Charles Darwin NP Pump Track - Fast Facts

Trail number

Not applicable

Trail length

9 kilometres (trail should be ridden in anticlockwise direction)

Elevation variance

30 metres

Trail type

Single trail, fire trail

Trail surface

Smooth dirt, rocks and rock outcrops

Weather affected

Prone to be muddy after heavy rain

Trail condition sources

Nil

Trail features

Berms, jumps, drop offs, switchbacks,

Trail obstacles

Log obstacles, natural rock gardens, take the insect repellent (midges can be a problem at certain times)

Trail Rating

Trail rating

Intermediate

Rating basis

Estimated

Night riding

No - park has a set closing time.

Family Friendly

No

Trail Map and GPX File

Click Image For Trail Map

 

Click here for GPX download

Trail Description

Below are some photos and ride notes for the Main Trail. The trails are well made and vary from intermediate to advanced. There is a good map located on the Darwin Off Road Cyclists (DORC) website here so use that as required. For non locals, the map is a must have as the route is not sign posted and there are a few points where you can follow a side track or end up on a fire trail and not know where to go. Having said that, there are more tracks than shown on the DORC map.

With Darwin being small you can ride to the National Park from most inner suburbs but it should be noted that Darwin's weather (particularly during and to either side of the wet season which is typically October to April) can be pretty energy sapping to ride in particularly on the humid days. On this basis, it is best to ride in the cooler parts of the day where possible and take a good amount of water for the trip there.

There was no distinct trailhead that I could locate so I suggest starting from the car park area as it's easy to pick up the trail from here.  The DORC website indicates the park is open from 7am to 7pm. The sign at the front gate has been changed to 8am but I did get there about 7.30am one day and it was open already.

The picnic area is very nice and well catered with BBQs, toilets and drinking water is available. This is handy as the track loop comes back to this area with the trail being a northern and a southern section meaning you can pick up extra water as required on the humid days. Pictures of the picnic area from car park and from in picnic area as well as view back to Darwin are shown below.

Picnic area and facilities

Pictures of picnic area and views from lookout over mangrove swamps.

One thing for non-Darwinians to note is that there are small biting insects called midges in the area which can cause irritating bites and are largely around in the morning and evening with a heavier presence around the time of the full moon. The advice is to cover up or use insect repellent. I used insect repellent only and had no issues.

The national park sits on the rise above the mangrove areas and is largely typical dry open bush typical of the NT. The trails are hard packed dirt and rock based with some sections subject to mud in the wet season. There was no indication of mud areas on my trip (September) apart from some dried out bog holes in a few of the lower portions of the track. It should be noted that some of the exposed rock sections are good for getting pinch flats so I'd run a slightly higher tyre pressure to avoid this on these trails. Refer trail notes below for further information.

From the Trailhead

Head to the carpark area as shown on the DORC map. The trails are meant to be ridden in the anticlockwise direction. This is important as there are some large step downs which you won't get up (and they're hard enough to get down particularly those located on a bend!)

To access the loop head north along the exit road from the car park past the armament dump and head off to the left at the fire extinguisher as shown in the second photo. The photos below are of the northern portion of the trail only but give a good idea of the terrain you pass through in the park.

Obstacles are typically rocks or logs on the trail as per photo above.

Typical step downs in middle and right had photos. Don't look too hard but placement in a switchback makes them pretty hard.

Trail Videos

No video available for this trail.

Parking and Facilities
Parking is available at picnic area inside park.
Toilet facilities are available at picnic area inside park.
No drinking water is available.
No food or drinks are available in the immediate area.
No local information facilities are available.