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Garigal National Park is about to get an official mountain bike track!

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 16 August 2011

For those that don't know, there was a meeting near Bantry Bay this morning between the Environment Minister, Treasurer, NSW NPWS Director and other such folk... oh - and a couple of local MTB riders Eye-wink

An announcement coming from the press (I'm yet to see the official NPWS press release, but trust the Daily on this one) is that, "Garigal National Park is about to get an official mountain bike track."

Massive thanks to all of you who believed and supported this for so long. No doubt there will be more news on this and other developments coming, so keep an eye out.

The Manly Daily story is here:

Update: There was a second story in the Daily that quote's Mike Baird as saying and announcement was expected in the “next few weeks.". Excellent news!

Sasco's picture

Wow.. that is so nice to hear!

danielschipper's picture

... and a 10K trail! Linked to Manly Dam that'll make a nice 20K loop... and being riding distance from home very happy indeed!

hawkeye's picture

Pity about the lame pun in the headline on the Manly Daily article Sticking out tongue

But great news, and thanks to all the NPWS staff who've invested so much worked on this project, as well as the good faith showed by the previous and current government, and especially Mike Baird.

nrthrnben's picture

To everyone that made the possible from direction to govt and everyone that helped along the way, legends!

details, plans, info, style of single trail, builders?

Ps,everyone please post something positive on the manly daily site linked by Rob

Berserker's picture

I can't wait, I'll be at the head of the queue Smiling Thanks to all that have made this happen.

daveh's picture

Well done and thanks to all those involved.

hairylittlehobbit's picture

Does that mean the old bantry bay track will be open or another track in the same area?

Rob's picture
Does that mean the old bantry bay track will be open or another track in the same area?

Sounds like something like this will happen Smiling

spindog's picture

full kudos to all those who have worked so tirelessly to achieve this!

nh's picture

Thanks to all those who worked hard lobbying for this after the trails were closed. And thanks to the riders who did the right thing who stayed out and didn't cut in any new tracks or jump or damage fences to gain access. It show what mountain bikers can get access to trails by following the proper channels and showing a heap of patience.

ben.archer's picture

How things have changed, I was up in the Blue Mountains over the weekend and dropped into one of the NPWS stations to get a local topo map. When the lady there realised I was looking for it to ride, her demeanour changed and she became extremely excited telling me how things were changing in the NPWS and soon we would be able to ride much more of the park, before apologising that for the time being choices were a little limited...

To all on both sides who have been working for so long on access it looks like the tide is slowly starting to change - so thanks for all your hard work.

Boris's picture

And thank you to all walks of life and demographics that have helped achieve this result.
Many riders were hugely dissapointed when they originally shut the short however fun and technical tracks in Bantry Bay, then the short however frustrating closure of the Dam. A lot of positive activity happening at the moment which is great.
Looking forward to the articles fruition.

vanessa4mtb's picture

Hope they don't sanitize the proposed track too much like Manly Dam!

Simon's picture

This has been a huge combined 3 year effort by a number of people in this region and across the state.

Everyones thanks is very much appreciated, there have been many days off work and time given up during weeknights and weekends meeting green groups, stakeholders, government and writing documents.

Some further background is here:

From all this volunteer time and networking a Trail Care group has formed that is advocacy and trail focused. This group will be open for all to participate. In addition to efforts with State Government and National Parks we have been putting time into Manly Dam to improve things for everyone and also demonstrate the benefits of engaging the riding community.

We also provided rider feedback and input to improve the outcome relating to some earlier contractor works.

We are currently putting background work into possibilities at Oxford Falls and Red Hill. We are soon going to need everyones support and help.

Lach's picture

to all concerned.

Sinkes's picture

Congratulations on your work to date and to everyone else who was involved.
I know I have missed many people who have contributed to this cause. Rob could you assist and name them, so as we can personally thank them.
Many thanks and happy trails ahead.
Great work

Rob's picture

... he plays the 'good cop' quite well Eye-wink

Nah, but while there are a few people who seem to be the 'face' of this sort of campaign (unwilling face in most cases) everyone who wrote in to a polly, or submitted comment on papers, or showed up at meetings, or had other involvement in NPWS stuff over the last few years should be patting themselves on the back too.

This kind of thing shows what can be done when people give it a go. I'm sure there is still a way to go though, so don't stop campaigning just yet!

Pottz's picture

This is great news! Well done all who have worked so hard (and a big thank you to Mike Baird).
Does anyone know if Glen Jacob's company is going to be involved in the trail design and construction. I have ridden Stromlo many times (and love it) but have just come back from riding the brand new Mt Joyce recreation park in Qld (one hour west of gold coast). The trails (more than 40kms of them) there were designed by Glen Jacob's and they are by far the best I have ever ridden. Super exciting, fast, flowing riding. Not a single thing about them could have been done better. Would be fantastic if similar results were achieved here.

sduffy's picture

The article says Garrigal national park right? so why did they meet at Bantry Bay? or is Bantry Bay part of Garrigal national park?

Simon's picture

While a few of us have been 'the face' it is the follow up support and endorsement of our work that has given it the legitimacy it needed with government.

Without it we would just be a few noisy individuals.

So thanks to all for backing us up and providing feedback.

A reasonable summary of 'the face' is here

There is still a lot more to come, however we now seem to have the critical momentum and things are happening.

Our strategy was always to focus on NPWS initially as they are generally the role models for other land managers. The NPWS guys have also been doing a great job liaising with Councils behind the scenes, we are starting to see these results too and getting coordination of facilities.

Simon's picture

Yep, Bantry Bay is part of this park.

CROMERBOY's picture

Comment sent - thanks again to all involved.

familyguy's picture

First letter down. Fair argument?

mikethebike's picture

Manly Daily Letters-

" the common misconception of the public who are typically misinformed seems to be that trail bikes are a nuisance, however they are generally no more of a pest (environmentally) than anyone else on two wheels other than the obvious noise they produce."

This guy is on drugs. You can see the blatant damage these things cause at any given spot up at Red Hill. Ive seen motos ripping up single track with roost belting out 50' behind! Is this honestly what they think?

Brian's picture

In the print version where the Manly Daily has pictured a mountain bike instead of a motor bike.

Manly Daily Viewpoint 19/08/11

philberesford's picture


Thank you to everyone who made this happen

pancakes's picture

The best news I heard all week!

Fantastic job to all concerned. That's going to be a great loop.

nrthrnben's picture

Thank you for contacting us.

The report on the findings of the public consultation has been verified by an independent analyst and is ready for publication, subject only to final approval by NPWS directors, which should take place by the end of July.

The revised NPWS Cycling Policy has been finalised and is also with NPWS directors. The publication of this and the NPWS Sustainable Mountain Biking Strategy has been brought forward to August 16, when they will be officially announced by the Minister for Environment and Heritage.

The public will not be consulted again between now and the publication of the Strategy, as the public consultation and associated report have provided adequate feedback for this document. However, stake holder groups will be invited by the Minister on 16 August, to inspect the suggested routes identified through preliminary investigations in to suitable sites for a mountain bike trial in the northern Sydney region.

Furthermore, it is a proposed recommendation in the Strategy, that mountain biking groups and other stake holders may be consulted on a variety of topics during the various stages of planning, design and maintenance of mountain biking experiences in NSW national parks.

Following the finalisation of the Sustainable Mountain Biking Strategy and associated cycling policy, NPWS will seek to engage the mountain biking community through volunteering activities and a series of community events in October 2011. These events will encourage participation, promote conservation and responsible mountain biking, as well as a sense of ownership of national parks as places where high quality, sustainable mountain biking experiences can be accessed.

We appreciate your continuing interest and involvement in this issue.

So it seems NPWS have shown the suggested routes identified through preliminary investigations in to suitable sites for a mountain bike trial in the northern Sydney region on the 16/08/2011, but they will now go back and finalize it, and maybe release it in October and the same time as the promotional events?

But it says above that both documents where actually published on the 16/08/2011?

So will the strategy be open for comment when it eventually gets released to the public or will it be set in stone?

If it is going to be set in stone, those that are in talks with the NPWS, can we make sure the overall policy is suitable before its official release?

Yes, i know, we could just wait and see how it pans out, but we must do all we can to get this right.

Simon's picture

When I met with the minister it was my understanding from talking with NPWS that it was still going through internal review.

The dates in the email above from July were indicative dates so I wouldn't be worried we haven't seen it yet.

I will be meeting with them this week and see if there are any updates.

nrthrnben's picture

Internal Review, interesting.

Thanks for keeping us posted.

Devil's picture

Hi guys,

are there any updates on these proposed tracks?

Nerf Herder's picture

Interested to see any news ??

Simon's picture

Hi all,

NPWS formed the Northern Region Mountain Bike Stakeholder Advisory Committee which we are on.

So far we have had a meet and greet meeting and a walk through of Stringy Bark Ridge. The Bantry Bay site visit got postponed with all the rain but will go ahead after Easter.

I will provide feedback here after. I'm on the committee representing IMBA. TrailCare also has a seat to provide feedback to NobMob, clubs and general community. The committee members include NPWS staff, Councils, TAFE/Dep of Education, other recreational groups and green groups.

So far there has been nothing to report for Bantry Bay other than consultants have been doing detailed environmental, cultural heritage and trail routing studies. Will report back on findings once we get to walk through the site.

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