Gold Coast Mountain Biking


Gold Coast Mountain biking is a fun way to explore the Gold Coast Hinterland, get some outdoor exercise & try a new adventure activity - all at the same time! Once you’ve tried it, you might just find yourself hooked!

If you’re new to this activity, there are many reasons why it’s a good idea to join a tour for your first adventure.

Your tour guide will be an experienced rider who will provide coaching and tips on how to handle your bike in different situations.

And he’ll take care of any tyre punctures or other problems with the mountain bikes, and know the tracks so well that there’s little chance of getting lost.

You won’t have to worry about anything – just show up and enjoy your mountain biking experience.

The tour operators listed below cater for all skill levels - so it doesn’t matter whether you’re a first-timer or experienced, you’ll get to check out a variety of terrains in the Gold Coast Hinterland or Northern NSW.

Girl Mountain Biking

Your tour will cover single trails; open fire trails; creek crossings; riding down rocks and jumping logs.

There will be some uphill work too, but the beauty of taking the tour is – there will be a van to meet you at the bottom of the mountain and take you to the top again!

You don’t have to be super-fit for this adventure activity, so almost anybody can try their hand.

If you’re a beginner, don’t worry about learning all the skills on your first go - just enjoy the ride and the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland scenery and nature.

Some experienced riders will be there for the excitement and the adrenaline rush brought on by speeding downhill, or to learn some stunts.

But for most, mountain biking is a great opportunity for some good outdoor exercise and the chance to try a new adventure activity.

But if you don’t ride bikes often, it may be best to start with just a half day tour - as with horseriding, you’ll find that you use a whole set of muscles you didn’t know you owned and if you overdo it, you may feel the effects the next day!

Beginners should note that it's good biking etiquette, when riding in national parks or state forests, to keep to the tracks and don’t damage the bush by detouring.

And as a courtesy, give way to bushwalkers, and stop for horses so you don’t startle them.

Mountain Bike Tour Operators

Gold Coast: Bunyip Bike Tours operates tours seven days a week, and also provide custom tours for groups. Kids aged 12+ years are welcome.

Paramount Adventure Centre provides custom tours for groups (ie. you need to get a group of family or friends together). For individuals, Paramount Adventure offers an Extreme Challenge package for $155, where you can do four adventure activities in one day.

Activities are: learn to surf; kayaking; mountain bike riding; and indoor rockclimbing. If you're too tired at the end of the day to do justice to the rockclimbing segment, Paramount will give you a voucher to return for free and rockclimb another day - with rested muscles!

This challenge package operates on limited days each month, so call to check when their next challenge day is. Tel 07-5593 6919.

Byron Bay: Mountain Bike Tours is a Northern NSW operator who takes half and full day mountain biking tours into the beautiful World Heritage Nightcap National Park and Mt Jerusalem National Park.

To join these tours, you’ll need to make your own way to the tour collection points around Byron Bay, which is an hour’s drive from Surfers Paradise.

Tours are available most days of the week, and cost ranges from $59 for a half day and $99-$149 for a full day tour. Tel 1800 122 504 or 0429 122 504.

Organise Your Own Mountain Biking Adventure

If you’re not interested in joining a tour, you may consider renting a bike and doing some exploring with a friend. In this case, the Kooralbyn Resort is well worth a visit.

The Resort is a retreat set in 800 acres of rainforest and bushland and located just over one hour’s drive from Surfers Paradise (approx 20 minutes from Beaudesert, in the Gold Coast Hinterland).

Kooralbyn has a championship mountain bike course that has played host to many competitions, including the National Titles, and is suitable for riding all year round, including in wet conditions.

The cross-country circuit is 6.2km long, and is a mix of single track, fire trails, and open trails. The course is challenging, but not difficult, and beginners will be able to handle the track quite easily – albeit at a slower pace than more experienced riders.

The Kooralbyn Resort hires out mountain bikes on an hourly, daily or weekly basis (cost includes track fees and helmet).

Update: The Kooralbyn Resort went into liquidation in July 2008, and is currently closed. And unfortunately, this means the Kooralbyn mountain bike course is also closed. It’s possible it may re-open sometime in the future, although no further information is currently available.

Start of Casuarina Track in the Nerang State Forest

The other key place for mountain bike riding on the Gold Coast is the Nerang State Forest, located just 20 minutes from Surfers Paradise, in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

The Casuarina Track is a 2.8km warm up track – which is great for beginners.

The entrance to the State Forest is near the Scout Hall, behind the Nerang velodrome. Be warned, however, that with 1752 hectares of native forest and numerous tracks and trails, it’s possible to get lost.

It’s a good idea to first stop by the Nerang Mountain Bike Centre and pick up a map of the bike trails in the state forest, for just $2.

Finally, if you get hooked on this adventure activity and are keen to do further rides, you’ll find Gillian Duncan’s publication, Where to Mountain Bike in South East Queensland, a valuable resource with maps and advice. You can buy it from most bike shops for around $20.

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FAST FACTS
Cost
Tours:
- Half day tours range from $50-$88 per person
- Full day tours range from $99-$155 per person
* Cost includes all equipment.

Mountain Bike Hire:
- Cost is generally $25-$35 per day. The exception are the MTBs hired from Nerang Mountain Bike Centre, which are of considerable value, and are only hired to riders 18+ years. Cost $60 for 4 hours, or $110 for full day.
Facilities
Tours that take you into the hinterland will arrange rest-stops beforehand; thereafter (depending on your location) be prepared to duck behind a tree in Aussie bush style if you can’t hold the call of nature until your return!
Wet Weather
Suitable activity in light rain. Not suitable during or immediately after heavy rains, as riding in muddy tracks causes considerable damage to bike trails.
Operating Hours
All year round, in daylight hours.
Duration
Tours range from half to full day.
Handy Hints
- Sunglasses and sunscreen protection are a must. Unless you have a sun visor especially for use with bike helmets, you won’t be able to protect your face from the sun.
- Bring plenty of water; ideally in a 500/750ml bike water bottle that will slot into the holder on the bike.
- Bring a towel, and change in clothes (& deodorant!).
- Closed shoes, such as joggers or boots, are required. You may wear shorts & a t-shirt, although long pants & a long-sleeved top will provide some protection for any spills or falls.
- Check with tour operator re if you need to provide your own lunch /snacks.
How To Get There
Pick-ups /drop-offs may be available – check with individual tour operators.
Further Info
Refer tour operator table below or check out Mountain Bike Hire Operators.

OPERATOR
Bunyip Bike Tours
Tel 0431 720 810
Departs: Gold Coast
Paramount Adventure Centre
Tel 07-5593 6919
Departs: West Burleigh, Gold Coast
Mountain Bike Tours
Tel 1800 122 504 or 0429 122 504
Departs: Byron Bay
 
OTHER RESOURCES
Nerang Mountain Bike Centre
79 Price St, Nerang
Tel 07-5596 2911
Nerang State Forest
Access behind Gold Coast velodrome in Hope St, Nerang


View Nerang State Forest in a larger map


View Kooralbyn Resort in a larger map

Riding Hints for Beginners

  • Always keep your eyes on the track ahead in order to work out the best route, and to avoid obstacles before you get to them.
  • Your arms act as shock absorbers, so keep them slightly bent and loose. Don't lock your elbows!
  • To make your ride enjoyable, efficient and effective, you'll need to understand how the gears work. Before you take to the track, learn when to change them; how to change them; then practice so you can do it quickly. For example - shift down a gear before a hill climb; shift down a gear to help you slow down around a corner.
  • To avoid skidding when braking, apply front and back brakes simultaneously; release then apply again; release then apply again, and so on.
  • Apply your brakes before corners, not in them.
  • Take care if applying only the front brake. It may cause you to be thrown over the handlebars.
  • Don't be tempted to ride beyond your skill level. Know that it's okay to pick up your bike and carry it over or through obstacles which may require more experience at this stage.
  • Maintaining an even balance is critical in mountain biking. Depending on the situation, you may need to shift your body weight backwards, forwards or sideways in order to stay on. For example, when descending a steep incline, you will need to lean right back to the rear of the bike.






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