Mountain Bikes

Best Mountain Bike Tracks In Northern Territory

The Territory is sadly lacking in two very important things for mountain 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.

Sprawling Singletrack Close To Town

Sprawling Singletrack Close To Town
Sprawling Singletrack Close To Town

Out to the east is the Telegraph Station trail network. Made up of mostly greens and blues, the trails here are fast, flowy, and a bit smoother than their counterparts across town. To the west are the Araluen Trails, here you’ll find rough, rocky, and technical riding.

During the summer it can get pretty hot in the outback, and most of the locals wait until the sun has dipped below the horizon to go for a pedal — so pack your lights. Come winter, you can expect a balmy 28 degrees during the day, and blue skies as far as the eye can see..


An otherworldly moonscape, Alice Springs is like no other riding destination in Australia. Well and truly the desert riding experience, there are well over 200km of trails all within pedaling distance of the centre of town. There is a common misconception that Alice Springs is pancake flat, which could not be further from the truth, and you’ll find everything from big red rocks, crumbling escarpments, sand, shale, and quartz on the trails.

Araluen Mountain Bike Trails & Telegraph Station Reserve 

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 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 it from being a huge destination for mountain bikers Australia-wide. Also, be sure to go in winter, when it’s less face-meltingly hot.

Casuarina Coastal Reserve

A Man Riding A Bike Down A Dirt Trail
A Man Riding A Bike Down A Dirt Trail

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 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

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 are more upgrades due shortly.

MTB Stage Racing Paradise

Each year riders from all over the country flock to the Northern Territory in April to race the Easter in the Alice and again in August for the Redback.

Surrounded by the MacDonnell Ranges, and with Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Kings Canyon a stone’s throw away, it would be silly to make your way out to Alice Springs, and not check out these natural wonders.

In town, there are plenty of great places to eat, ranging from an Asia fusion restaurant where you can learn Latin dancing and leatherwork, to burritos and baked goods. There is also a brewery for post-ride rehydration

Howard Springs New Pine Forest 

Located just southeast 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 

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 the 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 in the years to come.

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