Government to Invest $12 Million to Build Mountain Bike Trails in Central Australia

A $12 million investment in new mountain bike trails in Central Australia is set to make the area near MacDonnell National Park a national--and even international--mountain bike destination.

Mountain biking at the Alice Springs Trail System. Photo: Paddy Palin/Tourism NT

The Territory Labor Government has approved a $12 million investment to build mountain bike trails in Central Australia, according to a press release from Lauren Moss, Minister for Tourism and Culture. This investment is a part of the Turbocharging Tourism plan that has been launched to… well, turbocharge tourism to Central Australia. The entire plan consists of a record $103 million investment, of which the $12 million for mountain bike trails is just one portion.

The $12 million investment is expected to build over 200 kilometers (125 miles) of new mountain bike trails, which will create the “Red Centre Adventure Ride” in the Northern Territory of Australia. These new trails will connect to existing trails at the Alice Springs Desert Park and MacDonnell National Park, connecting those zones to Glen Helen.

Photo: Tourism NT / Shaana McNaught.

The goal of this trail development and the larger Turbocharging Tourism investment is to “attract more visitors, create local jobs, and put more money into the pockets of Territorians,” according to Moss. “The Red Centre Adventure Ride will allow us to compete with other iconic mountain bike trails nationally and internationally – it will attract this growing tourist market to Central Australia and give other visitors another great thing to do,” she continues.

“It will be more than 200 kilometres of pure outback adventure and build Central Australia’s global reputation for mountain-biking.”

“The Red Centre Adventure Ride will be Australia’s best outback multi-day ride which will help increase tourist numbers and that means more jobs,” she said.

“The ride will showcase breathtaking natural features and sites including the West MacDonnell Ranges which are currently inaccessible for mountain bike riding,” said Moss.

Photo: Tourism NT / Shaana McNaught.

With this incredible connectivity between multiple trail systems, this zone will become a massive network that provides opportunities for fully-supported guided tours, bikepacking trips, luxury “glamping,” and all sorts of other long-distance adventures. To aid with just such excursions, the plan calls for the construction of purpose-built campgrounds for riders using these trails.

The popular Alice Springs trail system, pictured in this article, was already scheduled for expansion some time ago to connect to the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Reserve. This additional 200km of trails is on top of that previously-announced expansion.