Wrap up of our West Australia road trip!
Words: Mike Blewitt Photos: Tim Bardsley-Smith
Western Australia is a state rich in resources. For those of us in the east, we can't always appreciate how many of those resources are suitable for mountain bikers. From fast and loose pea gravel trails, to hand and machine sculpted red dirt trails beneath Karri trees, and of course beach side trails above an azure blue ocean, the variety on offer for mountain bikers in the west will surprise anyone who hasn't visited before. We were invited to the south west and given a local's tour of some of the great trails in the region, and once on the ground we learnt that there is so much more to come.
See the five stops our road trip took us to below along with a few more recommendations for your own trip!
Day 1 - Kalamunda
"Sitting in the Perth Hills, Kalamunda is the most popular area for mountain biking in the area. That was evident when we pulled into the carpark after lunch, passing cars parked along the road and luckily finding room to park our Isuzu D-MAX."
Day 2 - Dwellingup
"If you're a mountain biker you would probably know of Dwellingup thanks to the Dwellingup 100 marathon mountain bike race. That popular event has drawn a crowd from around the country for over a decade. But the town is nestled into two state forests and a reserve, making it a popular destination for a weekend getaway..."
Day 3 - Pemberton
"Pemberton has switched from being a timber town to a town that curates mountain bike trails."
Day 4 - Linga Longa Bike Park
"The mention of Linga Longa Bike Park lights up just about any mountain biker's face in Western Australia. Anyone we have met on the trail has either asked if we are going, or just been stoked that we are when we tell them our itinerary."
Day 5 - Dunsborough
"Dunsborough is nestled just inside Cape Naturaliste, and the trails head up the hill above the Dunsborough Country Club in Meelup Park. If you finished a Cape to Cape here you would be familiar with a couple of the trails, but I doubt you would recognise the trail network based on what is on the ground now. "
“Mate, you missed all the best places!”
Like any mountain bike trip, you'll be hard pressed to not be told by a local that you missed the best trails. They'll tell you about the jumpiest of jump trails, the flowiest of flow trails, and hand-cut singletrack that's so raw and tight because it was made only by people with tiny hands who weren't allowed to use a tool bigger than a paddle pop stick. We certainly didn't ride everything in the south-west, but these are some of the other places to consider if you're heading west.
The Munda Biddi Trail: 1100kms of wide trail perfect for bikepacking, from Perth to Albany.
Perth Hills: Lake Leschenaultia, Chidlow, has lots of new family friendly trails built. Forsyth Mill has a great old school cross-country course in the same area.
Perth Hills: Visit the Goat Farm in Greenmount. A great place for cross-country and enduro training and racing, but very small in size.
York: Mount Brown is an hour drive east of Perth and suits cross-country and enduro riding.
Jarrahdale: Langford Park is one of the original mountain bike parks close to Perth, under an hour from the CBD.
Bunbury: Pile Road has fun trails and you can link to Collie if you wanted to with some nice sections of the Munda Biddi along the way. Wellington Mills is nearby, and popular for downhill.
Bridgetown: In development, but active with a small club and weekly rides.
Nannup: In development. There was a national cross-country and downhill round there more than 10 years ago.
Busselton: There are a number of trails within easy driving distance from Busselton, but you will need a local guide.
Geraldton: The Chapman River Trails are worth riding if you are in this area 4-5 hours north of Perth.
Albany: Home of the Southern Peaks and Urban Down Hill, Albany is 4-5 hours south of Perth.
Karratha: 1523 kms north of Perth, the Burrup MTB Trails network is popular. They also run a 6-hour MTB race in the middle of the year.
Margaret River: The home of Cape to Cape!