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Downhill tracks around Sydney (coming from abroad)

Fh4n's picture

By Fh4n - Posted on 06 April 2008

Hi guys,
I'm from Germany and will travel to Sydney in September. I was looking around for bikeparks and downhill tracks in the area around Sydney.
Here on NoBMog you have the "rides" directory with MTB tracks sorted by the distance from Sydney.
I found Ourimbah State Forest for a one day trip. Is Ourimbah a kind of bikepark? I didn't found any information about shuttle transportation or lift on the website. Are there such transportations?
I will take my downhill bike with me. You listed MTB courses around Sydney as well, but most of them are XC tracks, right?
Maybe you can help me with my specific needs. Eye-wink

So long...


Muffin Man's picture

Hi Phil,
Ourimbah is a State Forest about 1.5 hrs north of Sydney. It has a great XC loop and a pretty good downhill. It's not a bike park, it's a public forest that has some mtb bike tracks there. If you are after DH only you'll want to meet up with some people who are doing shuttles. You can post up here and see what interest you get. Or you can often find someone there on the weekends who will let you shuttle with them and just chip in for petrol. But it's a gamble and you might have to ride xc (which is a fun track) if you can't get a shuttle.
They also race there. See for details.
In Sydney there's a dh at oxford falls, I haven't ridden it in years but it's pretty busy.
Sydney has no proper bike parks and no lifts unfortunately. Facilities are sorely lacking.
The only decent places to ride with lifts are Thredbo, Mt Buller and .. I think that's about it. Thredbo is 6 hours south of Sydney and Buller is further (9hrs?) and is in Victoria. - Buller - Thredbo
There is also awesome riding at Mt Beauty and Bright in Victoria which is nearish to Buller. There's some other places in the general area down that way too, which I haven't been to but others here have and can fill you in.
Hope that helped a bit.
Post up when you arrive and t-up a ride.

Alex's picture

other places too are red hill (a couple of nice but neglected tracks there, and a bit controversial due to semi-legalish status)
some more dh tracks down south, but hush hush, and hard to find, plenty of dh's in the blue mountains region, the most talked about being lisdale state forest about 2+ hours from sydney, and some closer ones but youll have to check with some locals (there are a few on this site)..and the newly opened awaba state forest said to be pretty good, and just north of ourimbah..oh and the awesome Mt coramba, but thats in coffs harbour, about 6-7 hours north, but probably the best dh track in NSW imho (surpassed only by thredbo due to the chairlift and maintanence factor)
unfortunantly sydney wise, as mr muffin says, the dh factor down here seems to progress about as far as an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping due to unsupportive councils etc., and it is a long battle to even keep things open let alone develop more..put simply we are like the opposite of canada Sad still gotta be positive, and there are some great tracks around, i 2nd muffins recommendation of ourimbah, and suggest it is the best of its kind, for the proximity to the city..keep your eyes peeled for the next session up there on this site, we go there a fair bit Smiling

Fh4n's picture

Ok, it sounds pretty interesting. Smiling Summed up: I have to look for a local to find the jewels, right? Eye-wink

What about Thredbo. I read on the website, that every rider who rides the first time in the bikepark, has to join a group to get in touch with all rules and behavior for different sitations.
Apart from that is it possible to go to Thredbo or is it too far (around 400km? from Sydney) for a one day trip?

You mentioned the "semi-legalish status". I mean, I come from abroad, and will probably break the law riding on those hidden trails you talked about. It's the same problem here in Germany, but usually there is no policeman waiting for you at the end of the trail. Eye-wink

Last but not least, what about the weather? Laughing out loud In September we have late summer here in Europe, but what's going on in Australia? Eye-wink Beginning of spring or still frozen temperatures with snow and no chance to find the tracks?

Rob's picture

LOL... never in Sydney. Middle of winter here will be warmer than your spring/autumn so come on over. OK, tell a lie, there was ice on the ground when we rode Lisdale once, but even then Ditty was in a singlet so the air temperature must have been just fine. Plus, Lisdale is up in the 'mountains' (don't get a romantic vision - more like a rolling plain of land over 1000m than snow capped peaks).

As for the legality thing. I think the issue is that various authorities turned a blind eye to riding going on for a long, long time. However, with the popularity of the sport this is just becoming too hard for them to do. There are numerous people and clubs working to try and get some good legal stuff on the go and as you might guess Sydney has fallen a little behind in this regard. State Forests seem to be leading the way with Ourimbah, Lisdale, Wingello (no DH, but plenty great sniggle), etc.

Then Thredbo - for what is most likely insurance reasons you have to complete an intro course with RawNRG before they will let you on a lift. Nothing much stopping you riding up there though, then on the DH course, but trust me, even on a XC bike the saving is not worth the pain! Eye-wink Pay the $$$ and do the course - you only do it first visit them you're set.

Did anyone mention Stromlo in Canberra yet? Top DH by all accounts, make a long weekend of it and visit there, Thredbo and do some other awesome XC around Canberra at the same time.

Alex's picture

no the jewels are pretty clear (ourimbah, oxford falls, lisdale (apparently), mt coramba, awaba, thredbo, mt buller etc etc.. but there are some hidden tracks also and some area (like the south) have people maintaning them etc that like to keep them a bit private, so they are not easy to find the details about..
thredbo requires a 2-3 hour initiation session, where they basically make sure you and your bike can hold up to the trail before letting you go off on your own, is a bit painful, mildy helpful in part but basically a legal thing, after that thoough you never have to do it again Smiling and no not done in a day trip, is a 5-6 hour drive from sydney so 2 day minimum, and frankly you want at least 2 days there anyway to get the feel/flow i think..
as for semi legal, what i mean is it is a very popular riding spot that people have been using for years and years, but now there is a bit of talk about councils etc trying to shut it down for riders, putting signs up etc, so its a bit of a do at your own risk status at the moment, there have been problems with moto riders etc chewing up the land and as usual mtb'ers get the blame from retarded people for this sort of thing..that and other issues hugely discussed on here also, and basically theres talk everywhere about it on all the sites ( is another) and someone will no doubt tell me off for even mentioning this to you, but i say get out there and ride it while you can its gonna prob be a bloody mcdonalds in 10 years anyway, and although its not amazing riding, its very interesting and well worth a look, heaps of drops, rock gardens, rough oz bush riding that is a real example of how our trails can be, rough in a word!
as for weather, sydney is a very boring standard climate year long, compared to europe..we dont have snow, our winters rarely drop much below 10c and our summers are very hot usually and humid, which is nice for the beach, but not so great for pedalling around in dh gear! winter is actually great temparature for riding here..

Alex's picture

sorry took too long to post that doubled up what rob said!..yeh forgot stromlo whoops! is tops there and majura pines (which has dh stuff but more xc based pine tree sniggle style lovely stuff, and both almost doable in a day (2-3 hrs ex sydney), but more comfortable for an over nighter..a well maintain dh that stromlo, just short and scary in parts, although a new "blue" run that starts half way down makes for a much more flowy, bermy and dare i say fun ride, if thats your thing!

Fh4n's picture

Ok, so far so good.
Are there some bikeshops in Sydney for bike rental? I will take a friend with me and he got in touch with mountainbiking.

Muffin Man's picture

Yep, like Rob and Alex said.
I just want to add that I really don't like the main Stromlo DH. It's a challenge for sure but not what I call fun. I'd rather put up my hand to be a tackle dummy for the Wallabies. But like Alex said, the 2nd half where you can do the intermediate run is great fun. Then again, you might think it's bloody great. A World Cup DH round is on there later in the year so I imagine they will do some serious work on it and might imporve it (or not). Check out Mt Majura like has been said while you are down there too.

The tracks in Oz are generally rough as teeth and help to produce world class downhillers. However, I'd take Dirt Merchant, A-Line or Crack Whore at Whistler bike park any day. But that's because I'm getting too old (in riding years) and soft for that rough sh#t. Now, where did I leave my walking frame?

Bike rental? I have no idea. Look up and search for bicycle retail etc and email them. Anyone else know? In Thredbo you can rent IH Sunday's from the raw nrg shop.

Riding here in summer sucks due to the heat. Either ride early or as more and more people are seemingly doing, wack the bike/helmet lights on and ride at night when it's cooler. Could well be a goer for next summer. I checked that site Alex and I'm keen, looks like a blast.

Flynny's picture

Hey Phil, pretty good scene in Sydney though no bike parks and most tracks are a little hush hush, so locals normally happy to show people around.

Nothing in the way of chairlifted trails this side of Thredbo. It's a fair drive from Sydney so if you plan on including that give yourself a couple of days, drive down, ride, ride the next day, drive back... It's one of the few MTB spots in Aus that is effected by snow. MTB season normally starts late September early November from memory.

Trails nearer to Sydney are ridable all year round. Upper Blue Mts, might get one or 2 days of slushy snow a year that block road, due to slipperiness but nothing to write home about.

Old Bat, just out of Sydney on the way up to the Blue Mts is a top spot. Lots of options for short DH. You can shuttle by car or train.

My home spot, Lithgow, is 2hr west, on the other side of Blue Mts. Lots of shuttleable DH options.
Happy to hook up and show you around if I'm off. Let us know closer to when you are out.

Fh4n's picture

... Ok, my flight is booked.
My home for the time between the 10th September and 3rd October is a hotel in the Pitt Street. So, pretty central. Should be more relaxing to rent a car and take the bike with it, right? I guess there are no trails around the inner city?

@flynny: Maybe, we can stay in contact, to have somebody who shows me around. Eye-wink
Blue Mountains sounds great. Smiling

Do you know a bikeshop or something round city area, for bike rental.
What about riding rules for riders on the street? Do the cops look out for street riders, when they hit stairs or something? Laughing out loud

Alex's picture

gday mate i hit alot of urban these days due to time constrictions, know of some fun drops stairs etc around the city worth having a look at, the closest dh tracks to the city are most likely oxford falls and red hill area, and ourimbah is a must, as it has arguably the best xc and dh tracks for the proximity to the city, there maybe a ride very soon, if you can do weekdays (mon/tues) then definantly ill go up and am more than happy to show u round.. failing that im mainly an arvo rider at the moment so urban sessions are the best..

wednesday nights at castle hill bmx are also top fun on a big bike, i go pretty regularly too, and will be tee-ing one up this wed.. (bruce?) they have the lights on so its a good ride Smiling

as for rentals?? no idea myself but i hear something about manly bike addiction doing something like that but you will need to check..i dont think shops particularly like to hire out dh bikes for obvious reasons! you might be able to pick up a cheap older 2nd hand big hit or stinky something around if you planning on riding alot? thrash and trash Eye-wink


Fh4n's picture

Ok, i think the best is to meet up first.
Let me know, if there is a bikeshop for rentals or something. Would prefer a full suspension bike, like an enduro or something.
Buying a cheap freeride bike, like you mentioned, would not be the best for me, because more travelling around Australia is what I'm looking for the most after the time in Sydney.

So, when there is no possible shop for rentals, I will take my personal bike with me. I'm going to take a non-stop flight from Frankfort over Singapore City to Sydney. So I'm sure my bike will arrive in Sydney. Laughing out loud

Muffin Man's picture

ah, didn't see your post alex, whoops.

Katie B's picture


Just an update... Ourimbah Bike Park now has a 7 day/week bike uplift shuttle service.

To ensure the shuttle service is operating when you wish to ride... Book online... Central Coast Mountain Bike Tours.

See you there.


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