New kid on the block: Balancing mountain biking with other uses of NSW national parks.

Track and trail experiences have a long history in NSW national parks. Many tracks were created for bushwalking in the Blue Mountains in the late nineteenth century, and nowadays the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service manages more than 2,000km of walking tracks in parks and reserves around the state.

15% of Greater Sydney residents participated in mountain biking on an unsealed road or track in 2008, while in the Southern Tablelands and South Coast it was as high as 20% of residents who participated. Yet compared to bushwalking, mountain biking is a newcomer, so balancing this new use with the existing uses is a challenge for land managers.

In response to this challenge, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has undertaken a major consultation process to revise our Cycling Policy and develop a Sustainable Mountain Biking Strategy. This presentation will discuss some of the key challenges and outcomes of this process.

Author Biography

Phil Nicholas is an Experience Development Coordinator with National Parks and Wildlife Service (part of NSW Office of Environment and Heritage), where he works in event management and creating visitation strategies. Phil's passion for hiking began over twenty years ago lugging an overweight rucksack across England's Derbyshire Peak District to complete the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Having swapped ?hiking' for ?bush-walking' he is now eagerly exploring Australia's trails on foot and by bike.