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Mountain biking & cycling Simple single-track soul food

The hype is real. There's no Instagram filter needed on these trails. Engaging MTB trails built by mountain bikers for mountain bikers.

Australia's Northern Territory. From the lushness of the Top End (Darwin) to the desert of the Red Centre (Alice Springs), you can get off-road and get on-track and immerse in the diverse environments of the Territory. National Park managers are working hard to get mountain bikers more access to some of the nation’s most iconic locations. So come riding with us!

Alice Springs

With hundreds of kilometres of hand-built singletrack, Alice Springs offers more singletrack smiles during the winter months than anywhere else in Australia. If you want generic, forgettable machine built flow trails this isn’t it. Berm, berm, huck and repeat? No thanks. How about trails that surgically slot you through rocky outcrops? Or trails that leave the world behind, relentlessly snaking around rolling hills without a sign of civilisation? It isn’t a slog fest. The trails have flow, allowing you to hold speed but demand skill and your attention as you round yet another terraced hand-built corner over sweeping vistas. With numerous trail networks surrounding Alice, you don’t even need a car to access singletrack, just ride from your hotel front door.

Many trailheads start and finish at the Telegraph Station where the café offers a great place to replenish your energy levels after a morning of slaying the trails. The local mountain biking association, Central Australian Rough Riders, often has social rides to join and can provide sound advice for the desert conditions, which can be quite unforgiving on your body, not to mention your tyres. Or, join the MTB adventure of a lifetime and ride with the experts on a tour with Outback Cycling. If you left your gear behind they'll also deck you out with everything you need to create your own outback MTB adventure.


Perhaps one of the best ways to appreciate the enormous monolith of Uluru is on a bike, as you use the same trail used by walkers to get up close to the rock. It’s pancake flat so you can leave your climbing gears at home and cruise around the base at your own pace, enjoying the many vistas and the rich cultural heritage explained on interpretive signs around the dirt path. You don’t even need to bring your own bike, with hire bikes available at the Cultural Centre from Outback Cycling.


A variety of experiences await cyclists in Australia’s northern-most capital, from triathlons all the way through to mountain biking. Darwin is home to probably Australia’s best MTB acronym, the DORCs (Darwin Off Road Cyclists), the local club which is a friendly mob and is always busy running their program of social rides and events.

Local favourites Casuarina Coastal Reserve and Charles Darwin National Park are close to the CBD, and Mother Nature works hard to keep the singletrack single with lush regrowth every season narrowing the trail corridor (and your personal space). It can be tight and confined at times but the park managers have worked hard to ensure that you still get a year round quality trail experience.

In the wet season DORC runs events at Howard Springs, about 30km east of the city, which handles the wet season very well.

Future trails - watch this space!

The Northern Territory has plans to invest a considerable amount of funding towards improving trail development in Central Australia and the Top End. Litchfield National Park will be featuring new mountain biking trails which will link to previously inaccessible swimming holes, and further south in Nitmiluk National Park, new shared-use trails are planned. Central Australia has begun working on an epic 200km cycling trail from Alice Springs through the West MacDonnell Ranges to Glen Helen and Redbank Gorge, creating a unique new multi-day adventure cycling experience. It's an exciting time for biking and hiking in the Territory, and planned developments are expected to be completed by mid 2021.

Further information

For more information download the latest mountain bike trail maps for Alice Springs or Darwin or chat with a local. 

Trail users should always keep to the signed official MTB trail network and approach unsanctioned trails with caution. Be aware that trespassing on private property is a punishable offence.

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