Dirt bike laws in Adelaide are strict and so finding a place to ride anywhere in South Australia can be tricky. Here are the best offroad spots around.
In almost every case, you will need some form of transport to get your dirt bike around. That’s commonly a trailer, ute, van or even a light truck. You could also get a caravan toy hauler or use a motorbike ramp on your tailgate.
Best Places to Ride A Dirt Bike near Adelaide
South Australia has dozens of motocross tracks and clubs. However, that probably isn’t what you’re looking for. You want a riding spot that you can head to any day of the week to tear up some tracks and really twist that throttle open wide.
Unfortunately, with Adelaide being a conservative city, it’s damn hard to find anywhere to ride. The beautiful Kuitpo Forest has a solid ban on dirt bikes, as does Blackwood and Mount Crawford. You can only go here with a trail bike if you’re camping with a 40km/h speed limit imposed on unsealed tracks.
Often the best idea to open the throttle up is to join a club. This way you can get access into otherwise very restricted riding areas, even if you are unregistered.
So we’ve done a lot of research for you and have come across these as the best dirt bike tracks near Adelaide:
1. Port Gawler Off Road Park
This is an enduro track and MX track combined and makes for the perfect weekend getaway. This is the same place where the bitumen race track is.
If you’re searching for a place to ride an unregistered dirt bike near Adelaide, then this is one of the closest spots to the city. Port Gawler Off Road Park is available for both adults and kids who want someone to hone their skills and leave the stress of the week behind.
You can also take quad bikes and side-by-side dune buggy’s here.
2. Acusa Park (just past Adelaide Hills)
This is a family park that caters for kids and adults who want to ride fast-flowing MX and enduro tracks. There is a beginners circuit available for those learning to ride a dirt bike.
Getting here is easy and the place is less than 1 hour from the city at Harrogate. Not so good for those wanting fast speeds or exploring tracks, but the perfect place for an easy day trip.
Unfortunately, quad bikes aren’t permitted to ride at this park.
3. Flinders Ranges
To really have freedom, you’ve got to get away from the CBD and the politicians! The Flinders Ranges has many dirt tracks and gravel roads where you can let loose on your registered dirt bike.
This place is hugely popular with adventure motorcyclists looking for somewhere close to Adelaide in which to explore. The rugged beauty and scenic areas, paired with the vastness of the place does make for the perfect weekend getaway.
Flinders Ranges dirt bike riding is best done in the cooler winter months. During summer it can reach 45c and makes for an unpleasant journey. There are many motorcycling trails for adventure bikes.
The best recommendation is to join the Facebook page and partake in the banter. Head along on an organized group ride or even do a tour.
4. Murray River region
There are many places on the Murray River in South Australia where you can ride a dirt bike. Gravel tracks lead in and out of the river every few kilometres and there are plenty of camping spots too.
Off the top of our heads:
- Monarto/Stonewall Park
For an adventure motorcycle rider, heading up to the Murray River is definitely the perfect multi-day adventure. Many riders from Adelaide in the dual sport scene head up this way come Friday afternoon.
Also, the Murray River MX Club and track is well maintained with frequent events. You don’t need to live locally to join.
Are there documented dirt bike tracks for the Murray River? Not really, but you’ll find plenty of tracks if you simply go exploring. Some spots are local secrets that you simply won’t find online.
Many of the camp sites require decent drive on unsealed roads.
5. Port Augusta and Whyalla
There are numerous good riding spots near Port Augusta and Whyalla. As you’re so close to the Flinders Rangers, it makes for a great multi-day adventure.
The distance from Adelaide is 4 to 5 hours if you sit on the speed limit. However, once you get there, you’ll see how worthwhile the tracks are.
It’s mostly open country and fast-flowing trail sections. If you’re looking to get into your top end gears, then this is a solid spot for you.
6. Coorong National Park
Heading to the Coorong National Park is a top spot to bring your dirt bike while also doing some 4×4 exploring too. There is 130km worth of beach to explore. Uniquely, they allow dogs to enter this park provided they are on a leash.
Pro-tip: Book a campsite in advance especially if it’s a public holiday weekend or school holidays. Some spots of the Coorong are closed during the summer months to protect migrating birds in the area.
Again – another great spot if you’re into adventure motorcycles and want to test your sand riding abilities. This place is a haven for 4×4’s so keep an eye out ahead of you.
7. Big Desert Wilderness Area / Ngarkat
A lot of people don’t realize that you can ride in the Big Desert Wildnerness Area. This is right on the SA/VIC border near Keith and is likely where famous Dakar rider Andy Caldecott did some of his early years of practice.
Given this is right near the Coorong, add this to our list while you’re in the area. There are small towns nearby for fuel and supplies. A lot of the tracks here are fast-flowing gravel and shared by local pastoralists, as well as 4wd enthusiasts.
In the summer months, it can get really hot out here at Ngarkat. Spring and autumn are the best time to ride. Again, another spot where you’ll need to be registered to ride legally.
Tips for safe riding
Now that you have a fair idea on where you can ride, let’s get into some of the best tips for a great day out there on the trails:
Join an Adelaide club
Seriously! They will help you find mates to ride with and new tracks to explore. Plus if you’re having trouble with a hill climb, at least you have some backup.
There are numerous dirt bike, trail and enduro clubs in Adelaide. Some are available for casual rides for those that don’t want to do racing. The Dual Sports Riders Association of Adelaide has a great community.
Look around corners
Many dirt bike tracks in South Australia are long and high speed flowing sections. Avoid having tunnel vision and get into the habit of looking around corners. There could be a 4×4 smack bang in the middle of the track with a nasty bullbar ready to take you out.
Don’t put the power down on the rear wheel until you can clearly see the exit in the corner. When it comes to braking, slow down early and be in the right gear before the corner starts.
In winter it can get seriously cold away from the city and in summer, seriously hot too. Pack the right riding gear for the conditions and bring plenty of water. Given the lack of phone signal, satellite phone in your dirt bike backpack can be worth the investment, especially if you’re riding solo.
With any trip, it all comes down to proper planning. That includes looking out for advancing weather conditions since places near Adelaide can truly have 4 seasons in 1 day. The deserts in South Australia can also get cold in winter.
Make a trip of it
Day trips from Adelaide are harder because of the distance you need to cover to find good riding spots, with the exception of a few listed above. Make a week-long dirt biking trip and visit several places at once.
Bring your kids, the wife and all the gear. Your dogs can even come if you’re not heading into national parks.
Follow the dirt bike riding etiquette
Don’t be a tool and tear up tracks. Private property is a no-go zone. And most importantly, slow down around other track users. We’re not the only riders out there.
Dirt bike riders have created a bad name for themselves, especially the younger MX crowd. If you’re on an organized ride, follow the rules and you’ll be invited back next time.
Join an Adelaide trail bike riding tour
You can hire a bike and go solo or simply join along with an organized tour. They typically head north to the Flinders Ranges. These are a great way to meet some local friends who share the same hobbies, while also exploring trails safely.
Adelaide is a conservative city and getting away into outback SA is the way to go. However, as with any place, safe riding takes precedence.
Other dirt bike riding spots in South Australia
If you’re prepared to do a big drive, then get right out into the deserts of South Australia. There are many options worth considering:
- The Great Victoria Desert which touches into South Australia at certain parts
- The famous Simpson Desert which we’ve written a solid ADV riding guide to help you traverse it safely. You’ll need solid sand riding abilities.
- Little Sandy Desert and the Sturt Stony Desert. Popular with 4wd adventurers.
- The Strzelecki Desert which will truly make you feel a million miles away.
- There are also the Tirari and Pedrika Deserts which are smaller but still with plenty of gravel tracks to put a smile inside your helmet.
Note: These tracks may venture into APY Lands and a permit may need to be obtained from Anangu.
These are a big drive from Adelaide and will require at least 1 day of driving/riding to simply get there on the highway. Bring plenty of fuel and supplies. Desert riding is best done with a group.
There are dirt bike riding spots near the Adelaide Hills but you’re often venturing on to private property. Legal spots are limited and rangers/police often patrol this area looking for riders trespassing.
Kersbrook, Lobethal, Mount Pleasant, Woodside, Gumeracha and Birdwood may have some legal fire roads worth exploring on 2-wheels.
Adelaide riding spots: In summary
Within a few hours of Adelaide, there are some great dirt bike riding spots. Venture further and you have significantly more riding spots.
|Place name||Distance from town||Terrain||Popularity|
|Port Gawler Off Road Park||45 minutes||Flat enduro sections||10/10|
|Acusa Park||55 minutes||Mixed terrain||10/10|
|Flinders Ranges||4.5 hours||Technical sections and open enduro sections||9/10|
|Murray River region||2 to 5 hours||Sandy country and mildly technical sections||8/10|
|Port Augusta and Whyalla||4 to 5 hours||Rocky outcrops and sandy sections||8/10|
|Coorong National Park||1.5 hours||100% sandy sections||7/10|
|Big Desert Wilderness Area / Ngarkat||3 hours||Fast-flowing gravel and enduro tracks. Mild technical sections||5/10|
|The Great Victoria Desert||20 hours||Open plains and fast-flowing desert tracks. Sandy.||3/10|
|Simpson Desert||12 hours||Mostly sandy tracks and muddy country.||5/10|
|Little Sandy Desert|
Sturt Stony Desert
|12 hours||Lots of sand. Wide open country with fast-flowing enduro tracks.||4/10|
|The Strzelecki Desert||14 hours||Lots of sand. No trees. Fast-flowing enduro.||5/10|
|Tirari/Pedrika Deserts||12 hours||No hills. Fast-flowing gravel tracks.||3/10|
Certainly, for the adventure bike rider, there are options galore. Pack those panniers and top up the Safari tank.
As for weekend warriors in the enduro, trail bike and MX scene, there are more than enough options out there. Plan in advance and bring a mate.
Stay safe and we’ll see you out there on the trails!
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