Eight Mountain Biking Trails Around Australia to Tackle for Off-Road Thrills
Whether you're looking for high-speed thrills or a more leisurely ride, these excellent mountain bike trails have something for everyone.
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Under current COVID-19 restrictions in Australia, there are various interstate border restrictions in place. Up-to-date information on restrictions are available at your state's health websites (click through for NSW, Victoria and Queensland). Of course, even border closures don't mean you can't start dreaming — bookmark this for when you can explore freely once again.
Australia's hugely diverse landscape means there's plenty of choice when it comes to finding an off-road experience, no matter how you like to get around. From twisting turns across the Australian Alps to tropical rainforest descents, epic all-terrain mountain biking adventures can be discovered in every corner of the country.
When you're ready to hit the road, don't forget to pack the new Sonos Roam. Designed to withstand a rough-and-tumble lifestyle, this lightweight and portable smart speaker is drop-withstanding and waterproof, making it the perfect device to soundtrack your journey.
THE AUSTRALIAN ALPINE EPIC, VICTORIA
When it comes to the Alpine Epic, everything you need to know is in the name. The first trail in the southern hemisphere to be designated, quite literally, 'epic' by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, this exhilarating cross-country trail begins from the lofty Mt Buller Alpine Village. From there, you'll pedal through 40 kilometres of incredible alpine terrain, including many of the region's most picturesque destinations. Passing through snowgum groves and wildflowers via Soul Revival, One Tree Hill and Gang Gangs on this challenging descent, the Australian Alpine Epic is suited to experienced riders, and takes around seven hours to complete. The trail is open from December to April.
OURIMBAH STATE FOREST, NSW
Situated at the southern end of the Watagan Mountains, just west of Wyong, Ourimbah State Forest is a popular destination for outdoor adventure activities near the Central Coast. As well as stellar hiking and ziplining experiences through the treetops, mountain biking is high on the agenda for many visitors with a series of well-maintained downhill and cross-country trails suitable for both beginner and experienced riders. You'll find plenty of obstacles and jumps to test your skills, with many of the routes designed with progression in mind. Plus, a convenient shuttle bus ensures you get a break on the way back to the top of the mountain.
SMITHFIELD MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK, QUEENSLAND
The dense, lush landscape of tropical north Queensland makes for the perfect destination when you're looking for some serious thrills. Featuring more than 60 kilometres of trails set deep within the rainforest, Smithfield Mountain Bike Park is considered one of the top all-terrain trail systems anywhere in the world. It hosted the 1996 and 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships — and it's also the oldest mountain bike park in Australia. You can bounce your way across craggy hillsides and fast-flowing streams as you ride through vine-covered jungle and jagged ridges overlooking the Great Barrier Reef. While experienced riders flock to Smithfield for its great selection of quick technical routes to test their skills, beginners will discover a series of spacious, smooth trails that skirt the lower edges of the park.
ARTHURS SEAT PARK, VICTORIA
Surrounding the 314-metre summit of Arthurs Seat State Park is a striking network of mountain biking trails that wind through the region's native bushland and rocky terrain. There are suitable off-road adventures for every experience level here, with 14 trails of varying difficulty. Beginners will prefer the well-connected Pink Line Trail, Slippery Gypsy Trail and East Link Trail with their low gradients and minimal obstacles. More accomplished riders can take on the highly technical Deadwoods Trail or the sharp drops of the Pins and Needles Trail.
THREDBO MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK, NSW
Alpine mountain biking doesn't get much better than what's on offer at the Thredbo Mountain Bike Park. The trails are open from November to May each year and offer an evolving network of cross-country adventures that ensure you can find a path to match your skillset. Featuring Australia's only chairlift-accessed gravity trails open throughout summer, Thredbo is a great place for riders with a bit of experience to test themselves on berms, rock drops and other technical obstacles. For those who'd prefer a more relaxing off-road experience, Easy Street and the Thredbo Valley Track offer a stellar combination of thrills and alpine scenery. Thredbo Mountain Bike Park also offers clinics for all ages and skill levels.
BIG HILL MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK, VICTORIA
Situated atop the appropriately named Mount Beauty, Big Hill Mountain Bike Park is widely regarded as one of Australia's best mountain biking destinations. This labyrinth of downhill and cross-country trails spans more than 40 kilometres, with over 50 trails to choose from ranging in terrain and difficulty. Big Hill is home to the National Mountain Bike Championships, but there are a number of trails suited to less experienced riders including the Dart Spur Track and Sesame Street. With the charming town of Bright located within close proximity of this track, you can round out your outdoor adventures with a visit to the Bright Brewery or one of the many cafes in town.
STROMLO FOREST PARK, ACT
Stromlo Forest Park is the best place for mountain biking when you don't want to totally leave civilisation behind. Just a 15-minute drive from the centre of Canberra are over 40 kilometres of world-class trails that are suited to a wide range of riding abilities and age groups. Cemented in Australian mountain biking folklore thanks to its hosting numerous national championships and professional competitions, Stromlo Forest Park offers highly technical routes, including log rides and bridges, alongside easier trails with long, flowing descents. Stash away your lunch and Sonos for a relaxing post-ride picnic amongst the trees.
NOOSA TRAIL NETWORK, QUEENSLAND
Spanning a vast section of Queensland's rural landscape, the Noosa Trail Network encompasses eight distinct hinterland trails ideal for biking, hiking and horse riding. While these scenic journeys are slightly more focused on the incredible vistas that make up this part of the world, there are still plenty of challenges to be found. The 25-kilometre Kin Kin to Lake Macdonald Trail, for example, delves from wide-open countryside into the rainforest, while the Kin Kin Countryside Loop is a leisurely ride linking peaceful picnic spots with bird watching opportunities.
Find out more about the new Sonos Roam at the official website.
Top image: TBC
Published on July 05, 2021 by Hudson Brown