Canberra has enough mountain bike trails that you can easily fill a whole weekend in the saddle, Leonie shows us how


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Ngunnawal people who have occupied and cared for these lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Is Canberra a mountain biking mecca?

When you think of weekends away mountain biking, do your thoughts drift to those big name locations like Thredbo, Bright, and Derby? Do you ever think of Canberra as a mountain biking destination?

Canberra and mountain biking is nothing new, but just like its food and coffee, Canberra’s mountain biking trails are dispelling the myth that Canberra’s a boring place to spend a weekend.

If you’re a longtime mountain biker (and care to hint at your age) you’ll know that Canberra and mountain biking have a lengthy and exciting history including a World Cup, illustrious 24 hour races, countless national races and a network of trails hidden all over the place. It’s no wonder Canberra keeps producing worl- class mountain biking athletes across multiple disciplines – the trail networks have something for everyone.

For anyone coming to ride Canberra for a weekend I recommend spending your Saturday at Stromlo Forest Park followed by a late afternoon meander around the National Arboretum to enjoy golden hour and sunset. For day two, head out to the north of Canberra to check out Majura Pines for a variety of trails including reminiscences of Canberra’s first mountain biking trails!

Stromlo Forest Park

My top pick of trails;

  • Three Amigos (black)
  • Sunset Boulevard (blue flow)
  • Trebuchet (blue flow and jumps)

Stromlo Forrest Park is the visitors’ pick when it comes to a weekend of mountain biking in Canberra – it has it all; gravity riding, cross country (XC) trails, jumps, skills development areas, and even a pump track. Not only does Stromlo have over 50km of trails to keep you busy exploring all day, there’s also a criterium track, a cafe, a bike shop, a playground and bbq area, and coaching available, all within the park.




The best way to explore the Stromlo trail network is to start your day at the large trail maps at the top of the car park and from there, set off on one of the green or blue climbing routes and make your way to the peak of the mountain.

Once at the top you’ll be treated with spectacular panoramic views before choosing one of the many gravity trails back down. Choose between fun flowing green or blue trails on either side of the hill, or look for something more technical and challenging with a few more rocks and big gap jumps on the front side black trails.



You can still even ride parts of the 2008 World Cup XC and DH trails, including the Triple Treat road gap or the iconic rock gardens of Hammerhead.

If peddling isn’t your vibe and you’re just keen to get bulk gravity laps on the recently revamped trebuchet, book a spot on the shuttle bus, or if you have a crew, self shuttle using the Stromlo Observatory access road.

How To Get There

Stromlo Forest Park is located to the west of the city centre. In just 15 minutes from the CBD you can get to Stromlo via the Tuggeranong Parkway and John Gorton Drive. Look for Opperman Avenue, you’ll see the entrance to Stromlo Forrest Park clearly sign posted at the roundabout.

National Arboretum

My top pick of trails;

  • Mountain View (green 3km trail)
  • Explorer (green 7km trail)

After a big day of exploring the mountain or feeling the rush of the fast and fun trails on the front side of Stromlo, why not take it down a notch, grab a couple of drinks, some snacks, and head over to the National Arboretum for sunset and enjoy golden hour.



The National Arboretum isn’t just a tree zoo that was rebuilt following the 2003 fires, you’ll also find a huge grassed amphitheatre and an abundance of space for picnics. And if you’re still stinging for the saddle, you’ll also find meandering single track transporting you from one plantation to another.



To take in the sunset over the Brindabella Mountain range, head up to Dairy Farmers Hill. The views of golden hour overlooking the iconic Lake Burley Griffin and Parliament House also make for some great tourist shots!

How To Get There

Located just 6km from the CBD, you could probably ride from your accommodation and take in the bike path loop around the lake. The entrance is to the west of Lake Burley Griffin and you can access it off the Tuggeranong Parkway or Lady Denman Drive. Check the opening hours, they depend on daylight savings times.

Majura Pines

My top pick of trails;

  • Touching cloth (Double Black) – includes sections of Canberra’s first DH trails
  • Planet Claire (Blue flow)
  • Rocksanne (Double Black)

Mountain biking in Canberra can be traced back to the mid 80s, and Mt Majura was the first area where technical trails started appearing, a small group of riders started building trails to get off the fire roads and it wasn’t long until some beefy downhill trails started to appear. Majura Pines is still volunteer and rider maintained.



With over 20km of trails to explore, there are trails to suit all skill levels. There’s a beginner area to explore right near the car park, and from here you can head to the underpass and jump on the Blue loop – a 10km loop that’s a great way to get familiar with the layout of Majura Pines.


How To Get There

Majura Pines is located in the north-east of Canberra, with access from the Majura Parkway. The main car park is on Majura Road where there’s also a toilet and drinking water. This is also where you’ll find the BMX-style dirt jumps.

On Ya Bike!

There you have it! Everything you need to know about mountain biking in Canberra. Now grab your helmet and hit the trails!


Photography thanks to @nickwaygoodcreative