20 Feb 2018
When you're a mountain biker, a stationary bike at the gym feels like a sad substitute. Being outside is essential when you're riding. You love the mud kicked up around your ankles, the quiet among the tall trees, and being in flight after a wicked jump.
From the dense and mossy Tassie forests to the trails at the base of Mount Kosciuszko in New South Wales, Australia has a variety of bike parks and trails.
Strap your lid on and get riding on Australia's gnarliest mountain biking trails.
1. Forrest Mountain Bike Park
Image: Forrest Brewing Company, Otway Ranges; Credit: Visit Victoria
Enter into Great Otway National Park, a rainforest with skyscraping trees and cascading waterfalls. Deep in the Otways lies a network of trails that make up the Forrest Mountain Bike Park. At the southern end of the Forrest Trails among the eucalypts, there's the loved 6km Red Carpet Trail that takes you from Lake Elizabeth to the mouth of the Barwon River. Inside the northern loop in the Yaugher Trails, the J2 trail is a must for downhill riders who love the B lines. There are a few easy trails, but this country is mostly for experienced riders.
2. You Yangs Regional Park
Image: You Yangs Regional Park; Credit: Visit Victoria
Free, well-marked, and boulders for drop-offs. Need we say more? We will, 'cause we've got plenty to tell you about You Yangs mountain biking. Cross-country and downhill riders should go to the Stockyards which features natural rock ramps, fast runs, and rock gardens. For beginners, the Kurrajong Plantation have flatter tracks to test your skills on; the Great Circle Drive at the Kurrajong offers 12km of gorgeous scenery (and a few descents to keep you alert!).
3. Thredbo Mountain Bike Park
With the highest peak in Australia just above you, you better believe there'll be some world-class trails for you at the Thredbo Mountain Bike Park. Go steep on the Flow Trail, a rad option for those still being introduced to downhilling. It's a fairly calm ride (and nothing like the aptly named Cannonball Trail), so don't sweat it if you're still new to this! The views here are unparalleled, and you'll get panoramas of this breath-taking landscape on the Thredbo Valley Track.
4. Ourimbah State Forest
Welcome to...Jurassic Park! You won't find velociraptors here (mostly sure of this, no promises), but Jurassic Park is one of several enjoyable trails in the Ourimbah State Forest. Looking to go a little faster? True to the name, the Roller Coaster is a downhill ride over some steep rocks in an open path - at the end of it, you're flying through the trees. The Tree Top Adventure Park is here too, offering high ropes courses and zip lining. Make it a full action-packed family holiday with zip lining in the morning and hit the trails in the afternoon.
5. Eagle Mountain Bike Park
You may hear South Aussies harping on about the trails here - it ain't no folk tale! Eagle Mountain Bike Park is a quick 15 minutes drive from Adelaide, tucked away in the magical wooded enclave of the Adelaide Hills. The park has a 22km network of bike trails to cater to kids and beginners through to the riders who love big jumps. There are cross country trails, a downhill trail, a jumps park, a skills park, and a trials area.
6. Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park
WHERE: Glenorchy, TAS 7010
NEAREST DISCOVERY PARK: Discovery Parks - Hobart
Image: North South Track; Credit: Flow Mountain Bike
Adelaide isn't the only place that has bragging rights to quality riding. The Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park is one half of a greater network of trails in the Hobart area. Mountain cross, cross country, and downhill trails all meander through this stunning slice of Tassie wilderness. Ride the famous 20km North South Track that connects Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park to Wellington Park. It's spectacularly beautiful: a mossy green rainforest like something out of a fairy tale, a rockscape of boulders, and a view of the city that you'll have to stop for.
7. Hollybank Reserve
WHERE: 24 Hollybank Rd, Underwood, TAS 7268
NEAREST DISCOVERY PARK: Discovery Parks - Hadspen
Image: Hollybank MTB Park; Credit: Skills Park Flow Mountain Bike
While riding up the Juggernaut trail feels like a slow form of torture, this 10km descent is a ripper with rock obstacles, rollers and drops. A short drive north of Launceston, Tasmania and you'll find yourself in the Hollybank Reserve, home to Australia's biggest pump track and jump track. Beginners can try out No Sweat, a doable loop through a scenic slice of the park, and the hardcore riders will froth over the Double Black Diamond trail (a.k.a. Ginger Ridge). Fuel up at Launceston's Harvest Market, where a plate of paella will get you through the day.
8. Kalamunda Mountain Bike Park
WHERE: Paulls Valley, WA 6076
NEAREST DISCOVERY PARK: Discovery Parks - Swan Valley and Discovery Parks - Perth Airport
This is the place to ride if you're in Perth, Western Australia. Positioned a 40-minute drive east of the CBD, the Kalamunda Trail Network offers everything from black diamond downhills and long distance offroading through to technical climbs and flow trails. Challenge yourself or go easy, its yours to map out. If you're there in the morning, you might be so lucky to come across a kangaroo or two. You'll love the names just as much as we do: Loco en el Coco, Muffin Tops, and Rocky Balboa to name a few.
9. Toogoom Trails
The Toogoom Trails were born from a local love of mountain biking. Found at the edge of the Vernon State Forest, north west of Hervey Bay, Queensland, this park caters to a growing interest in the sport in the community. While there are only a few harder rides, the flowing nature of the trails makes it a pleasant experience and real workout.
10. Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails
Image: Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails, Blue Tier Descent; Credit: Flow Mountain Bike
This is the ultimate, the Mecca, the creme da la creme of mountain biking in Australia. Perhaps what makes it so good is its unparalleled natural beauty and terrain, or maybe its the genius trails that have been formed by Glen Jacob and Word Trail to surprise and delight all who visit it. Whatever it is, Blue Derby feels like the mountain biking gods offered us a gift we've always wanted. Found in the north-eastern corner of Tasmania, there are 24 trails here from green to double black. The Atlas and Blue Tier trails are crowd favourites, that are charmed with views to the coast, trickling streams running alongside you and rollercoaster boulders.
Ready to shred? Book your stay today at Discovery Parks for your next mountain biking holiday.