The Margaret River region is one of the cornerstones of a new plan to turn WA’s South West into Australia’s mountain biking mecca, with nearly 500km of new trails planned. Whatever way you look at it, mountain biking has gone from a minority sport to big business in a relatively short time.
Last year alone, more than 130,000 mountain bikes were sold in Western Australia, and now the sport is set to gain an even bigger boost with the release of the South West Mountain Bike Master Plan which envisages 495km of new, exciting and challenging trails in the region for mountain biking enthusiasts.
Location: Margaret River
What you get: Now stretching from south of Witchcliffe through Margaret River to Cowaramup, the Wadandi Track offers beginner mountain bikers their first experience of riding off-road. Crossing historic bridges which once formed part of the railway line to Busselton, there are many spots to stop and take in the beauty of the changing landscape, from farmlands to forrest. The track is very popular with e-bikes. With plenty of options for coffee and something to eat in Witchcliffe, Margaret River and Cowaramup, it’s a fantastic trail to plan a morning or afternoon around.
10 Mile Brook
Where: Rotary Park, Margaret River
Distance: ~16km return
What You Get: Follow the Margaret River upstream to the 10 Mile Brook Dam through stunning karri and jarrah forest. Be sure to follow the winter/summer routes unless you want to take a dip in winter. The intrepid can get off the beaten track and ride all the way out to Colonial Brewery for lunch (although not signposted).
Dunsborough MTB Skills Development Park
Where: Dunsborough. Head up to the Dunsborough Country Club and ride some of the trails surrounding the golf course close to Meelup Regional Park.
What You Get: Lots of variety on offer but mostly targeted at the intermediate mountain biker. Bring your A game for the loose gravelly corners and enjoy some awesome fast downhill runs too. Includes fantastic views of the coast, a unique feature for mountain bike trails in WA.
Where: Margaret River
What You Get: Margaret River’s latest mountain bike trails. The initial trails were completed in 2016 and set a new standard for flow trails in Australia. Since then local trail builders have taken their skills even further, then refined and built more trails. There is something for everyone with many kilometres of green (beginner) and blue (intermediate) trail. There’s even a few black (advanced) trails for those who enjoy spending time in the air with their bike.
Intermediate / Advanced
Creek Trails (South Carters)
Where: Carters Road – Margaret River
What You Get: Classic old school trail riding. Big log roll-overs, bridges, berms, jumps and rock gardens. Not for the faint hearted. You’ll come across beautiful granite out-crops and a great little swimming at the bottom of Goobers Pool. The local mountain bike club (MRORCA) asks that you try not to grab the brakes too hard and skid. The ground here is soft and trail damage is easy to do. Stay on the trails too as it’s an environmentally important area for the region and any damage or unsanctioned trails could see the area closed to mountain bikers.
Where: Gale Road – Busselton
What You Get: The brave and fit can join the hunt for orcs on a technical single track at Middle Earth which features numerous log rides and roll overs. Make sure to stop and take a magical photo in the natural archway of the hollowed out tree. There’s lots to check out in this area such as local wineries down Metricup Road or drop into The Beer Farm for some beautiful craft beer.
Iconic Mountain Biking Events
Cape to Cape MTB Race
The Cape to Cape MTB was first held in 2008 to a field that only reached about 100 participants. Now in its ninth year, it now holds the title as Australasia’s biggest MTB multi-stage endurance race with over 1300 competitors.
Held over 4 days, riders make their way from Cape Leeuwin through spectacular karri forest, across beaches, past wineries, finally ending at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.
Known for its fun, friendly vibe, the Cape to Cape MTB sees riders returning year after year.
Seven is riding the wave of popularity that is gravel riding. With a course that includes seven epic climbs, you will need to be a brave soul to tackle the 120km of leg burning undulation in the spectacular Nannup forests and valleys. With ascents approaching gradients of 20% or more and white knuckle brake smoking decents, this race is set to become one of the most challenging one day races in Australia. No matter what kind of bike you ride.
For those not ready to commit (their very well being) to the full Seven, participants can also compete the Five which is still a very demanding 80km course.