Australian Mountain Biking

Join us on a mountain biking themed outback adventure tour. As we travel through the outback we will stop at some of the best mountain biking trails in South Australia, western New South Wales and Victoria.

We have put together a suggested route for the minimum number of 5 days. This is just to get your imagination started. We can modify this tour depending on your riding experience, the type of riding you like to do, where you want to spend more time, the mix of days spent riding versus on other activities or just relaxing, and the total number of days you want your holiday to be.

Most of the trails we will be taking you on are cross country trails. There are options for down hill, single track and easier rail trails. Our 3 rail trails are easy rides that take you through 3 of Australia’s most famous wine growing areas.

Here’s a quick overview of our riding destinations. We will discuss your riding style, skill level and available time to put together the best ride designed just for you. We have divided our mountain biking regions into three main themes and added a few other biking ideas for you to consider when planning your mountain biking adventure. And check out our international biking tours, a high adventure mountain bike tour across the European Alps (Munich, through Austria to northern Italy) and a fascinating cultural tour of temples and food in Japan.

OUR MOUNTAIN BIKING REGIONS

So have a look at our suggest tour, go through our suggested list of ride options or just send us an email and we can discuss with you your interests, riding levels, timeframes, destinations and what other non-riding activities you would like to do. And send us an email if you want to be kept up to date with our bike tours to Japan or Austria-Italy.

Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills

The Adelaide Hill are host to many great mountain biking destinations that are all easily accessed from Adelaide. There are mountain bike riding parks to suit all riding levels and all riding styles. But wherever you go you will be riding through great landscapes, native and plantation forests and vineyards. If you need to refuel, the Adelaide Hills are home to South Australia’s cool climate wines, and you are surrounded by many food and wine options, often with stunning views, or try the craft beer at a classic stone hotel.

The reputation of Adelaide Hills as one of Australia’s premier mountain biking destinations is growing fast and for good reason. So much to choose from. O’Halloran Hill, Craigburn Farm (Sturt Gorge Recreation Park), Eagle Mountain bike park, Mt Lofty and Cleland Conservation Park, Shepherd’s Hill and many more including South Australia’s mountain bike mecca at Cuddlee Creek (Fox Creek). The Adelaide Hills and wine regions are also host to the annual UCI World Tour and Australia’s greatest cycling race, the Tour Down Under.

We’ll use our local knowledge to help you optimise your visit to the Adelaide Hills and to get the best out of this mountain biking heaven without you needing to worry about the logistics. For the best Adelaide Hills experience combine your activities with morning mountain biking and an afternoon of visiting the wineries, breweries, wildlife parks or simply have a swim at the beaches of McLaren Vale.

The following are our favourite MTB riding parks in the Adelaide and Adelaide Hills region, but there are more!

CUDLEE CREEK (FOX MTB PARK)

The mecca of mountain biking in South Australia. The Cudlee Creek Sustainable Trail network is part of the Mawson Trail (see The Outback rides section) and has been designed for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders. Trails have been assigned specific classifications to each ability level. There are many challenging and fun single track downhill options to choose from and even the climbs are enjoyable. Ride through a mix of native and plantation forests into the valleys and enjoy the views on the way up! There is even a winery opposite the car park with a large outdoor deck over unsurpassable views. You will need good fitness levels for Fox but there are some easier options where reasonable fitness and experience levels will get you through.

EAGLE MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK

The Park provides a network of trails that cater for a variety of mountain bike disciplines and abilities. Approximately 21kms of cross country trails, a specifically designed downhill trail, a skills development park, a jumps park and a trials area. The trails feature a mix of single track and wider trails through partly forested and open terrain, all of which will exercise your technical ability as well as your fitness. You will need good fitness and experience levels for Eagle MTB Park.

CLELAND, WATERFALL GULLY AND MT LOFTY

This is a beautiful and challenging 25km ride that winds you up into the Adelaide Hills, much of it through Cleland Conservation Park to Mt Lofty, the highest point in the Adelaide Hills. At Mt Lofty you will be treated to panoramic views which you will also enjoy as you ride up and back down through the forested hills and gullies to your starting point. You might be able to spot the odd koala and kangaroo but if you don’t we can include a visit to Cleland Wildlife Park where you can pat the kangaroos and cuddle the koalas. You will need good fitness levels for this ride but you will get by with reasonable experience and technical skill levels.

BELAIR NATIONAL PARK

There is a lovely 25 km loop ride that will take you from the suburbs of Adelaide up into the Hills and around the perimeter of the national park, and then drops you back down the hill and lands you in the beer garden of a picturesque hotel. The trail is a mix of cross country fire trail and more challenging single track downhill. In addition to cycling through eucalyptus forests and parkland you will also have a very good chance of spotting koalas, kangaroos or emus in Belair. You will need good fitness levels for Belair but there are some easier options starting at the National Park where reasonable fitness and experience levels will be enough.

COBBLER CREEK RECREATION PARK

Cobbler Creek is in Adelaide’s northern suburbs. It is a good introduction to mountain bike riding in Adelaide. The trails are mostly single track and fire trail cross country trails that cater for all levels of fitness and riding skill levels. The area is also very popular with hikers and dog walkers.

O’HALLORAN HILL

O’Halloran Hill just keeps getting better and better and will soon become a little Fox Creek. There are a number of well formed single track downhill rides and almost enjoyable uphill climbs. Other tracks take you on loops around the plateau where you can enjoy broad views of the hills and ocean. From O’Halloran Hill you can also ride through a couple of suburbs to join up with Sturt Gorge and Craigburn Farm MTB parks for a full and satisfying day of riding. O’Halloran Hill has all grades of rides but is better suited to people with some level of fitness and ability and if you are continuing on to Sturt Gorge and beyond, you will need moderate to good levels of fitness and riding skills.

CRAIGBURN FARM AND STURT GORGE

Craigburn is mostly for intermediate riders and fitness levels, and beginners. However there are a couple of more challenging trails particularly if you extend into Sturt Gorge where most trails are for intermediate and advanced riders. All up there is about 25km of single track trails. New trails are being added all the time and from some trails you will enjoy sweeping views of the hills and ocean.

SHEPHERD’S HILL

Shepherds Hill Recreational Park features an old railway tunnel and the remains of a viaduct. It offers 360 degree views of the surrounding Adelaide plains, coastline and hills. A bicycle jumps track is also located in the park. Shepherd’s Hill is a small but intricate MTB park with easy riding beginner paths and some more challenging winding intermediate paths.

LYNTON TRAILS

Lynton Trails is an interesting mix of single track trails located at the site of an old quarry. It is quite steep and rocky in areas and is better suited for experienced riders with good levels of fitness. It is popular with local riders but there are better rides if you have only a few days of riding in Adelaide. 


Winery Rail Trails

CLARE VALLEY WINE REGION

Broken Hill (or the Silver City) is a great little city in the NSW outback literally hundreds of kilometres from the next town. It was once the world’s richest mining area for silver, lead and zinc and the mines are still very active today. The whole town has been heritage listed, the only complete city to be listed to date in Australia. It has great architecture, huge landscapes, interesting museums and is the home to a very active artistic community. The annual Broken Heel Festival, a spin off of the film “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” which was in part filmed in Broken Hill, is a colourful and extremely popular event in September, The annual St Pat’s Racing Carnival is also another good weekend to be in the Silver City in March.

Despite the isolation and small population, it has a very impressive mountain bike park, a tribute to the small mountain bike club that has built and maintains the park. There has also been work on the old tram line between Broken Hill and the nearby ghost town of Silverton 30 km away. This is also a rewarding and challenging ride. Both riding areas will require at least moderate levels of fitness and skills. The annual Broken Hill Mountain Bike Club’s Poker Race in May is a lot of fun and a must if you are are considering an Outback Beds Tours Mountain Bike Tour around this time.


MCLAREN VALE WINE REGION

The McLaren Vale is part of the Fleurieu Peninsular. It is an idyllic world-class wine region but is also a great place to swim, eat, and spot whales in winter but with its stunning landscape of rolling hills, farmland, national parks, vineyards, a range of craft beer, gin, whisky and spirit makers and fringed on two sides by pristine sandy beaches, the Fleurieu Peninsula is a perfect place to mountain bike.

The Shiraz Bike Trail dissects the length of the McLaren Vale. It is an easy ride and, like the Clare Valley Riesling Trail, there are many opportunities to jump off your bike and visit a winery, brewery or restaurant. However the best mountain bike riding is in the hills that fringe the McLaren Vale. The mountain bike trails here are in the southern part of the Adelaide Hills and include Onkaparinga National Park, Kangarilla and Kuitpo forest trails (see the above for more detail). After riding these trails you can enjoy the ride down into McLaren Vale, try some wines, craft brews and even head to the beach for a swim.

BAROSSA WINE REGION

The Barossa Trail is a high quality sealed 40 km cycling and walking path between the Northern and Southern Barossa, linking Gawler and the Stuart O’Grady Way. The trail explores the natural beauty along the North Para River and the agricultural landscapes between the Barossa Ranges and the Adelaide Plains. The trail links winery cellar doors, cafes, local food producers and galleries. With a town or winery not more than a few kilometres apart, the Barossa Trail is feast on two wheels. Travel as little or as much of the path as you like in either direction, enjoying stunning views, attractions and the wine and food.

The riding is flat and easy and you do not need to be particularly fit or an experienced rider. It is less a mountain bike destination but a holiday riding destination through a world famous wine producing area.

The Outback

MELROSE

The town of Melrose in the Southern Flinders Ranges is South Australia’s version of Tasmania’s Derby and the closest thing to a dedicated mountain biking town. It has great single track mountain biking trails, a well organised biking community, plenty of accommodation options, lovely pubs and even a brewery and winery to distract you. It also has an annual mountain biking festival, the Fat Tyre Festival. We will explore the single track at Mt Remarkable and nearby Bartagunyah Station. On the way, if your energy levels are still high, we can detour and ride in the natural beauty of Wirrabbara Forest.

FLINDERS RANGES AND THE MAWSON TRAIL

The Mawson trail is one of Australia’s great mountain bike trail trips. The trail runs for 900km between Adelaide and the town of Blinman in the Flinders Ranges. The Mawson Trail is an off road cross country trail and travels along little used country dirt roads, through state forests and national park fire trails; it winds through famous wine regions and crosses farmland and passes through historic villages and ghost towns into the remote Flinders Ranges. Some of the mountain bike trails in the Adelaide Hills region are even part of the Mawson Trail. To complete the whole trail would take 10 days without rest days. Not up for 10 days of riding? We will travel the route in the comfort of our 8 seater van and pick the best of the Mawson trail for a few days of riding like Burra, Melrose and around Wilpena Pound at the end of the Trail. But wherever you go, you will enjoy ancient landscapes, spectacular views, abundant wildlife, unique flora, extensive vistas and plenty of adventure along the way.

Our accommodation choices are everything from farmstays, resorts or luxury eco villas. Mountain biking, long distance hiking, birdwatching, scenic flights and off-road driving are just some of the many activities available when you choose our Mountain Bike Tour or your own tailor made tour.

BROKEN HILL

Broken Hill (or the Silver City) is a great little city in the NSW outback literally hundreds of kilometres from the next town. It was once the world’s richest mining area for silver, lead and zinc and the mines are still very active today. The whole town has been heritage listed, the only complete city to be listed to date in Australia. It has great architecture, huge landscapes, interesting museums and is the home to a very active artistic community. The annual Broken Heel Festival, a spin off of the film “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” which was in part filmed in Broken Hill, is a colourful and extremely popular event in September, The annual St Pat’s Racing Carnival is also another good weekend to be in the Silver City in March.

Despite the isolation and small population, it has a very impressive mountain bike park, a tribute to the small mountain bike club that has built and maintains the park. There has also been work on the old tram line between Broken Hill and the nearby ghost town of Silverton 30 km away. This is also a rewarding and challenging ride. Both riding areas will require at least moderate levels of fitness and skills. The annual Broken Hill Mountain Bike Club’s Poker Race in May is a lot of fun and a must if you are are considering an Outback Beds Tours Mountain Bike Tour around this time.


Other Mountain Bike Riding opportunities

There will be lots of other mountain bike riding opportunities as you travel through the Outback on our Outback Beds Tours. There are small parks at places like Coomealla, Deniliquin and Balranald. Riding around the opal mining trails surrounding Lightning Ridge is also interesting and fun. But there is also an opportunity to ride along the farming trails and river banks of nearly all the Outback Beds properties where we will be staying so it is a good opportunity to stretch your legs while exploring the properties.

E-biking

Concerned that you don’t have the right fitness levels? or are you nursing an injury? someone in your group have trouble keeping up with you? or do you just want to have fun and make the journey seemingly effortless? If that is the case, we recommend you try one of our E-bikes that you can hire for your Outback Beds Tours Mountain Biking Tour.

The Adelaide Hills are hilly! and in summer the riding can be exhausting on a hot day, so our e-bikes can help on both counts. Everyone enjoys trying the e-bikes, even experienced riders with high levels of fitness and technical skills sometimes opt for a fun day of e-bike riding.

You will have to do some work though. Our recent model E-MTB’s are pedal-assist bikes. These pedal-assist powered bikes have 3 levels of power that is only given when you pedal, so it boosts your efforts, making pedalling easier, especially up hill. They cut power when you reach speeds of 25km/hr. They need charging at the end of every ride but our bikes have a range of over 80km.

Ask us about E-bike hire. E-bikes start from $95 a day but discounts apply for rentals over 5 days.

Riding with Bike South Australia (BikeSA)

BikeSA is a great organisation that runs mountain biking (and road biking) events throughout the year. They have a series of mountain bike riding event days as well as a 9 day long annual ride which will take you riding through different South Australian regions each year. They also do a biannual group ride along the entire 900km of the Mawson trail.

Take a look at their website BikeSA.

If you would like to include an organised group ride into your holiday plans we can incorporate any BikeSA ride into your itinerary.

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