A tender has been released to construct mountain bike trails in the Nitmiluk National Park.
It is part of the $11.5 million from the NT Government for new walking trails, visitor centre upgrades and the new bike trails.
The tender reveals at least some section of the trails will "co-exist" with walking trails and will necessarily be one-way because of limits to the widths of the trail, often hampered by the steepness of the terain.
The government believe adventure tourism and mountain biking is a global growth tourism industry.
"Shared routes (mountain biking/walking) in Nitmiluk context should be sympathetic to and submissive to the surrounding environment. They should look like trails, not tracks/roads," the tender documents say.
"The off-road cycling experience design should specifically cater to non-technical riders i.e. those comfortable riding a bike on dirt trails, but not necessarily regarding themselves as 'proficient technical' riders and specifically not competitive mountain bike riders seeking 'adrenaline challenge' experience.
"The market would by and large be a 'hire market', boosting the economic argument for trails investment, via increased economic stimulus and employment through establishment of service provider businesses (hire, maintenance and guiding)."
The width of the trail was a concern for designers.
"The primary issues are regards track width. Aligning across the escarpment slope, there exists a fall side (low) and high side for trail users. In terms of design this requires some dig-in on the high side and fill requirement on the low side to ensure the trail base remains flat for the rider / walker. The wider the trail design, the more the trail build will cost in terms of materials (fill/footing /foundation) and engineering (dig in, earth movement and build)."
The government is also constructing mountain bike trails in the Darwin and Alice Springs areas.
"Mountain biking as a recreational activity and mountain biking tourism are growth areas in Australia and globally. With its iconic landscapes in the Red Centre and Top End and the growth of distinctive riding experiences at Alice Springs, the Northern Territory is poised to develop as a premier adventure mountain biking destination," a government document says.
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