There is cycling and then there is mountain bike riding. Way more adventurous and nature filled, mountain riding requires more than riding skills. You need confidence and the skill set to survive in the wild, and the outback in Australia is definitely wild. To get you started on your mountain bike journey, here is a list of the top five tracks you have to do in Australia.
1. Birdsville Track
Located on the border of South Australia and Queensland, this highway like track has been in operation since the 1930s. Nearly 523km long, this track is as remote as it appears. With one rest day, this trek can be completed in seven days. There are many campsites along this trek as well but it is better to complete this trek during April to October because of the heat.
2. Mawson Trail
This 900km long track calls South Australia home. Made up as an adventure by the South Australian Government, many cyclists take advantage of this scenic route through the outback. On this track, cyclists can ride on pre-existing roads, forest tracks, fire trails and old farm roads. As far as scenery goes, there is the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and the North Flinders Ranges. Make sure you have a good mountain bike that can handle bumpy roads. Check out merida.com.au for ideas on different tyres. Best time to go is in March to November because the heat is too much in the middle of summer. With the occasional rest, this track takes fourteen days to complete.
3. Cape York Track
Plenty of hills, heat and roads, this track is the funniest one in Queensland. The famous Cape Melville, Frenchmans, Pascoe River Station and Telegraph tracks all intersect here. 1050km long, cyclists need one month to take in all of the sights but three weeks of straight travelling will have you completing this track in no time. April to October is the best time to do this track.
4. Gibbs River Road
Cycling through the heart of the Kimbereleys in Western Australia is a mountain riders dream come true. 930km long, this trek can take up to sixteen days to complete. But due to the wet season floods and rising temperatures, you can only complete this trek from May to September. Some great sights to see along this track are the 5 Rivers Lookout at Wyndham, Barnett Gorge, Manning Gorge and the Indigenous rock art at Galvan’s Gorge.
5. Kakadu National Park
This track in the Northern Territory is the royal Royce of mountain bike tracks in Australia. 463km long, your week doing this track will be very action packed. The crocodiles at Cahil’s Crossing will keep you busy. Ubirr will inspire you. Along with Nourlangie Rock, Maguk, Twin & Jim Jim Falls and Koolpin Gorge. You can cycle your way through this national park in May to September.
Just remember to take a crash course in surviving the outback and research your journey thoroughly because anything can happen in the wilderness.