail network had its genesis in the 1970's, following a trend of five-acre subdivisions in the Acton Park and Sandford areas, which attracted significant numbers of horse owners. The original concept of the Tangara Trail was a network of safe and easily accessible trails for local horse riders between rural-residential subdivisions, bush and coastal land.

Tangara Horse Riding Trails Inc. was established in 1988 to manage the planning and development of new tracks, and liaise with private landowners.

Since the 1980’s, there has been a significant increase in the use of the trail network by walkers, dog walkers, and mountain bikers. In response to this wider use and with a desire to be more inclusive, in 2004 Tangara Horse Riding Trails Inc. became Tangara Recreational Trails Inc. A broader management focus was adopted, while still recognising the uniqueness of this venue for equestrian use; there is nowhere else in southern Tasmania where horse riding is accommodated as a specific activity as safely and comprehensively.

With no funding in the beginning, committee members would sell lamingtons to raise money for projects, and occasionally apply for a grant. Members would hold working bees on the trails which would include planting trees, placing signs or arrows, trimming overgrown vegetation, weeding, or organising equipment or machinery operators if required. Volunteers would also provide help. 

The original sand arena at Tangara Park, which is now known as the Tasmanian Equestrian Centre in Lauderdale, was the first sand arena in Tasmania on public land, a result of past and present dedicated committee members, community support, a Sport and Recreation grant, money raised at Tangara Park from visiting coaches holding clinics, club days and possibly everyone who owned a horse selling many lamingtons. 

Eventually the importance of the trail was realised and it now has full funding  from Clarence City Council and also has its own maintenance crew.

Original track directional signage was a small white diamond with a “Thelwell” type pony picture. Tracks were informally named, but well known by locals.These signs were replaced around 2010 by small red arrows. As the trail was drawing more visitors, and also for quicker locating by maintenance and emergency services, all tracks were formally named, some retaining their original name, other changing to represent their location or history. Now larger signs show these track names, distance and destination at each entrance. Roadside signage locates trails. Post and rail fencing is at most entrances to maintain continuity and ease of location. Etiquette signs are strategically placed to educate and remind all users, increasing the safety of the multi-user facility.

Tangara is now identified as a ‘significant trail’ in the Clarence City Council Tracks and Trails Action Plan.

Working in conjunction with Clarence City Council and Parks and Wildlife Service, the Tangara Recreational Trails Committee continues to identify maintenance issues and opportunities to improve and enhance the trail network. It currently comprises an extensive network of public right of ways and public open space areas between residential subdivisions, wide road verges, formal and informal tracks and trails through bushland and along the coast. Any new land development or subdivision requires the provision of public open space to enable extension and continuity of the trail, including loops.

In 2004 our map identified approximately 80 kms of trails. Its current distance is approximately 300 kms.

The Tangara Trail is used as a benchmark for new trails throughout Australia.



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