Mountain bikes to head for the hills

06 October 2015

Minister Ian Hunter
Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation

The State Government today announced how it will spend $1.5 million to achieve its commitment of establishing the Mount Lofty Ranges as an international mountain biking destination.

The Mount Lofty Ranges is ideally placed to become a must on every mountain biker’s bucket list, thanks to its extensive network of trails across national parks, forest reserves and other public land, as well as its close proximity to the city, beaches and tourism operations.

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said that by 2020, the Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges will be an internationally-recognised mountain bike destination, offering worldclass experiences for a range of cycling markets.

“The current Australian mountain bike tourism market is estimated to be nearly 500,000 visitors a year,’ he said.

“Unleashing the potential of this market could increase expenditure in the region by 50 per cent, to more than $18 million a year by 2020.

“We are partnering with Government agencies, local councils, the tourism industry, recreation and biking associations, and the accommodation, food, wine and retail sectors to achieve our goal. We will identify the needs of mountain biking markets, providing the community the opportunity to be involved in the development of key sites.”

Some priorities identified with the funding include:

  • developing ‘Hero’ descending trails, allowing riders to travel from the hills to the plains with descents of more than ten kilometres;
  • creating a mountain bike touring route that will display the beauty of the region;
  • establishing a northern trail hub and an urban mountain bike park in the south; and
  • consolidating existing trail networks.
“We will also attract national and international biking events that generate income for the region
and increase awareness of the destination and trails on offer,” Mr Hunter said.

“Establishing the Mount Lofty Ranges as an international mountain bike destination will help South Australia join the ranks of the world’s popular mountain bike centres, like Mt Buller in Victoria and Rotorua in New Zealand.

“Government agencies and local councils will partner together to form an Authority responsible for managing the destination as a whole.”

Mr Hunter made the announcement at a Nature Play event called Bikes, Bugs and Bush at Belair
National Park, where children were able to try cycling around the park, among other activities.

“Nature Play SA is a fantastic organisation, established with a State Government grant of $2 million, which encourages children to get outdoors and active.

“Today is a great opportunity to explore Belair National Park with one of our knowledgeable and passionate rangers as your guide.”

For more information about Bikes, Bugs and Bush please visit the Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty website, www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/adelaidemtloftyranges/getinvolved/events/bikes-bugs-bush

More information about the project can be found at www.parks.sa.gov.au/mountain-biking

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