- Australian Hostels
Mountain biking is one of the most popular and accessible extreme sports in the world - an exhilarating, white knuckle test of physical endurance, skill and balance that comes in a huge number of varieties and can be enjoyed by anyone who's graduated from training wheels. For the hardcore heads, there's a ton of different specialised disciplines you can launch into with the right expertise, including freestyle, dirt jumping, trials and stomach-turning downhill. For the average joe who's not as keen on risking broken bones, owns a modest mountain bike and enjoys the occasional once-a-month weekend ride, there's plenty of fun to be had with more low key cross country (XC) category of riding, involving longer, winding trails often utilising the natural terrain.
Some of the rides in this category are little more than family friendly dirt paths or fire roads that meander over flat ground, but don't be mistaken, the hardest among them will test the skills - and bravery - of even the most experienced riders. Whatever your poison, state-by-state, we've put together a list of the very best mountain biking routes, trail networks and dedicated parks in Australia for you to pedal, hop and wheelie your way through - plus some bonus tips for beginner riders. So pump up your tires, oil your chain and read on!
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New South Wales is Australia's most populous state, and as home to the country's premier mountain destination, Thredbo, as well as hundreds of smaller parks and trail networks, the state is fantastically equipped to provide endless weekends of fun for the mountain biking enthusiast. The majority of the below locations (aside from those in the Snowies) are located within driving distance of the Sydney Basin, but rest assured that whereever you look in NSW, there'll be plenty of opportunity for two-wheeled action.
Thredbo Mountain Bike Park (All Abilities) - With its breathtaking scenery and phenomenal track construction, Thredbo is a truly world-class location for Mountain Biking. Due to its primary function as a ski resort, Thredbo features an overwhelming prevalence of gravity trails and downhill racing tracks. But that also means CHAIRLIFTS, and thus no more wheeling your bike up to the top of the hill! Thredbo also features heaps of linked cross country trails, a pump track and plenty of skill parks for technical riders. As with skiing, you'll want to be approaching intermediate level to get the most out of the steep descents on offer here, though there are runs for riders of all abilities and it's worth mentioning that Thredbo also has bike hire and MTB clinics to help beginners get started. For any MTB action in the Kosciuszko National Park, Thredbo YHA is a fantastic value place to stay.
Mill Creek and Tyrolean trails (Easy/Intermediate) - Thredbo may be phenomenal, but nearby Jindabyne has some high quality trails of its own that are worth checking out. Unlike Thredbo, which is closed to riders in the winter for obvious reasons, the trails of Mill Creek and Tyrolean are viable for biking all year round. You'll mostly find cross country-style trails here, and it should be a bit less taxing on beginners than the slaloming sidewinders of the nearby mountain resort, but for more hardened riders, it'll be little more than a warm-up for the main event.
Glenrock State Conservation Area (Easy/Intermediate) - Just south of Newcastle, Glenrock is a tranquil slice of protected wilderness that just happens to be stacked with singletrack-style cross country mountain bike trails. Hidden amongst dense forest and within occasional viewing distance of the sea, this is mostly higher intermediate-level stuff, but there's also some lovely rides for kids and beginners. Newcastle Beach YHA is a great nearby choice for accommodation if you're looking to stay the night.
Awaba Mountain Bike Park (Intermediate) - The Hunter Valley Region in general is absolutely overflowing with fantastic mountain biking experiences, so take this one as a representative of the region (since we can't list them all here). Awaba itself has an excellently rugged 12km cross country loop, plus a set of long and exhilarating downhill sections that are mostly suitable for riders with at least intermediate levels of skill. Keep an eye out, too (so you know what to avoid!), for the nearby unsanctioned riding area of Killingworth... and since you're in the area, why not stay at Hunter Valley YHA?
Wylde MTB Trail (Easy/Intermediate) - Located in South-West Sydney, Wylde is run by Western Sydney Parklands and has been recently upgraded. Consisting of a 12km loop of relatively flat intermediate level (at MOST) cross country track, as well as shorter 6km and 3km loops with the harder parts cut out, this trail is a great place for beginners to start picking up skills without heading too far out of Sydney. Be wary riding in high summer due to hard-baked ground and the lack of tree cover.
Hornsby Mountain Bike Trail aka Old Man's Valley (Intermediate) - Right in the centre of Hornsby, in Sydney's North, Old Man's Valley is home to an admittedly short but very well made set of flowing single track courses with a lot of interesting and fun features and technical sections. It's definitely more geared towards confident riders, but many of the more difficult obstacles have B routes to allow the meek to skirt around them.
Royal National Park/Loftus (Easy/Intermediate) - Featuring upwards of 30km of trails and fire roads, Southern Sydney's Royal National Park has rides for various skill levels, though most of it is on the gentler side. Be aware that the gnarlier rides and jumps are usually not officially sanctioned, so ride at your own risk when it comes to these. Also keep in mind that being a National Park, there's an entry fee.
Blue Mountains National Park (Easy/Intermediate) - Due to its topography and protected status, purpose-built mountain biking areas in the Blue Mountains are surprisingly thin on the ground. Despite this, the rideable fire trails and singletracks that are on offer are very lengthy, well maintained and utterly breathtaking on the back of the setting alone. The Blueys can make for an excellent day out for any mountain biking enthusiast, or with Blue Mountains YHA and Hawksbury Heights YHA nearby, a great choice for a long weekend in the mountain air.
Tathra area, Mt Canobolas/Kinross State Forest (Orange), Manly Dam, Bomo Creek (Nowra), Ourimbah Forest
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Maybe it's the demographics of the place, or perhaps there's just not much else to do, but as a city of action sport lovers, Canberrans have made it their mission to turn the ACT into a wonderland of activities for adrenaline junkies. For such a relatively small area of land, the nation's capital and surrounds are stacked with purpose-built mountain bike parks and trail networks for riders of all skill levels, so you won't struggle in the slightest to get your MTB fix. It's worth mentioning that for those looking for an affordable place to stay while exporting the nation's capital, Canberra City YHA is a great choice.
Stromlo Forest Park (All Abilities) - Stromlo is probably THE premier destination in the ACT for lovers of mountain biking. Stromlo is a purpose-built MTB paradise featuring a 50km long network of singletrack trails for all skill levels - from double black diamond (ultra difficult) to green runs (easy) - plus various racecourses and a highly technical trials course. For beginners, a great run to start with is Old Duffy Descent
Majura Pines (All Abilities) - This 20km network of trails is the oldest in the Canberra region and is looked after by a volunteer group of dedicated mountain bikers. There's a great variety of beginner, intermediate and expert runs snaking through the trees, plus areas with dirt jumps. Take care on weekends, though, since many of the trails can get clogged up with walkers, joggers and horse riders.
Cotter Pines (Easy/Intermediate) - With trailbuilding only beginning in 2018, Cotter Pines is a recent addition to the mountain biking scene in Canberra, but already offers a great little selection of cross country-style trails in a pretty location. It's a little further out than Stromlo, which in combo with its relatively chilled out track design, make it a great choice for a relaxing afternoon on the bike.
Tuggeranong Pines (Intermediate/Expert) - Situated in the south, a bit past Tuggeranong itself, this rocky pine forest is a wonderfully challenging and little-known network of gravity singletrack trails for intermediate to expert riders. Be warned, though, these tracks are not officially sanctioned. So don't go. Forget it.
Centenary Trail (Easy) - This ultra-long 145km loop around Canberra, which can also be hiked, is pretty benign in its topography, and riding a section of it is a great choice for those with kids or just looking for something low-key. The surface is a mix of bitumen (in the urban areas), dirt fire trails and singletrack, though for Mountain Bikers, the Northern Border and Murrumbidgee River sections will be of particular interest.
Zoo Pines, East Kowen/Sparrow Hill, Bruce Ridge
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With its abundance of mountainous terrain and stunning nature, Victoria is right up there with New South Wales as one of the leading destinations for mountain biking in Australia. Its very best locations are centred around either the Australian Alps region or the outskirts of Melbourne, though it's pretty hard to go wrong with any officially sanctioned trails you'll find in the state. Victorians sure have it good - this list only scratches the surface!
Falls Creek Mountain Bike Park (All Abilities) - As Victoria's Thredbo equivalent, Falls Creek has a huge number of mainly gravity-focused tracks that serve a double purpose in winter as ski runs. A hidden upside of this is that snow cover in the colder months helps pack the mud down and tighten up the berms and jumps, leading to some really grippy surfaces that are a joy to ride on. There's over 40km of trails in total, with at least 10km of it beginner-friendly, and much of it continuing to see development and upgrades. Definitely a must-ride.
Mt Buller Bike Park (Intermediate/Expert) - The trails of Mt Buller are considered by some as the best Australia has to offer. Located in the south-western reaches of the Australian Alps, a bit closer to Melbourne than Falls, Mt Buller is another spot that doubles as a ski resort for half of the year. The degree of difficulty of most of the trails is relatively high due to the steep downhills and technical features, so beginners might want to look elsewhere. If you're game, though, make sure you give Stonefly a go - it's one of the funnest trails around.
Mystic Mountain Bike Park (All Abilities) - Located in the town of Bright, the wonderfully named Mystic Mountain Bike Park is a vast network of winding cross country trails and machine-sculpted downhill tracks. There's a pretty decent array of spots for beginners and kids to wet their toes, and likewise plenty on offer for those that want to absolutely send it from the top of the hill. Trail quality here is top-notch, so don't even think twice. There's even a brewery nearby...
Big Hill Mountain Bike Park (Intermediate/Expert) - Completing the foursome of Alps locations, Big Hill Mountain Bike park at Mt Beauty is a downhill competition hotspot and something of a mecca for Victorian riders. Stacked with over 80 different routes, there'll be something for everyone, though it does tend to lean towards a more old-school philosophy of trail design, owing to its historical nature and role in the inception of mountain biking in Australia.
Beechworth Mountain Bike Park (Intermediate) - Predominantly comprised of technical singletrack trails, Beechworth is a great choice of destination for riders looking for a pure and quintessential Aussie mountain biking experience. Trails are clearly signposted and there's B lines if you're feeling cautious, but absolute beginners and claustrophobics should probably steer clear as the primarily blue-level trails can feel quite narrow and demanding.
You Yangs MTB (Intermediate/Expert) - As a result of its proximity to Melbourne and its general awesomeness, You Yangs is one of the most popular mountain biking spots in Victoria. The network has a distinctly hardcore edge to it, with fast-paced downhills, quirky geometry and a huge variety of creative and challenging obstacles dotted all over its trails. There's some more mellow options and meandering cross country routes, but this one is definitely best enjoyed by those with a fair few hours logged in the saddle.
Lysterfield Park (All Abilities) - Lysterfield was host to the Commonwealth Games mountain biking competition in 2006, so its pedigree is certainly there. Located not far outside of Melbourne, the park features a hefty 40km of trails, with a large variety of obstacles and fun features like boardwalks, berms and rock gardens, plus a pump track (think rolling rises and dips) and skill park. Riders of all skill levels should be able to find something to their taste, but be aware that things can get pretty mushy in wet weather!
Forrest/Yaugher (Easy/Intermediate) - Tucked away in the Otway Ranges region to the South West of Melbourne, Forrest is home to the Otway Odyssey mountain biking marathon and lives up to its name with its modest network of cross country trails weaving through dense trees. The distances covered are quite far but there's nothing insanely demanding outside of a couple of technical climbs. The trails at nearby Yaugher are also a nice bonus. If you and your bikes need a bed for the night, Apollo Bay YHA might have something available...
Castlemaine area, Yackandandah, Buxton, Erica, Arthurs Seat, Wombat Forest
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Tasmania is still undisputed champion of natural beauty and outdoor adventuring activities in Australia, so it should come as no surprise that amazing mountain biking locations are overrepresented across the island state. An impressive number of world-class purpose-built parks have opened in the last 6-7 years, and with more in the works, the state is shaping up to be a truly essential destination for riding in the Southern Hemisphere.
Blue Derby (Intermediate/Expert) - Opened in 2015, Blue Derby features a staggering 125km of riding, most of which is fully sculpted singletrack. Located in the puny town of Derby (pop. ~200), the remoteness of the network is the one of its only downsides, but the forest backdrop is incredibly beautiful and the peaceful vibe of the region is a large part of its charm. Expect smooth, fast trail design with lots of cheeky (but optional) jumps and tons of fun natural rock surfaces. Perfection.
Wild Mersey (All Abilities) - At the time of writing, the brand new $4.5 million Wild Mersey network is yet to be fully completed, but what already exists is fantastic. Once it's all done, over 100km of trails will grace the area, including downhill plunges, technical climbs, flow tracks and beginner-friendly playpens. Plus, it's only 15 minutes away from the ferry terminal in Devonport, meaning you can hop off a boat from Melbourne and be riding nearly instantly.
Maydena Bike Park (Intermediate/Expert) - Located 'just' an hour and a half west of Hobart, Maydena Mountain Bike Park offers some of the best downhill mountain biking in the country. Although there are 'green' runs to be had here, even these can be pretty steep and liable to leave true beginners a bit nervous. Full-face helmet and pads are recommended if you're planning on gunning it.
Hollybank Mountain Bike Park (Easy/Intermediate) - Hollybank is great for a couple of reasons: it's only a short drive out of Launceston and its trails are very, very high-calibre. It's another example of the wave of mountain biking investment in the 2010s, and its machine-cut twists and turns are super fun and engaging. There's only three runs, but they're long - No Sweat for rookies, and Tall Timbers and Juggernaut for intermediate riders, totalling 20km of trail all up. Beware of fallen trees, though - they're a bit of a trend.
Clarence Mountain Bike Park/Meehan Range (All Abilities) - Right across the river Derwent from Hobart, the Meehan Range is home to a very enjoyable network of trails wedged between an urban area and the Tasman highway. Managed by the Clarence City Council, the network is constantly expanding, with plans to turn its 50km of rides into over 100km. It's worth noting that there's more trails at nearby Shag bay, Geilston Bay and Waverly Flora Reserve, plus even more across the water in Hobart proper. For any of these spots, Hobart Central YHA will be ultra-convenient and stupidly affordable.
Mt Wellington aka Kunanyi (Intermediate) - Hobart is fortunate enough to not only have the cornucopia of trails at Meehan Range within touching distance, but also a huge mountain towering over it on the other side. Mt Wellington has some excellent and picturesque routes for two-wheeled enthusiasts, including the famous North South traack, which takes you on a 9km-long descent from the slopes of the mountain itself. In the foothills of the mountain is also Glenorchy MTB Park, which has some nice trails and skills sections.
Rosebery Area (Intermediate) - It's a little bit in the middle of nowhere, but the region surrounding Rosebery, near Tasmania's western shore, is stunningly beautiful and has a very untamed feel. There's great cross-country biking to be had here, with the Montezuma Falls (14km) and Sterling Valley (12km) trails offering unique and exhilerating rides through dense temperate rainforest that are well worth the trip alone. Montezuma Falls tends to get pretty wet, but this is proper jungly riding, so suck it up!
Blue Tier Forest Reserve, Tangara Trail, Flagstaff (St. Helens), Penguin MTB Park
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Queensland is not traditionally thought of as one of the main places to head for quality mountain biking, but the state is massive, and with enthusiasts all up its coastlines and in various pockets inland, a pretty solid catalogue of locations has emerged in the last decade. We just hope you don't mind a bit of sweat trickling out from under your helmet, because biking in Queensland can get HOT.
Hidden Vale Adventure Park (Easy/Intermediate) - With its 110km of purpose-made trails, Hidden Vale Adventure Park just south-west of Ipswich is a behemoth of a mountain biking spot. The degree of difficulty here is relatively low, so it feels like a bit of a playground (a good thing in our books), in which beginners and kids can cut their teeth on near-endless swathes of singletrack. The scenery is, frankly, bland - but if you're only concerned with finding quality trails that the whole family can enjoy, Hidden Vale is a no brainer.
Smithfield Mountain Bike Park (Intermediate/Expert) - For riders looking for hair-raising downhill and all mountain action in a truly tropical environment (come on, raise your hand), Smithfield will be a treat. Located just north of Cairns, the park held Australia’s first world championship and continues to host international competitions across a variety of hardcore disciplines. This place is not for the faint of heart, but its spectacular rainforest trails with dramatic elevation changes will tickle the fancy of more experienced riders quite a bit.
Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park (Easy/Intermediate) - The vast network of trails at Atherton straddle Mount Baldy, a hilariously named peak which nonetheless delivers in terms of MTB action. Rugged, interesting terrain coupled with swooping berms make Atherton a premier destination in the state, though the trails seem to be a bit less well looked after recently. For Atherton, Smithfield or any of the many other riding spots in the area, Cairns Central YHA should be your first choice of where to stay.
Gladstone Mountain Bike Park (Easy/Intermediate) - First opened in 2015, Gladstone Mountain Bike Park is a great option for pedal powered action in the Central Queensland region. The park's trails are a combination of hand built and machine-cut singletrack, and though the park allows hikers and horse riders too, they have their own trails and don't share with bikers. There are some black (expert-level) runs here to compliment the lower-key cross country fare, but they're not in the same ballpark of scariness as somewhere like Smithfield.
Douglas Mountain Bike Reserve (All Abilities) - Douglas Mountain Bike Reserve is a 40km-long labrinth of zigzagging cross country rides. Locals with carpentry skills and access to excavators have worked their magic and the trails are creatively adorned with fun technical features and obstacles. The relatively short trails can be linked up into much longer loops, so you'll be kept busy - plus the panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside are a bonus.
Nerang National Park (Intermediate/Expert) - Located south of Brisbane, Nerang National Park features a mix of singletrack and fire track style trails suitable for riders with at least some experience. Its 100km+ of riding (60km if you ignore the fire trails) is mostly of a rugged nature, and can be disorientating with its inconsistent signage. Nevertheless, the park is loved by hardcore and oldschool riders, who just might not mind if newbies are turned off.
Daisy Hill, Toogoom, Victory Heights, Port Douglas
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The Territory is sadly lacking in two very important things for mounain biking: Mountains, and people. Just as with living, the main options essentially consist of the Darwin area, Katherine and Alice Springs. Though the pickings are slim, there are nevertheless a few spots worth checking out for MTB fans who are dedicated enough, and there is recent word of large amounts of funding being invested in local mountain biking, which is slowly starting to show.
Casuarina Coastal Reserve (Intermediate) - Mostly cross country in nature, many of the MTB trails in the Reserve were upgraded in 2018, with new sculpting features like berms added. It's a muddy, earthy, jungly experience, but quite unique, and the trails are good quality and definitely among the best you'll find in Darwin, or indeed NT. Be aware that the mangrove sections (ew!) may be impassable in wet weather or at high tide.
Charles Darwin National Park (Easy/Intermediate) - Charles Darwin National Park is more or less right next to Darwin, and offers a surprisingly robust set of trails. The park has been used by mountain bikers for decades, but only recently have many of the old routes been opened up. You'll find a nice mix of different styles of cross country riding here, with both natural and sculpted style trails - plus there's more upgrades due in the near future.
Howard Springs New Pine Forest (Easy) - Located just south-east of Darwin, New Pine Forest is essentially a large flat area of pine forest with gravelly dirt tracks wending their way between the trees. It's not anything overly mindblowing, but there's some decent fun to be had, with tires and logs making up most of the obstacles and the local riders building small jumps from time to time.
Katherine & Nitmiluk National Park (Easy/Intermediate) - Right on the Katherine River and surrounding the town itself, several simple singletrack trails have been built and maintained by the locals, though they are usually submerged during wet season. Head a bit further downstream into the gorgeous Nitmiluk National Park (aka Katherine Gorge area), and you'll be treated to several brand new trails with an interesting design and beautiful setting. These are excellent, and there are plans and funding on the table open more in the future. Watch this space - Katherine may well end up being a top-tier mountain biking spot the years to come.
Araluen Mountain Bike Trails & Telegraph Station Reserve (All Abilities) - The surrounds of Alice Springs have long been one of Aussie mountain biking's best kept secrets, with literally hundreds of kilometres of purpose-made cross country trails and dirt tracks snaking over ridgelines and rocky hills, all against the backdrop of the Alice's incredibly unique landscape. Even without the iconic setting, the quality of riding here is genuinely world-class, so it's only really the remoteness keeping from being a huge destination for mountain bikers Australia-wide. Alice Springs YHA is a great, affordable choice of accommodation, and should be able to help you out with bike hire. Also, be sure to go in winter, when it's less face-meltingly hot.
Simpson Gap Bike Path (it's not really mountain biking, but it's beautiful!)
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The majority of the best riding in WA is centred around Perth and the state's South-West region. Unlike many other states' neatly sectioned off parks and reserves (which there still are plenty of, by the way), Western Australia features a lot of very long-distance trails that travel in a straight line rather than in loops. This means things get a bit fuzzy in terms of where to recommend starting out for a day of biking, but honestly, you can't go wrong with anything south or east of the state's capital.
Kalamunda Mountain Bike Park (All Abilities) - With its 40km-odd network of trails, Kalamunda forms part of an absolute spider's web of mountain bike routes in the Darling Scarp region, just east of Perth. With over 100 individual trails in Kalamunda alone (if you count access tracks), the network is the biggest and most popular in WA, and caters to riders of all skill levels. Cross country singletrack is the flavour here, but there's tons of great purpose-built features to spice things up. Perth City YHA is just 30 mins away in the centre of the big smoke, so it'll make sense to grab a room if you also want to see Perth.
Mt Lennard Trails aka Pile Rd (Intermediate) - Not far from Bunbury, just south of Perth, Mt Lennard (known locally as Pile Rd) is a 34km network of trails with an emphases on moderately demanding singetrack. The trails in the area are notorious for their pea gravel surface, which can prove a real challenge to riders who aren't used to it, and with only one proper green run, beginners might not have the best time. Trails are very well signposted, though.
Margaret River area (All Abilities) - In terms of thrills per sqm, Margaret River definitely takes the cake. The broader trail network encompasses a series of smaller trail conglomerates mashed together, including The Pines, Compartment 10, Middle Earth, the Creek Trails and more. These tightly packed areas are filled with technical playgrounds featuring constructed berms, jumps and high-speed flow sections. To a certain kind of rider, this will be absolute heaven, but less confident riders should stick to the mellow cross country routes issuing from the main park - the 10 Mile Brook Trail and Wadandi Track. Nearby Margaret River YHA is a great pick to bunk at for when your legs grow weary.
Munda Biddi Trail (Easy*) - We weren't kidding when we said that WA featured some absolute marathon unsealed rides. The Munda Biddi Trail is a goliath of a track that stretches from Mundaring to Albany - an INSANE 1050km all up that makes it the longest continuous bike trail on Earth. Realistically, the vast majority of sane mountain bikers will pick and choose the stretches they ride (not all of it is dedicated MTB singletrack), but the whole thing is well maintained and signposted. If you make it all the way, collapse into a bed at Albany YHA and give yourself a royal thwack on the back. *Potentially gruelling
Dwelingup area (Easy/Intermediate) - In a fairly new development, the areas around Dwelingup including Murray Valley, Marrinup and Turner Hill have seen construction of a bunch of new biking-friendly areas. Totalling over 40km (so far) you'll find dedicated singletrack trails in abundance, catering for a good mix of skill levels. Keep an eye out for the awesome boardwalk and log structures that add flavour to the runs.
Dunsborough Mountain Bike Park (Easy/Intermediate) - Situated conveniently close to Dunsborough YHA, where you'll no doubt already be staying, Dunsborough Mountain Bike Park is another of the gems of the greater Margaret River region. Though there's only 21km of trail in total, what's here is very dense and there's lots of beginner-friendly areas. The terrain is nothing excentional, but it's all very well maintained. Be aware that there's a $5 fee to get in, though.
Karratha MTB Trail Network (Easy/Intermediate) - If you're getting sick of the comparatively lush landscape of the South-West, Karratha (in the dry Pilbara region) should be just the ticket. This is REAL Australia, with more in common with Alice Springs than Perth, at least in terms of landscape. Right next to the town of Karratha itself, an absolutely vast swathe of mostly flat trails criss crosses the arid scrubland. There's nothing too taxing in terms of obstacles, but you'll want to be fit - the amount of ground you'll cover is significant and you should expect heat.
Wellington National Park, Murrin Murrin, Welli Mills, Linga Longa & Surrounds, Pemberton
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To quote an avid rider based in South Australia, "The best thing about mountain biking in SA is that rest of Australia doesn't know about it". It's with this mindset that many of the state's best trails are fairly well-kept secrets outside of local knowledge. That said, research pays off, and there's some quite excellent experiences to be had on two wheels in the hills and valleys surrounding Adelaide. Once you've done your homework, one of the state's biggest advantages as a destination for mountain biking becomes apparent: many of the best places to ride are little more than a short car ride from the centre of the capital, with many accessible by public transport!
Mitcham Trails (All Abilities) - Located just South of Adelaide's CBD, Mitcham Trails is a network of earthy singletrack with some interesting elevation changes and flow. There's a few jumps for the daring, though there isn't too much in the way of purpose-built features. Nevertheless, there's huge amounts of fun to be had on some of the more challenging bits.
Belair National Park (Easy/Intermediate) - Hidden in the highlands just beyond the City of Churches, Belair National Park is another of the area's scenic gems. The main draw here is the the Adventure Loop, which though at times rocky and steep, will take you on a nice 12.5km round trip through some pretty countryside. There's a couple of easier and shorter trails as well if you don't want to bite off more than you can chew.
Eagle MTB Park (Intermediate/Expert) - Situated just 10 minutes by car from our nature-lover's hidey hole, Mount Lofty YHA, and not far from the centre of Adelaide, Eagle MTB Park is a bit of a mixed bag. On the positive side, it's very convenient to get to and has a ton of challenging runs. On the other hand, it suffers from neglect between competition seasons, has very dry terrain and can be a bit too gnarly to newcomers. It does have the honour of being Australia's first official mountain biking park, but its age might be showing.
Sturt Gorge Recreation Park (Easy/Intermediate) - The riding at Sturt Gorge is excellent, with a big range of trail types within its 40km network. Berm-filled flow tracks and winding singletrack abound, with some great natural rock features. The area has some significance geologically, and can be quite aesthetically pleasing - just be careful if it's been raining, as the mud can build up. As for many of the nearby spots, Adelaide Central YHA is a great launchpad for your expedition.
Prospect Hill (Intermediate) - A little further south of Adelaide, near the McLaren Vale wine region, Prospect Hill features a lovely network of flowing trails weaving through pine trees. The terrain is pretty friendly, but you'll want good command of your bike to negotiate the faster downhill sections to avoid smacking into a tree. The trails aren't marked, so either bring a map or just be happy to explore wherever the bike takes you.
Pewsey Vale/Mt Crawford (All Abilities) - Sandwiched between the famous Barossa Valley and Eden Valley wine regions of the state, Pewsey Vale serves up a glut of around 50 different tracks and trails ranging from chilled-out cross country rides suitable for families, to hectic downhill plunges with gaps and drops. This one is among the least talked about, but most highly rated among riders, so definitely check it out if you can.
Melrose, Cobbler Creek, O'Halloran Hill, Fox Creek (still close due to fires as of Jan 2021, but under reconstruction)
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