In 2016 TRC developed the Master Plan for Mountain Biking in the Northern Territory which aims to establish Alice Springs as a leading world-class mountain biking hub and to develop distinctive, world-class adventure rides which are remote but accessible experiences showcasing the NT’s iconic landscapes (including the West MacDonnell Ranges area). Following this Master Plan, TRC wrote the Red Centre Adventure Ride Concept Plan. The plan detailed a 200 km trail between Alice Springs Desert Park and Glen Helen with options for multi-day and shorter rides, fully supported or self-guided tours at different price points and fully independent riding. Aiming to provide opportunities for the tourism industry, Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities to provide supporting products, services and trail maintenance. TRC received recognition for this work in the 2018 Awards for Planning Excellence, Northern Territory – Award for Planning Excellence – Best Planning Ideas – Large Project. Significantly, within one month of delivery, the Red Centre Adventure Ride Concept Plan was fully funded with $12 million from the NT Turbocharging Tourism Action Plan.
Janet Mackay, Chris Halstead, Chris Ord and Lisa Cheeseman are in the Northern Territory over the next few months starting the next phase of the project – planning and designing the track. Working together with The Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture, Aboriginal Traditional Owners, Central Land Council and a group of local Aboriginal trainees.
“Without doubt this new adventure ride will be a world first,” says Specialist Consultant Chris Ord “it will allow riders of all abilities an unforgettable journey through the stunning mountain desert landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges. There are of course many multiday rides around the world already but none that are based on 200km of custom designed, all off road trails, and none that reach so far into remote country like this.” says Chris. “As we began walking through country you could easily imagine being on a bike, encountering the constantly changing environment – gorges, escarpments, riverbed crossings, valleys and huge vistas across an ancient landscape. Plus there is the constant connection to the traditional owners who have generously allowed the trail to traverse their custodial lands. Their culture will be richly represented along the length of the Red Centre Adventure Ride, making it an adventure experience like no other.”
Over the coming months we will be stepping through the desert to carefully align and mark the final trail route, readying it for expert trail builders to bring the ride to life in the near future.