Why Ourimbah MTB Park Is Better Than Mountain Biking In Sydney

Mountain biking isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of life… my way of life anyway.

There’s something magical about exploring the world on two wheels and it reaches a whole new level when you stumble across places like Ourimbah MTB Park.

Whether it’s a quiet cruise, admiring the spectacular scenery or an insane adrenaline rush ploughing down gnarly gravity runs, it’s all simply epic.

Nestled smack bang in the middle of Newcastle and Sydney, Ourimbah Mountain Bike Park is as easily accessible as it is awesome.

And with such a diverse riding population, you can be sure to meet some like-minded folk, out to live their life to the fullest just as much as you.

Ourimbah MTB Park is home to the CCMTB Club. These guys have produced the best of both worlds for their mountain bike park – awesome gravity trails and an extensive cross-country loop.

Access to the whole 20 km trail network is free, including the shuttle road. However, a private company called Central Coast Mountain Bike Tours offer a shuttle service any day of the week – bookings can be made here – and the club hosts all-inclusive race days for every mountain biking discipline.

But that’s not all. The legends have been busy little bees through the course of the COVID-19 Pandemic, adding to their already extensive trail network with some absolute pearlers we know you will all love.

One being a highly anticipated flow trail that ducks and weaves its way down the smooth mountainside, perfect for beginner to intermediate riders.

But perhaps our favourite innovation is the jump line at the peak of the mountain.

Nathan flying high over the new jump line at Ourimbah MTB Park

This series of perfectly formed tabletops is an exact example of what every bike park needs…

Too often the gap between beginner and advance jumps is colossal, making it near impossible for newbies to progress safely.

But not at Ourimbah, not now.

These jumps are the perfect middle ground, shaped with excellent progression and lips that are both poppy and forgiving.

While some of the kickers may seem daunting, the nature of their build inspires confidence, making this the perfect line of jumps to improve your skills.

Take Candace, for example, she would never attempt any double of that size before Ourimbah MTB Park’s new line. And now she is soaring like an eagle.

But the best part? You can park almost at the top of the Downhill runs and lap the jump line without having to make the huge 2.4 km trek back up the hill… Winning!

Candace hitting the new jump line at Ourimbah MTB Park

Ourimbah MTB Park Overview

Difficulty
Intermediate

Trail Style
Singletrack, Cross Country, Gravity Enduro, Downhill, Flow

Distance
20 km

Time
3 hrs

Total Descent
714 m

Entrance Fee
Free

Facilities
Trail Map Sign, Shuttle access, CCMTB offers a shuttle service – $50 for 3 hours

Recommended Gear
Open face helmet (Full face and body armour for gravity trails), Knee pads, kong sleeve jersey, shorts, gravity pants, gloves, camelback


Of the 20 km worth of trails found in Ourimbah MTB Park, 13 are based on a cross country loop that provides everything from fast flowing single tracks to steep technical climbs.

The variety of terrain showcased in this XC loop is tremendous. From the depth of the lush green forest floor to the dry rocky outcrop of the peak. You’ll feel as if you’ve entered a new bike park on the change of each and every run.

Split evenly amongst the other 7 km’s of trails are our personal favourites – the gravity. With 3 crackers to choose from – all accessible from a public shuttle road – Ourimbah offers a massive variety in descents. Something most bike parks in NSW lack.

From flow to speed to gnar, Ourimbah mountain bike park really has it all…

spc photography capturing a perfect shot of mountain biking a log drop in ourimbah mountain bike park

Ourimbah’s Newly Acclaimed Flow Trail

The newly acclaimed flow trail has always been the missing link from Ourimbah MTB Park. Heck, it’s trails like these that are missing from most bike parks in Australia!

But thanks to COVID, things have changed.

A beginner gravity decent is often overlooked in the trail building process, but finally one exists. Ourimbah’s flow trail opens the door for many beginner gravity riders to progress onto the gnarlier side of mountain biking.

The Flow Trail is the shortest of the 3 gravity runs at Ourimbah Mountain Bike Park, coming in at roughly 1 km. But don’t be fooled by the short distance, it still packs a punch. The nature of this fun and poppy ride requires a little work to maintain flow…

Hitting the slanted rock gap on the new flow trail in Ourimabh MTB Park

Beginning just halfway up the shuttle road (tower climb), the flow trail kicks straight into a high gear. Leading you around several supportive berms – with a large drop to your left – straight into a steep decline with some superb kickers.

A roll-able step-down with two launch pads is first in line, before a couple of smaller table tops lead into the base of the gully.

Ripping around the left berm, riding on moist dirt shaped to mirror the massive moss-covered boulders, you’ve entered everybody’s favourite part of the flow.

jumping through a rock gap in a dense forest on the new flow trail at Ourimbah MTB Park

Gapping precariously through the tightly aligned rocks is an absolute stand out on the flow trail. Though there is a B-line for less confident mountain bikers.

A word of advice… avoid scrubbing! My front tyre kissed the rock, almost sending me straight into Candace’s arms. A very close call.

The dense forest in the depths of the flow doesn’t finish with one little jump. The trails continue weaving in and out of the lush trees as the moist terrain supports perfect grip.

Clearing back out into the open, several kickers and berms line the path, proving almost as fun as the previous forest section.

But here’s where you need to work in order to continue flow. The gradient of the run shifts and you can no longer rely solely on gravity.

Several flat sections and rollers provide the base to continue flow, however, this is where the run loses out a bit.

The level section drags on too long and at points, almost appears as a slight incline. So unless you’re gunning for it, it’s easy to lose that much-loved speed and flow.

Though after you endure the struggle, the flow dives back into the forest and takes up right where it left off.

Railing the massive berms down the steep mountain on the new flow trail in Ourimbah MTB Park

A steep, very steep series of berms switch back and forth down the slope, with dirt similar to what was found in the earlier stages.

Finally back to natures acceleration, picking up speed with just the release of a brake lever. That speed is highly desired for the following section of tabletops and doubles.

As the dense forest begins to open up again, it’s a sign that you’re almost at the conclusion of this fantastic run. And with one last array of dusty turns, awe will most likely be the only emotion you’re left with.

Gravity Enduro

Feeling confident after smashing the flow trail? Well, it’s time to take the next step into the big leagues…

Ourimbah’s Gravity Enduro!

Located at the top of the tower climb, the enduro begins from the highest point of Ourimbah MTB Park. And with its location comes an almighty climb – stretching 2.4 km – if you’re as stupid as us and decide not to shuttle.

Though, how you make it up doesn’t matter. What matters is how fast you get down, and how awesome the rush is while doing it!

Ourimbah Mountain Bike Park’s Gravity Enduro begins on the lower side of the communications tower. Commencing steady with wide berms followed by a series of small tabletops, you’ll have a small window for preparation.

After that window, the enduro line steps it up a notch.

Candace smashing the gravity enduro trail at Ourimbah MTB Park

Skipping through the first of many rock gardens, the track widens to encourage speed as you line up the awesome set of kickers.

After cruising over the rhythm section of jumps, prepare yourself for some more rocks!

Tight lines duck in and out of the jagged edges creating little to no margin for error – I would know, I’ve suffered many a puncture here.

Slabs cleverly placed allow many of the advanced riders to gap these tricky sections, but if you’re a little on the cautious side, there is no problem in keeping both wheels grounded.

spc photography on rock drop at the gravity enduro event in ourimbah mountain bike park

Through successful navigation of the rocks – and no bloody punctures – a brand new and boldly unique feature has been built to form a bridge.

Said bridge lifts riders up and over the downhill run removing the rare chance of a collision. From the base of the bridge, the gradient of the mountain decreases, opening up a long flat section in which pedal strokes are needed to maintain speed.

Veering to the right, the gravity enduro continues along the fire road before sliding onto Switchies.

The name says it all. Steep, loose and rocky switchbacks make this one heck of a challenge to ride at speed. But hey, that’s what it’s all about! And after sliding through the loose tracks, a fast, flowing conclusion can be enjoyed.

Putting the icing on the cake is one of Ourimbah MTB park’s stand out features – the massive finish line drop.

Now that’s what I call a finish line!

SPC photography capturing a big jump at the finish line of ourimbah mountain bike park downhill enduro

DOWNHILL

As with the Gravity Enduro, a journey to the peak is required to tackle Ourimbah MTB Park’s most advanced run.

The starting point is a wooden ramp – set up for the many local race days – located behind the communications tower.

Lining up from the top of the platform – trying to calm yourself by slowing your breathing – one thing is certain, you’re in for a blast!

Recent re-modelling of the downhill’s opening section has transformed the peak into an outstanding series of berms. Acting almost like wall-rides, maximum grip is on offer even throughout the harshest conditions of dust or mud.

The beautiful berms on the top of the downhill track at Ourimbah MTB Park

Railing these berms – pushing the line of horizontal and erring on the verge of washing – some serious speed can be accomplished… and required.

The first of several massive features is the ‘Pallet Drop’. Taking the blind plunge down approximately 1.5 m pointing you in the direction of steep, rough terrain only leaves one option.

Get off them breaks and send it!

Sending the blind pallet drop at the beginning of Ourimbah MTB Park's downhill track

Bouncing through the rough line and bobbing over the protruding rocks leads to Ourimbah MTB Park’s most feared feature – Carlssons Kicker.

By far the largest gap at the bike park – standing at 1.8 m tall and approx 12 m long – this is one beast of a jump.

Nerves may get the better of you as you run in, trying to pick the line. But trust me, if you clear the pallet drop and have a smooth approach…

Carlssons Kicker is far easier than it looks!

Carrying speed from this monster, there are several more gaps to accomplish along a flat trail before the first technical section begins.

This part of the run is still quite level so keeping speed is a must if you want to shave a few seconds off your time. And don’t worry, I’m well aware of how difficult it actually is!

Leading into a large wooden ramp known as the ‘BK Pallet Ride’ here’s where the speed rapidly increases once again.

Launching you under the gravity enduro crossover bridge and into another section of jagged rock, speeds of over 50 km/h can be approached as you glide through, barely touching the surface.

All of this adrenaline build-up has led us to yet another major improvement at Ourimbah MTB Park. A new series of large jumps have replaced the flat fire road mid-section.

Again, thank you COVID.

The larger of these jumps are the first to face and take the form of triples. Though most riders tend to double these bad boys.

Sending the massive gaps on Ourimbah MTB Parks Downhill run

Clearing the entire line is the best way to produce maximum speed and flow. Perfect for entering the new downhill line.

An off-camber run, narrowly avoiding trees and hosting all the beauties that come with the perfect downhill track; roots, rocks, sticks, drops, gaps and god only knows what other obstacles.

After managing to stay upright along the tricky camber – maintaining traction on the edge of loose dust – the downhill versions of switchbacks are left for you to conquer.

Larger berms on steeper terrain with some perilous rock drops in the mix make this an openly technical and slow part of the run.

Smashing Wayne's shit corner at Ourimbah MTB Park

No wonder they call it ‘Waynes Shit Corner’.

From here the run links with the lower section of the gravity enduro, ending with the same bang from the massive drop.

With all of that said and done, Ourimbah’s gravity is widely based around an intermediate level of mountain biker. Providing B-lines in most situations and not showcasing any of the ridiculous features found in other professional level downhill runs such as Thredbo’s Cannonball or Maydena’s everything!

This is where my racing career started and I absolutely love it. I would encourage anyone to take part in the race days CCMTB host, even as a means of a social event.

But now it’s time to slow it down a little and take a run on the forever changing XC loop.

Cross Country

If you’re not mad enough to attempt the gnarly gravity runs – or just purely insane and need more riding – it’s time to attack Ourimbah Mountain Bike Park’s XC loop.

But where do you start?

Straight away you’ll want to jump onto Straight Away. That’s right… this is the name of the first run – a pretty good one if you ask us – and commencing right next to the pump track, it’s hard to miss.

Ourimbah MTB park pump track in Ourimbah state forest

Straight Away is a great introduction to get you on your way. Maybe I could turn this into a poem… Nahh!

A steady climb, not really showcasing anything fascinating. Just a great old school pedal to get the legs into gear before reaching the Forbidden Forest.

Here you will get another glimpse of that beautiful dense forest scenery that makes riding in Ourimbah MTB Park an unbeatable experience.

mountain biking past fallen tree in ourimbah mountain bike park

Ourimbah MTB Park’s Forbidden Forest

The Forbidden Forest is but a bridging trail, linking up with what is to be your first single track descent, Jurassic.

A fast-flowing line with tight trees and even tighter corners, winding its way down the ever-increasing gradient until you reach the valley floor. But before you can catch a breath safely at the bottom, you must conquer the steepest part of all.

The ‘A-Line drop off’.

Recently a man-made ramp has been built covering what used to be a natural wonder, unfortunately making this feature less intense.

mountain biking down the steep A-line drop off ramp in ourimbah mountain bike park

Though the speed gained from rolling down will surely be enough to get your heart pumping.

If you’ve lost your confidence looking at this, there is a B-line off to the left that avoids the ramp entirely. But, I highly encourage anyone to take the plunge. Trust me, it’s worth it.

After stopping to snap a photo, the trail continues placidly across the bottom of the forest floor via Autobahn and Dingos until linking onto Potters Gully Rd.

Signs at each junction point make navigating this loop a piece of cake for anyone, including first-time visitors.

pointing out the cross country mountain biking signs in ourimbah mountain bike park

Ourimbah MTB Park’s XC Climbs

And we begin the first climb… Starting at Potters Gully Rd XC climb there is a brief 200 m pedal before you need to hang a sharp right onto Burnt Forest.

It isn’t all doom and gloom along the climb, some bright spark decided to throw a wooden berm in halfway up the mountain, breaking up the ascent.

An awesome addition for everyone to enjoy, and for that, we would love to thank whoever came up with this brilliant idea!

mountain biking around a wooden berm in ourimbah mountain bike park

The technical side of things continues on past Campbell’s Gully through to Jelly Bean where you can enjoy a mix of up and down, making for a desired change from consistent climbing.

Although just when you thought the pedalling was all but over, staring you straight in the face is another hill known as Jelly Legs.

Quite a different style of ascent than the previous runs. Unlike most of the other climbs that wind their way up the mountain, Jelly Legs shoots straight up, proving for a steeper, yet faster climb… that is if your legs aren’t jelly at this point… WOW, that was bad!

a technical climb over rocks and up jelly legs at ourimbah mountain bike park

Rollercoaster

Finally, the massive ascent is out of the way. Get off the dry, dusty mountain top and shred down Rollercoaster.

1.3km long and descending a total of 43 m, finally you can feel the welcomed breeze rushing past your face. Several jumps and features along the way make this a very enjoyable run and with a bit of effort along the flatter sections, serious speeds are capable of being reached.

railing a rock berm on rollercoaster at ourimbah mountain bike park

Nearing the conclusion of Rollercoaster, the ‘Rock Roller’ is waiting. Several different lines ranging in difficulty makes this an outstanding area and one to scope out before sending it.

Sure, try one of the easier lines first, but then head back up and put your skills to the test. Get out of your comfort zone! The hardest line is located along the left and after sliding neatly past a tree you are met with a blind drop.

A great test for any rider!

dropping in on the rollercoaster rock roller at ourimbah mountain bike park

Back to the dark, moist floor of the forest where we can embark on a long stretch of single track beginning with Magic Carpet.

Making a major error on this run can result in dire consequences, as off to the left is a significant drop of about 5 m. And if one was to take a tumble, there would be no stopping until reaching the base.

Having said that, it is an easy trail so making a mistake leading to this would be a hard ask!

mountain biking a tight trail surrounded by green forest at ourimbah mountain bike park

The Dense Forest Floor

Moving through Ewok ForestRed Belly RockBoulders and Graveyards, this 2 km stretch, past large mossy trees and thick shrubs, allows you to take in all the beautiful colours of the nature surrounding you.

These four runs consist of tight lines curving their way through the forest with some steeper features, but mostly mellow scenic routes.

mountain biking on platform surrounded by dense forest at ourimbah mountain bike park

Ourimbah MTB Park’s Final Climb

After enjoying the slower pace and the surrounding scenery, it’s time to make the final climb back to the car park.

As a shortcut, you can follow Short Meadows all the way. But you’ve come this far, why take a short cut now?

About halfway along veer left into Lost Forest, finishing the entire loop as it is intended. 

But on this final ascent, Meadows is the challenge. A short, sharp and steep… oh so steep climb before reaching Browns Downs. With one pickle of a rock that is an absolute bitch to get up if there is the slightest bit of moisture present. Still to this day, we have not found the correct technique to master this doozie!

technical rock feature on a climbing trail in ourimbah mountain bike park

Now that you have conquered… or pushed your way past, you can enjoy one last fast line – with several jumps – before reaching the seemingly never-ending set of switchbacks known as Strava Skills.

Not only is this an absolute killer to have at the end of a XC course, it’s made worse by the forever changing configuration of loose rocks underfoot.

mountain biking up strava skills next to a big fallen tree at ourimbah mountain bike park

I’m sure you can now see why we are more than happy to travel an hour any day of the week to play in this amazing MTB Park. No matter what level you are, you’ll be sure to have some fun.

We want to send a huge thanks to SPC Photography. Sam Clark looks after the photography on all event days, playing an important role in the Central Coast Mountain Bike Park Club.

The best part about this is, the photos are covered in entry fees, so obtaining awesome shots of yourself is as easy as downloading them from his website.

Sam’s photos are scattered throughout our post and can be identified by the number plate on the front of my bike.

mountain biker jumping a road gap at ourimbah mountain bike park

Where To Stay Near Ourimbah

Being located in between the two largest cities on the New South Wales east coast, you’re not going to have any trouble finding accommodation within an hours drive of the trailhead. For something unique and beautiful, check out the Hidden Valley Farm Stay located within the Ourimbah State Forest.

Camping is massive around this area with limitless options of caravan parks on the coast. Unfortunately, the Central Coast is a tourist haven so getting away with free camping can be tricky. However – due to the location – we’re sure that you could take your chances at the trailhead of Ourimbah Mountain Bike Park. Just be sure there isn’t a race day coming up!

Where To Eat Near By

The best place to go to satiate that ferocious appetite after a big days ride is Gosford. 25 mins away, Gosford is the largest town in the surrounding area and offers the widest variety.

Getting To Ourimbah MTB Park

Nestled smack bang in the middle of Sydney (1 hr 20 mins away) and Newcastle (1 hr away), the trailhead is easily accessible from the Pacific Highway. Take either the Tuggerah exit (and continue west onto Old Maitland Road) or Sparks Road exit (immediately turning left onto Hue Hue Road at the T-intersection).

It can be difficult to find the trailhead to Ourimbah Mountain Bike Park. Our best advice is to type TreeTops Central Coast into Google Maps and follow those directions. Once you arrive at the entrance on Red Hill Road, continue past TreeTops until you meet a large opening with a shelter – this is the Ourimbah Mountain Bike Park’s Carpark.


USEFUL LINKS

Ourimbah MTB Park Pinterest Pin
Ourimbah MTB Park Pinterest Pin
Ourimbah MTB Park Pinterest Pin