Royal National Park

The Royal National Park, established in 1879, is the second oldest national park in the world after Yellowstone National Park in the USA. The park boasts of riverside picnics, great surf beaches, clifftop heathland walks, rainforest cycle tracks, and much more. In July 2006, the park was added to the national Heritage list.

If you're interested in mountain biking, the park offers several popular bicycle rides. Please note that some tracks may be closed periodically for rehabilitation, so observe track signage.

Here are some of the recommended tracks:

Lady Carrington Drive: This is an undulating 3-meter wide track which is 9km one way. It's recommended for children and family groups and those seeking a chance encounter with an echidna or lyrebird.

East Heathcote Trails: A variety of loops can be accessed from Heathcote Station or streets. The terrain is generally flat, although some steep sections are encountered at creek crossings. The Lakes Trail has now been upgraded for cycling access.

Loftus Loop Trail: Comprises some 8km of fire trail and 2km of single track accessible from a variety of locations. The terrain varies from flat, wide-open trails to steep rocky firetrail medium grade single track. Note that steep sections of fire trail are not recommended for inexperienced riders. Take care at Tramway crossings- Trams have right of way at all times.

It's important to note that while cycling in Royal National Park is allowed on unmarked fire trails, you are only allowed to ride on those tracks which are specially marked at the trackhead and at periods along their length by a cycling post. If there is no post, do not take your bicycle down a single track. Not only do you risk damaging the park environment and colliding with other park users, but riding along unauthorised trails or offtrack through bushland, invites a fine of up to $3,300.

To protect the rich diversity of plants and animals in the park, park users are expected to follow a code of conduct when using the park. This includes keeping your bicycle clean or washing it before entering the park, staying on designated cycling routes, observing cycle route closures, giving way to walkers, slowing down on blind corners, staying to the left, and not making new trails, moving bush rocks or logs, or pruning or cutting native vegetation. Additionally, always prioritize safety by wearing a helmet and appropriate clothing, carrying water and a first aid kit, and riding within your capabilities. Don't ride on tracks after heavy rainfall or skid your bicycle, and observe park closures. The park is closed between sunset and sunrise, and tracks may also be closed on Total Fire Ban or park fire ban days. If in doubt, ring 95420648 to confirm. Lastly, protect your future access by ensuring others are aware of this code of conduct.