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.
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.
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.Return from Gold Coast Mountain Biking to Adventure Activities
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Riding Hints for Beginners