Do I need to be an experienced cyclist to enjoy the Munda Biddi Trail?
No. The Munda Biddi Trail has been designed to appeal to people with a wide range of cycling capabilities, from families right through to the most experienced mountain bikers. While there are some rugged sections, steep descents, and hill climbs (mainly entering and exiting the river valleys), the majority of the Trail is on gently undulating ground.
Just remember to take it at your own pace and be sure to let the people you're riding with know your concerns. There's no doubt about it — off-road cycling is different! Expect a few more thrills than cycling on roads. Keep in mind, there's nothing wrong with a bushwalk on the Munda Biddi accompanied by a bicycle. Stop and smell the wildflowers, and take your time getting to know the Trail, your bike and your abilities.
The Munda Biddi Trail is a trail with something for everyone; there are sections of trail that will suit anyone's cycling ability and pace. The Trail has been designed to link to the many single-track circuits that already exist in the South West to allow for a varied off-road adventure. These are clearly marked on the maps and to find a route suitable for your level of experience and fitness level, see the section marked Trip Planning on the website.
Under the Conservation and Land Management Act, motorcycles are defined as vehicles and therefore are only allowed to use existing gazetted/public roads. It is illegal for motorcycles to use forest tracks that are not identified as gazetted roads, and the Munda Biddi Trail uses many sections of ungazetted/private trails. A motorcycle would be unsuitable on much of the remaining Munda Biddi Trail because it is newly constructed cycle trail and the surface in these sections wouldn't sustain this type of activity. And, because of their speed, motorcycles would be a hazard to walkers and cyclists on narrow sections of the Trail.
The Munda Biddi Trail is currently open between Mundaring and Manjimup (approx 600km) and Denmark and Albany (approx 75km). For a map and proposed trail opening schedule see the Map and Trail Project Update.
The following is the proposed trail opening schedule:
Manjimup - Walpole: Summer 2012
Walpole - Denmark: Autumn 2013
The completed Munda Biddi Trail will be officially opened in March/April 2013 when it will claim the title of the longest, continuous, off-road cycle trail of its kind in the world.
You are allowed to walk the Munda Biddi Trail if you wish to, just keep in mind that it is a bike trail designed specifically for the use of bikes and bike riders, and so be sure to take care when doing so. Be sure to keep an eye out for bikes on the trail and move to a safe distance off the trail if necessary to avoid collisions, remember it is likely they are travelling at a much faster pace!
Also due to the huts being spaced at a distance designed to suit a day's ride, they may be a bit too far apart to be walking from hut to hut to camp so keep that in mind if planning to walk overnight. For trails more suited for walking visit Trail Talk, Western Australia's premier trails social network, part of the recently launched TopTrailsWA. Their website is www.trailtalk.com.au/.
Just about any mountain bike will do, and other bicycles such as hybrids can also be used if they are fitted with wide (knobbly) off-road tyres, with widths of around 2.1 inches being suitable.
Front suspension and disc brakes are recommended as a basic requirement for the Trail, if you plan to carry gear with you on the bike, do not get a dual suspension (i.e. rear suspension) bike - these are a disadvantage for this type of use. Full suspension bikes are not absolutely necessary, but help when you ride over bumps. Suspension seat posts are useful to give a more comfortable long ride. Unless you intend to do some racing or strenuous riding, you don't really need clip - on bike shoes.
Dedicated racing, touring and recumbents are not suited to the Trail. Also, extension bikes and trailers for children are only suited to the flattest portions of the Trail. Contact the Fountation or visit the Trip Planning page if you need to some guidance on selecting suitable sections to ride.
If you would like to experience the Trail but don't own a bike, hire is available from several businesses along the Trail. Visit the Trail Services Directory for a more detailed list of businesses along the Trail.
About Bike Hire
Phone: (08) 9221 2665
Munda Biddi Mountain Bike Hire
Phone: 0429 924 691
Rock and Roll Mountain Biking
Phone: 0410 949 182
Phone: 08 9538 1127
Endless Trails Outdoor Adventures
Phone: 0409 053 052
Out of Sight Tours
Phone: 08 9848 2814
Albany Bicycle Hire
Phone: 08 9842 2468
Flat pedals are the most basic pedal system, providing a wide stable surface to support your feet on both sides. They are not intended for use with clipless shoes. Many downhill mountain bikers prefer this type of pedal mated with a specifically designed shoe. This combination provides ample grip and control while remaining the easiest to get off of in the event of a crash. While clipless pedals will release in the event of a crash, platform pedals may give you the confidence to help avoid a crash. Cycling shoes are usually paired with a clip in pedal to hold your feet securely on the bicycle. These pedals offer unmatched control with a minimum amount of your pedaling energy lost before it reaches the rear wheel. Depending on your level of experience and confidence with mountain bikes should influence the correct pedal choice for you.
The Munda Biddi Trail Foundation periodically organises rides associated with events, see the section marked Events on our website for further information. Also see the Trail Services Directory for a list of companies that organise trips on the Trail.
Bicycle associations which may have information about other rides on the Munda Biddi Trail include:
Western Australian Mountain Bike Association (WAMBA)
Cycle Touring Association
Phone: (08) 9382 1961
Bicycle Transport Alliance
Phone: (08) 9420 7210
Riding out on the Munda Biddi Trail with a group is a lot safer and is more fun! Here are some ideas for getting in touch with other keen cyclists:
1. Join us on an event
The Foundation holds events throughout the year including rides for families, over 55's, experienced riders and ladies only. We also have weekend getaways, mechanics clinics and trip planning nights so there really is something for everyone.
It's a great way to get started out on the Trail in a supported environment while meeting other riders!
2. Check out one of our social networking pages
3. Check out other local cycling clubs and events
There are currently a few alternatives, and we expect more to develop as awareness of the Munda Biddi Trail increases.
• WAMBA periodically runs a course: Dirt Skills Mountain Biking for Beginners. Contact them (see above) for the timing of their next course.
• Nearer to Nature runs a wide range of inventive, fun outdoor activities out of The Hills Forest Discovery Centre Allens Rd off Mundaring Weir Road, Mundaring. Bookings 9295 2244.
• The Munda Biddi Trail Foundation runs Trip Planning Nights that will describe what to expect and help you prepare. Check the events page for upcoming events.
The time it takes to cycle the Trail will vary according to your fitness level, cycling experience, and whether you are carrying camping equipment and food supplies. Have a look at the suggested Daily Ride Guide for an idea of the distances between campsites and towns. If you're new to off-road cycling, we strongly recommended that you do a series of day trips to test your fitness levels in preparation for a multi-day ride. Remember, off-road cycle touring is different to touring on bitumen. As a general rule, allow more time between destinations and carry less gear. Arrange a support crew or back-up vehicle if you are unsure of your capabilities.
Contact your local bike store for the best advice about choosing suitable equipment for off-road cycling. The following is a general guide:
You will lose a lot of water as you cycle, so don't underestimate the amount of water you need. To avoid dehydration, you should aim to drink at least one 750ml bottle every couple of hours, and even more in the summer months. Attach two water-bottle cages on your bike if possible. Hydropacks are a convenient way to carry water and make it easy to drink while riding. Remember to keep drinking after the day's ride to replenish lost fluids. Adding some cordial, fruit juice or sports drink can help replenish sugar levels and body salts. Located at each campsite are tanks full of rainwater, the purity of this water cannot be guaranteed so always treat the water first. Purifying options include boiling, filtration and using purification tablets.
Definitely! The Munda Biddi Trail Foundation sells maps, and can give members a 10% discount. Phone 9481 2483 or visit the online shop to place an order. Maps are also available from Department of Environment and Conservation Offices in Kensington, Mundaring, Dwellingup and Collie during office hours 8.30 4.30 Monday to Friday. Alternatively you can order the maps with your credit card over the phone from the Department of Environment of Conversation's Head Office (08) 9334 0333. Maps are also available from tourist centres and many bike shops, outdoor stores, and book and map shops.
Is a GPS worth the money?
Though GPS devices can be useful whilst on the Trail, the actual Munda Biddi Trail will not be able to be accessed on these devices, so its best to bring a map along also instead of relying on your GPS software. They can be useful to find main roads and nearby towns but be aware that sometimes maps are not always up to date so can be misleading or incorrect, many people have made the mistake when traveling on relying on electronic GPS devices and as a result ended up stranded due to old software, inadequate signal or battery failure so make sure you are prepared!
Autumn, spring and parts of winter are the best times to cycle the Trail. Spring in the jarrah forest is a true delight with the wildflowers in bloom. It is recommended that beginner cyclists avoid riding during the hotter months from December to March. Remember to always carry warm clothing when camping out, even in summer, because the evening temperatures can drop rapidly.
For more laid back, simple rides on the trail; the following rides are rated easy classified by the level of difficulty based on distance, level of terrain and surface conditions:
The Munda Biddi Trail officially starts at Sculpture Park in Mundaring and currently ends in Manjimup. But 2WD vehicles can access the Munda Biddi Trail quite easily at many access points in between. Vehicle access points are indicated by a red car symbol on the Trail maps. Unfortunately, there is no public transport to Jarrahdale or Dwellingup. Public transport is available to Collie through the South West Coachlines.
The Department for Planning and Infrastructure's Cycling website has a map of cycle trails that can be used to link to the northernmost section of the Munda Biddi Trail. Go to the Ride Through the Hills map and click on the section you're interested in for a more detailed map you can print and take with you. DPI also provides information about bikes on trains.
From the Midland Train Station: Ride Through the Hills Ride 1 can take you to Sculpture Park in Mundaring (Munda Biddi Northern Terminus)
From Kelmscott Station: You can follow Ride Through the Hills Ride 3 Section 3 to Brookton Highway, and follow it to the trail -- but be advised there is quite a lot of truck traffic on the highway and the shoulder conditions vary. Alternately take Canning Mills Road to Canning Road where you can either take it north to Pickering Brook (see above) or south to O'Meagher to Illawarra to Dale roads to link to the trail and the Carinyah campsite. Another option is to take Ride Through The Hills Ride 3 from Roleystone, follow Croyden Road, pass turnoff to Araluen Park, follow to Gardiner Road north to Brookton Hwy where you can either turn right and follow to the Carinyah MTB Trail or left to Canning Road and Illawarra (see above). Refer to your Munda Biddi Map 1a for more detail.
*** Remember *** Allow enough time to get to your starting point and then add the riding time on the trail. For example, if you arrive in Mundaring at midday, you may not have time to reach the first campsite at Carinyah by dark.
The Mundaring Heritage Tour Company offers transport services to the very start of the Munda Biddi Trail. Transfers are available from the Perth International or Domestic airports and pre-determined pick-ups from the Trail to booked accommodation are available by prior arrangement. Up to five riders and their bikes will be comfortably transported in a fully licensed, tourism approved commuter bus.
Transfers to the trail for up to 5 bikes plus their riders can also be arranged through BCT Transfers, phone 1300 763 005 for further information or visit their website www.bcttransfers.com. Also through a partnership with About Bike Hire you can now hire your bikes and have them and yourself transported to the Trail, phone 08 9221 2665 or visit their website aboutbikehire.com.au.
You don't have to register to ride the Trail, but you should always leave an itinerary with a trusted person at home that includes: where and when the ride starts and finishes; planned overnight camping locations; details of vehicle in carpark; relevant details of the group, including illnesses or medication taken, and experience; what gear the group has (first aid kits, extra food, radio, phone etc); and when and how authorities should be notified.
We certainly don't encourage it because riding solo can leave you vulnerable if you have an accident or breakdown. It could be hours, or even days before you see other cyclists on parts of the Trail. And if you have a broken bone or smashed bike...or worse... you won't be able to reach safety by yourself. Remember, you can't count on your mobile phone to work in the bush. A lone cyclist who is ill or injured should STAY ON THE TRAIL even if it means spending an unplanned night in the forest. Camp close to the Trail so you can be easily found. The Department of Environment and Conservation does not monitor individual's progress (this is the responsibility of each cyclist's personal back-up). However, it is useful to contact the DEC District Office that you are cycling near for the latest information on the trail conditions (eg. recent fires, water in tanks etc.) before you start your journey.
Note: The Police are the agency responsible for search and rescue in Western Australia. They will usually involve the Department of Environment and Conversation in searches on the trail. Your safety is our concern, but it is YOUR responsibility!
There are two types of Trail markers — those located on yellow posts and on trees. Both use blue triangular markers with a reflective yellow Munda Biddi symbol. As a general rule the posts are situated every 1km or when required at critical intersections. Tree arrows are designed to guide you between the posts and are placed every 200-300m. Even though the Trail is well marked, it is possible to miss the directional marking for a variety of reasons. Therefore ensure that you know how to read the map and understand the terrain profiles. Cautionary signage is also used to indicate oncoming hazards or obstacles such as steep descents, water crossings, gates and major road crossings.
The terrain profile on the map is useful to see the overall topography of the Trail route. The terrain profile also indicates the difficulty level of the Trail. Challenging sections contain some steep hills while the easy sections have mainly gentle grades.
The other roads shown are often in disease risk areas (DRA). Use of any vehicle (including bicycles) in DRA is illegal because they spread the destructive 'dieback' root disease by transporting spores from the soil. Some roads are not accessible for safety reasons or due to negative impact of vehicles on conservation areas. Support vehicles can only be used on the gazetted (gravel/sealed) roads marked on the map.
Do not expect to rely on your mobile phone. Much of the trail passes through forest areas and river valleys with unreliable coverage.
The Trail uses a network of bush tracks, firebreaks and old railway lines. The majority of the Trail is on gently undulating ground, except where the Trail enters and exists river valleys, and traverses the edge of the Darling scarp. The surface is predominantly compacted laterite (pea gravel) soils, however in some areas the surface may consist of loose gravel that can be especially loose in summer and slippery in winter. Riding on uneven surfaces and carrying camping gear can dramatically alter your bikes steering and handling capabilities. If you are not experienced in cycling off-road or used to carrying camping gear, it is recommended that you begin with some day rides before embarking on a multi-day ride.
Even though the Munda Biddi Trail does not pass through the designated Dieback Disease Risk Area (the red hashed area marked the map), the Trail does pass through some small pockets of clean or disease-free bushland. Along the Trail there are areas currently signed 'Dieback Free' between Jarrahdale Rd and the Balmoral POW camp. People cycling in this area should not be alarmed by the signage; it's primarily aimed at earthmoving and harvesting contractors. However cyclists are encouraged to stay on the trail at all times and you can reduce your risk of spreading the disease by brushing down your tyres before entering these areas.
It is likely you may come across a variety of different animals on the Trail, especially if camping overnight as most are nocturnal. Some animals on the trail may include Western Grey Kangaroon, Brushtail Possum, Gilbert's Potoroo, Tammar Wallaby, Numbat, Woylie, Chuditch, Dibbler, Brush-Tailed Phascogale, Western Pygmy Possum, Western Brush Wallaby and the Western Ringtail Possum to name a few. Birds are more commonly seen due to being around during the day and include Twenty-eight parrots, Galahs, Magpies, Spinifex Pigeons, Kookaburras, Carnaby's (Short-billed) and Baudin's (Long-billed) Black-Cockatoos, Western Corella, Red-capped Parrot and Western Rosella; Western Wattlebird and Western Spinebill; Red-winged Fairywren, Red-eared Firetail, Western Thornbill and White-breasted Robin; and the Western Bristlebird.
Whilst riding on the Trail depending on the season and area you may come across the following types of wildflowers including acacia lasiocarpa, common cats paw, kangaroo paw, sticky tail flower, woolly, scarlet, firewood, oakleaved, cut leaf, sceptre and showy banksia, swamp bottlebrush, aniseed boronia, wispy spider orchid, waxflower, cowslip, pink fairies and vanilla orchid, karri dampiera, Cranbrook bell, donkey orchid, bridal rainbow, wedge leaved dryandra, showy dryandra, pink enamel orchid, mottlecah, rose mallee, Albany blackbutt, coral vine, flame grevillea, pink pokers, emu tree, scarlette runner, hooded lily, rabbit orchid, pixie mops and many more.
While snakes are common, they are rarely seen and will only strike if cornered. If you see a snake on Trail, approach with caution. Quite often the snake will feel surface vibrations and move away before you even recognise it's there. March flies, ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies and midges are common so insect repellent is essential.
No. Dogs are not permitted in drinking water catchment areas, national and conservation parks, and nature reserves whether on or off the lead. A good portion of the Trail falls into these categories. Many areas along the Trail are periodically baited. If a dog picks up baits, it will lead to a quick and painful death.
No, the majority of the Munda Biddi Trail is not open to equestrian riders. While riders are not prevented from using existing formed roads, it is important to remember that horses are not permitted on any section of purpose built track on the Trail.
There is an 8km section of dual usage trail between Elleker and Torbay called the Torbay Rail Trail. This section, which is now part of the Munda Biddi Trail, has been developed by the Department of Environment and Conservation in conjunction with the Torbay Catchment Group and is suitable for equestrian riders, walkers and cyclists. More information about the group can be found here - www.torbay.scric.org/index.html.
The TopTrailsWA website also shows equestrian trails available in WA.
It is not advisable to ride the Trail at night due to risks that may be involved due to limited vision in the dark. If you are caught riding in the dark until the nearest campsite is reached it is recommended you pack a bright headlight and bike lamp (front and rear tail light) that can be easily accessed and used. Bright clothing should also be worn in night to provide easier visibility for other riders in the group or other Trail users. If you are looking to just experience riding on the Trail at nighttime, the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation holds the 'Munda Biddi Mooners', a full moon, evening ride event, see the website for more information.
Camping anywhere other than the designated campsites is prohibited in drinking water catchment areas. Catchment rangers regularly patrol these areas. People found camping outside of these sites could be subject to prosecution under the by-laws of the Metropolitan Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Act. HELP PROTECT OUR DRINKING WATER — camp responsibly!
There are two types of campsites along the Munda Biddi Trail: the purpose-built Munda Biddi campsites (marked in green on the maps) and the regular forest-based campsites (marked in yellow). The vehicle-based forest campsites are accessible by car, but only have basic facilities including a bush toilet, tent sites, picnic tables and a fire ring. They do not include a sleeping shelter or water tanks, making them are better suited to people with support vehicles.
The purpose-built Munda Biddi campsites contain a sleeping shelter that holds 20-25 people, several tent sites, a composting toilet (bring your toilet paper!), two rainwater tanks, picnic tables and a bike storage shelter. Please note that Munda Biddi campsites are campfire-free.
Yes. The purity of water from any source cannot be guaranteed. Cyclists are responsible for treating their own drinking water. Options include boiling, mechanical filtration and using purification tablets.
No, all the purpose-built campsites marked in green on the maps are for cyclists only and are not accessible by vehicle. This has been done to give cyclists as natural an experience as possible, to protect water supplies and to minimise vandalism. However there are several campsites along the Trail that can be accessed by cars and buses (in some circumstances), making them suitable for cyclists with support vehicles.
Note: Some of these sites may have camping fees.
No. The purpose-built Munda Biddi campsites have been designated 'FUEL STOVES ONLY' to help preserve the surrounding natural bushland and ecosystem. Cyclists camping out will need to carry a fuel stove or choose an alternative method of cooking. Methylated spirit or gas-operated stoves are generally more efficient than traditional open fires, and they are great when it rains. If you are seeking the ambiance of an open fire, the vehicle-based forest campsites — Gooralong, Whittaker's Mill and Marrinup— have fire ring facilities, but fires are not allowed during months of high fire danger from October through March.
When using the Munda Biddi Trail, Leave No Trace Principles should be followed at all times. In regards to rubbish while riding, step 3 of the LNT principles should be followed: Dispose of waste properly.
For more information visit the Leave No Trace website www.lnt.org.au/
Groups of 10 or more cannot occupy the sleeping shelter before 6pm. In the interests of minimum impact, large organised tour groups, schools and clubs are asked to use the nearby vehicle-based forest campsites whenever possible.
Keep your group size manageable; up to 6 people is preferred. Keeping a cycling group together in the bush can sometimes be more difficult than bushwalking, because cycling is a faster activity and people ride at different rates. The most experienced rider in your group should go first, but the leader needs to be aware that he or she will be expected to cycle more slowly and stop more often than they may be used to. The leader will watch for markers and warn about upcoming obstacles for following riders.
Another experienced rider must go last ensuring that no one is left behind. The leader should wait for the cleanup or "Tail-End Charlie" to catch up at each major junction. The whole group must ride at the pace of the slowest rider, and if anyone shows signs of tiredness, heat exhaustion or dehydration, rest and drink. This is probably the best excuse to park the bike, get the snacks out and enjoy the bush and the company of the other riders.
Keep in eye or vocal contact with the cyclists in front and behind you. If you lose contact, stop and stay where you are until others from the group join you.
If it becomes necessary along the way, you might want to break up into two groups depending on ability and desire for speed. This must be a conscious decision and everyone must be aware of the change. Always notify the ride leader or cleanup if you have to leave the group for any reason.
If you are planning a ride with a group of 8 or more people you will need to first fill out a Notification of Intent form for the Department of Environment and Conservation. See Groups Using the Trail for more information.
The Trail passes through a number of small country towns with a range of accommodation. However, the first section starting in Mundaring travels 103km before it arrives in the next town of Jarrahdale, and then a further 81km to Dwellingup and so on. These distances are too long for all but the fittest cyclists to do in one day. If you don't wish to camp out under the stars, it is recommended that you organise a support team or arrange for someone to pick you up at the end of each day, take you to a town, and then drop you back on the trail the next day. Alternately you can plan day trips beginning and ending in town.
For more information on accommodation and surrounding attractions visit the Trail Services Directory or contact:
(08) 9550 3998 or website: www.peeltour.net.au
or website: www.collierivervalley.org.au
or website: www.nannupwa.com.au
or website: www.manjimupwa.com
The Trail is designed so that it passes through a variety of towns along the ride, usually varying around one day to three days ride between. Due to this it is possible to restock food and drink supplies and carry out any repairs and means you never have to carry more than a couple days worth of food on longer trips. Visit the Trail Services Directory for more information on the services available along the Trail.
After your adventure...
While the Department of Environment and Conservation manages the Trail, the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation has been established as the friends-of-the-trail organisation. Members have been active in trail construction and sourcing funds for the Trail. As the Trail progresses, the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation's role will grow and they will be organising volunteers to maintain the Trail as well as holding cycling events. Contact the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation or visit the volunteer pages if you would like to be involved or to support the organisation.
By becoming a Cycle Friendly Business, you agree to offer a range of cyclist friendly services at your business. In return, your business will be promoted through the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation's extensive marketing and promotional initiatives targeted specifically at cycle tourists. You will also become part of a growing network of businesses all working together to increase cycle tourism in WA.
Becoming cycle friendly is easy. The aim is to provide facilities for riders to Refresh, Refill, Revitalise, Repair and Ride. It's not expensive and much of the infrastructure may already be established on premise. The following highlights some general Cycle Friendly Business criteria:
The cost of Cycle Friendly Business accreditation for one year is $195 (note, Visitor Centres are eligible for a reciprocal membership). Visit the Cycle Tourism pages for more information.
Didn't find the answer that you were looking for? Please contact us.
Thank you to Jilly Crossley for her assistance in compiling this information.
The Munda Biddi Trail is a world-class, nature-based, off-road cycling experience.
Starting in Mundaring, the Trail meanders through scenic river valleys and the magnificent eucalypt forests of Western Australia's South West.
Thank you to our primary sponsor Alcoa Australia.
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