Jindabyne Mountain Bike trails | Riding Tyrolean and Mill Creek

JINDABYNE OVERVIEW

Our day began early, very early in fact. Candace came up with the brilliant idea to have a sunrise picnic by the lake. In theory this seemed smart, but in practice… let’s just say hindsight can be a bitch. You could definitely feel the -1 degree chill in the air… and ground for that matter. Frost was forming on anything that sat still for long enough, us included. While this made for a darn good picture, it was bloody cold! But worth it, oh so worth it! After putting away some much needed coffee, it was time to hit Jindabyne Mountain Bike Trails!

enjoying the beautiful sunrise over lake jindabyne laying next to our camper van

Ah Jindabyne… what a gem of a place. From the mountains down to the lake, there is something for everyone to enjoy. We’re sure most of you who know Jindabyne, know it as the central hub for the surrounding snow fields. But it is oh so much more! One of the most peaceful towns we’ve visited and while we don’t like saying certain places are the best, considering what she has to offer… Jindabyne is a close second!

Jindabyne hosts a network of mountain bike trails located on the eastern side of the dam known as Tyrolean and Mills Creek. Several parking options are available – just off Kosciuszko Road – and with the use of Trailforks, pinpointing their exact location is extremely simple.

Car park at Jindabyne mountain bike trails

The unique terrain of Jindabyne Mountain Bike Trails – rust coloured dirt, littered with jagged rock and snow gums – strongly emphasize the fact that you’re perched 915 m above sea level. If that isn’t enough to separate this bike park from most, maybe the freezing alpine temperatures are. We did say Jindabyne is the central hub for Aussie Snow!

The quality of Tyrolean and Mills Creek trails came as quite a surprise, leading to an awesome day that left us wanting more.

Too bad our legs couldn’t deliver…

Such pristine trails only mean one thing – that an awesome program for upkeep is in place. The Jindabyne Trail Stewardship is to thank for this. A self-sustaining, non-profit group with aims of preserving, maintaining and improving the existing and future trail network within Jindabyne and surrounding areas.

Cross country is the dominant style of riding found here, however, the occasional gravity enduro line thrown in the mix creates extra excitement.

Of course, we know what you’re thinking. “If I’m going to journey to this region for mountain biking, why would I waste my time on Jindabyne? I’d just go straight to Thredbo”. Well, it never hurts to have a practice day before launching yourself down Cannonball and besides, what if it’s winter? Then biking in Thredbo is out of the question. And if the snow conditions are poor, why not make better use of your time… that’s what we did anyhow.

You’re welcome for the perfect contingency plan.

JINDABYNE MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS GUIDE

Difficulty
Beginner / Intermediate

Trail Style
Singletrack, Cross Country

Distance
25 km

Time
2.5 hrs

Total Descent
1,100 m

Entrance Fee
Free

Facilities
Trail Map Sign

Recommended Gear
Open face helmet, Light weight knee pads, Long sleeve jersey, Jacket (especially winter months… it’s bloody cold!), Shorts, Gloves, Camelbak

BUNTY’S SOUTH

The beginning of Mill Creek Trail was directly across the road from where we parked (parking closest to the dam wall). But before we ventured too far – considering it was still around 0 degrees Celsius – a warm-up was in order. We decided to perform said warm-up on Bunty’s South and DAMNN! Talk about a technical trail. Undulating rocky lines throughout the entire 600m makes it one of the trickiest runs at Tyrolean and Mill Creek Mountain Bike Trails. Steep sections requiring sharp bursts of energy proved quite the challenge and saw both of us having to push through sections – as much as we hate to admit it – leaving one of us absolutely buggered.

Probably wasn’t the best place to start…

Hard hill climb at Jindabyne mountain bike trails

It’s safe to say we were warm after that ordeal, and thank god we were. Even at 9AM the trail edges were covered in frost, providing a very unique first time experience and making it somewhat hard to shift our heads into gear.

Jindabyne mountain bike trails covered in frost

SHE’LL BE APPLES

Following Mill Creek Trail, we quickly faced another junction. Deciding to take the plunge after a failed warm up was risky to say the least, but this time the trail flowed nicely. She’ll Be Apples begins in a steady fashion. Progressing further up the hill by way of short climbs and slightly technical sections. As a result, leaving but one way back to Mill Creek Trail…

The First Descent!

Roughly 300m into She’ll Be Apples everything changes, and before you know it you’ll be hooting back down the mountain. Avoiding the clusters of rock and popping off small kickers as you go.

Step down jump at Jindabyne mountain bike trails

MILL CREEK TRAIL

After completing She’ll Be Apples, we continued north along Mill Creek Trail in search of some gravity fueled action. Mill Creek Trail is a wide open singletrack – verging on the edge of doubletrack – that supports multi-directional traffic. This trail is quite a placid ride, consisting of only smooth terrain and easy flowing corners throughout the entire 4.5km. We suggest to use it only as a link between the preferred runs at Jindabyne Mountain Bike Trails.

HUFF ‘N PUFF

With that in mind, we came to Huff ‘n Puff. The complete opposite to a preferred run at Jindabyne. Huff ‘n Puff mirrors its name very accurately through the course of steep terrain and tight switchbacks. Weaving up the mountain you’ll find no major technical features, just an all out slog rising 124m in elevation over the 1.5km trail. Needless to say, we were huffing and puffing by the end of this one!

View from the top of Huff and Puff run at Jindabyne mountain bike trails

Finally, we had reached the peak. And boy what a view!

Looking to the west, you can see straight across the crystal clear blue lake and admire the stunning white peaks of Australia’s Snowy’s. Remember, it’s all for the gram so time to get our photo on.

standing with bikes above our heads at the peak of jindabyne mountain bike trails

THREE LIONS

You know the beauty of being at the top? Other than the outstanding view of course… It’s all downhill from there!

The Three Lions trail fell victim to us and it was epic! Two and a half minutes of berms, jumps, beginner rock gardens and the occasional fright. This one really got the adrenaline pumping and was the highlight of our day.

Three Lions commences steady through a skinny singletrack cut in amongst the grass. Long sweeping corners and a gentle gradient are all that await in the beginning, and do little to prepare you for a sudden increase in intensity for the lower portion. Before you know it, berms become larger and sharper. This creates a more technical line, but one which provides better support at higher speeds.

Riding through a berm at Jindabyne mountain bike trails
Jindabyne mountain bike trails berm with view of the lake
Top of three lions at Jindabyne mountain bike trails

Now you’ve ripped through the berms – absolutely railing them for the best exit speed – it’s time to smash through the rock garden. Tight, steep and rugged terrain displays more of a gravity enduro vibe which is awesome! Supporting both small and large obstacles, navigating this section proves as fun as it is tricky.

From here the run steadies… if you let it.

Push hard through the flatter sections and clear the small doubles, or pump hard along the way in order to make the most of what Three Lions has to offer.

Jindabyne mountain bike trails berm with view of the lake

PINK TRAIL

After a successful completion of the 1km descent – with no broken bones we might add – it was time to move on. And no, not back up Huff ‘n Puff, do you think we’re crazy? We used the friendlier Mill Creek Trail to lead us to our next destination… Pink TrailAnother great gravity focused run. More tame than Three Lions, but just as long with several small features scattered throughout. This proved to be Candace’s time to shine, bringing out all the big guns and trying to put Dylan to shame!

Rock roller at Jindabyne mountain bike trails
Rock jump at Jindabyne mountain bike trails

The narrow line throughout Pink Trail winds 1.1km down the mountain and concludes right by the lake. Making for a nice little spot to have a breather before heading back along Sri Chinmoy.

SRI CHINMOY

Sri Chinmoy is best described as the northern gateway for access to the wider Tyrolean and Mill Creek trail network. A gentle climb featuring no major hazards is all that awaits along the cross country style track. And after completing the 1km climb – ascending 60m – you’ll be back at the mid-point of Pink Trail.

ORBITAL

Rather than ride back along Mill Creek Trail (no one like’s repetition), we decided to check out Orbital. What we found was a trail full of slippery roots, loose laying rocks, challenging twists and strenuous steep pinches. A most technical task for mountain biking. Although by not supporting any daunting sections, a dropped foot is the worst case scenario. Great views overlooking Lake Jindabyne can be found over the entire 1.6km. However, one area stood out above all else…

And of course, we decided to take full advantage.

Looking out onto the lake at Jindabyne mountain bike trails
Playing around at the lookout at Jindabyne mountain bike trails
lookout at Jindabyne mountain bike trails

After acting like the children we are, it was time to hit the road. Well not before one last run down Three Lions! Did we mention no one likes repetition? We meant only if you don’t love it. However, it seems in the mix of all the excitement, we forgot about the dreaded Huff ‘n Puff climb!

You can’t really make a climb of this magnitude sound fun, and after the pain we suffered earlier in the day from the freezing air in our lungs, we didn’t expect what was coming our way. All of the morning ice had melted, leaving an extremely wet and boggy line to follow. Making the run almost impossible…

Muddy bike at Jindabyne mountain bike trails

We did make it – albeit some on foot – and only because we knew a fabulous descent was imminent. One more high speed trip down Three Lions, gliding over jumps and nipping in and out of the tight, technical ruts left us with a sense of accomplishment. And finally, after 3 hours of riding, we were happy and ready to hit the road.

PLACES TO STAY NEAR JINDABYNE MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS

Being located so close to a town leaves many options for accommodation. Everything from budget lodgings to luxurious Airbnb’s are available in Jindabyne.

JINDABYNE CAMPING

For us Van Lifers and camping folk, there are a number of options available for camping in Jindabyne. Our personal favourites are the almost free Ngarigo campground and Diggings Campground. Being located in the Kosciusko National Park (closer to Thredbo), expect a longer drive of roughly 30km and to be slugged with park entry fees.

While there are no legit free campsites in Jindabyne, we’ve witnessed many camper vans parked up for the evening in the surrounding area. This laid-back nature will only last if people respect the area. So please – if you intend to be a little sneaky – show some courtesy and keep it clean!

  • NRMA Jindabyne Holiday Park
  • Diggings Campground – ‘Where’s Mildo’ tells their tale and shares what it’s like to camp in the Kosciusko National Park during winter perfectly.
  • Ngarigo Campground – Here’s our hilarious take on camping in Thredbo, highlighting the things you really shouldn’t do!
  • Claypits Boat Ramp – A cheeky little spot right on the lake that self-contained camper vans park up for the night.

PLACES TO EAT NEAR JINDABYNE MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS

Heading over to Jindabyne, you’ll find no shortage of food and after an intense ride, something substantial is most likely on the cards! If this is sounding appealing, you MUST stop in at Burger Biz! An American style burger bar that does it just right and provides…

The best burgers in Australia!

We know this is a bold statement, but you have to try this place! If you don’t think you can stomach such a large meal, Nuggets Crossing shopping centre is located just across the road and is home to Woolworths and plenty of restaurants, cafes and bakeries.

For those staying in town, here are our favourite places to eat in Jindabyne:

While we’re at it, why not sample the local craft beer at Jindabyne Brewery? An awesome Micro Brewery with views over the lake that provides several different craft beers on tap all year round.

Pro tip: The Veissbier is delicious.

THINGS TO DO IN JINDABYNE

Jindabyne – as we have mentioned throughout this post – is the central town for Australia’s biggest snowfields, so the obvious thing to do in Jindabyne during winter is to visit the damn SNOW. Perisher and Thredbo are easily accessible and are both great options to shred the mountains.

Thredbo is our personal favourite, providing steeper terrain and longer runs compared to Perisher. And a massive plus for Thredbo is, it’s Australia’s only chairlift accessible mountain bike park! Available for riding through summer months only.

It’s not all about mountain biking and the snow. Jindabyne offers an outstanding amount of outdoor activities, you’ll surely find something tailored to you’re liking.

  • 4WD tours
  • Horse riding
  • Rock Climbing
  • Bushwalking
  • Mount Kosciusko walks

Another main attraction to this beautiful area of Australia is Lake Jindabyne. Offering the perfect platform for fishing, boating, skiing, kayaking, swimming and whatever else you can think of that is water-related. Just remember this…

Lake Jindabyne is ***king cold!

GETTING TO JINDABYNE MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS

Tyrolean and Mill Creek Mountain Bike Trails are located on the eastern side of Jindabyne dam, opposite the charming little village of Jindabyne. The trail head is just a short 5km drive east of the town centre. Really, you’re actually considering driving? You’re already going for a bike ride…

Don’t worry we would drive too!

If you’re coming from out of town (cough Sydney), the most direct route will be through Canberra. Australia’s Capital is just 180km and a 2 hr drive north of Jindabyne, almost making it the half-way point on the journey from Sydney.

USEFUL LINKS

LOCAL BIKE SHOPS