28 October 2018

Canberra Day Trips: Get on your bike in the Snowy Mountains

| Canberra Day Trips
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Image of the base of the Thredbo Flow Trail, a top to bottom mountain biking track, via Flickr (used under Creative Commons).

You’ve probably made the trek to the snow before, and spent time skiing, tobogganing or making snowmen, but in the warmer weather, the mountains are the ideal location for a different kind of adventure. Did you know that the Snowy Mountains is a key destination for mountain biking? Hundreds of kilometres of mapped alpine trails offer an exciting riding experience for just about every age and ability. The mountains are the perfect playground to explore dense forests, chilly alpine territory, breathtaking valleys and plains and the stunning wilderness on two wheels.

Why you’ll love it

  • There are tracks from beginner to expert and just about every level in between
  • The scenery is splendid, with Australia’s highest peaks, breathtaking alpine lakes and spectacular high-country terrain
  • It’s a great way to see the gorgeous environment of the Snowy Mountains from a different perspective
  • It will give you an adrenaline rush like no other

Where to find the trails

There are numerous mountain biking trails in the Snowy region but here’s a rundown of some of the favourites.

  • Khancoban’s The Basin offers riders some challenging single tracks – but look out because they can be steep and rocky. If you’re keen to test your skills, there are some trails that require downhill cornering and have tight switchbacks.
  • Novotel Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa’s trails are open to anyone, as long as you register as a rider at the resort’s activity centre. The tracks are well-maintained all year round and range from beginner to expert. If you are just starting out, Bullock’s Hut track has shared pathways, while there are also a couple of fast single tracks with obstacles, rocky terrain and tight corners.
  • Perisher has trails across two mountains, but they are not graded, so the spectacular alpine views they offer can mean a rough and steep downhill ride.
  • Thredbo is gaining a reputation as one of Australia’s most popular resorts for mountain bike riders. Catch a chairlift up to Thredbo Village and ride the trail one way downhill. The 17 kilometre Thredbo Valley Track has a nice mix of easy and more difficult, but there are couple of other runs for more skilled riders.
  • Thredbo Mountain Bike Park is the home of epic alpine riding for riders of all abilities, and with gravity trails, skills parks, a linked network of cross country trails, a fast flowing pump track and a team of qualified guides, it’s easy to see why. It’s also multi-use for walkers so if you’re not keen to get on a bike, you can take a stroll instead.

Getting there

Drive from Canberra and through Cooma via the Monaro Highway, which joins Kosciuszko Rd and takes you through to Jindabyne. From there, it’s a short drive to most of the mountain biking locations.

When to go

  • The warmer weather is the best time to discover the area on two wheels. Once the snow has melted, the full network of tracks and roads is revealed. Just be sure to check seasonal opening times before you head off.
  • Between November and May, you can take your mountain bike on the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift, for Thredbo’s fabulous downhill bike track.
  • Be sure to check out the schedule for the summer events at Thredbo Mountain Bike Park including the famous Cannonball MTB Festival.
  • The Snowies MTB Festival will be back in February 2019 with three full days of biking fun.

Key details

  • Duration: approximately 2 hours each way to/from Jindabyne, then additional time depending on which mountain bike trail you’re visiting
  • Distance from Canberra: around 180km to Jindabyne, plus additional distance to get to individual trails
  • Recommended for: adrenaline junkies, outdoors enthusiasts and of course, mountain bikers
  • More information: Visit Snowy Mountains

Where will you be riding on your next Snowy Mountains holiday?

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