Road trip to Pemberton Mountain Bike Park
Following a long weekend in Binningup we embarked on a slightly ambitious journey to drive down to Pemberton to check out the town’s mountain bike park before driving back to Perth, the very same day, and in time to prepare for work the next day. A quick calculation and that’s about 6 hours of driving for the day. Oh boy. The good thing about being in Binnginup is that we were only 2 hours drive from Pemberton, the journey already half made. Well, that is what I was telling myself to distract from the thought of the return journey from Pemberton to Perth, which isn’t all that bad, however after some full on biking, we would no doubt be pretty knackered.
We woke at around 5am, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was difficult to leave the comforts of that warm bed. Quietly tip toeing around the holiday house, trying not to wake our friends and their little one, I lit up the burner for the stovetop coffee, and a glance around I realised I hadn’t packed a whole bunch of stuff. It’s almost as if, when you try really hard not to make noise, you make good noise. And how!
On the road at the break of dawn made for some really enjoyable driving. There were patches of fog hovering over livestock in the paddocks, a sign winter is on the way. Next time we embark on a journey like this, I’ll try to think of this scenery as a motivation to get out of bed earlier, because it really was beautiful to see.
We stopped for a coffee break at Tall Timbers in Manjimup before arriving at the MTB park just before 9am.
In summary, the Pemberton mountain bike trails are located behind Pemberton’s ridiculously stunning natural swimming pool, and it’s a 1 minute drive from the town centre, so not a difficult task to find. There are roughly 22km of tracks, some for mountain biking and a few shared with hikers. Dirt jumps and a pump track are close to the car park. The almighty long distance Munda Biddi trail also cuts through the area, treating cross country riders to the option of a swim or refueling supplies in town quite easily.
The steep uphill climb to the blue and black tracks, although is quite short, does shock my body into instant wake up mode. I’m panting a bit and walk some of it while Derek who does really well on the uphill waits up top sussing out the tracks. The scenery is magical, a picture of tall karri trees and green shrubbery. Glimpses of green farming paddocks in the very background. Clean crisp air. The ground is hard and compact, this means we’ll be in for a fast down hill.
The spot where I meet Derek there are two tracks that we see, Relentless Blue and a black one (which means super challenging), Bloody Mary. There is also an upwards trail to the very start of that black run. Derek heads up and I roll down the blue track. Wow. It winds fast, there are berms and even two large wood walls. The trail forks, stay on it and you’ll come out on another track called Cool Runnings. It’s fun. Both lead to a firebreak, and down to the Munda Biddi, where we veer right towards the entry near the pool.
We spend a few hours in the park before we explore a bit of the dirt jump area, this is where we find an old steam train sitting on an embankment higher up. It was cool to check out, they are huge to stand next too!
We seriously didn’t want to leave Pemberton, what a tease those few hours were. The great thing I can see about Pemberton’s MTB Park is, there is something for the whole family, BBQ and picnic opportunities at the swimming pool, hiking, even the town centre is a short stroll away. Great for those individuals that happen to be the only mountain bikers in the group, you’ll be able to sneak off on the tracks.
The map we downloaded was out of date, there are a few new tracks in the area. In saying this I don’t think you can get terribly lost in this area. If the tourist bureau is open head over for a more up to date map.
Wembley Cycles in Perth stock a wonderful and comprehensive MTB trail book covering Western Australia – and it’s current!