'World's best' multi-day trail for NT
A new multi-day trail is being planned for the Northern Territory, as part of a government program to boost tourism to the top end.
With $12 million earmarked for the new trails, it's arguably the single biggest investment in mountain biking infrastracture by any Australian state or territory government.
The Northern Territory minister for tourism and culture, Lauren Moss, said the funding will create "a new tourism asset" called the Red Centre Adventure Ride.
“The Red Centre Adventure Ride will allow us to compete with other iconic mountain bike trails nationally and internationally – it will attract this growing tourist market to Central Australia and give other visitors another great thing to do," she said in a release.
“It will be more than 200 kilometres of pure outback adventure and build Central Australia’s global reputation for mountain biking.”
The $12 million - allocated out of a wider $103 million tourism fund - to develop the new trails will create local jobs and business opportunities through the construction phase.
The proposed trail network will link the Alice Springs Desert Park to Glen Helen in Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park, creating what the government says will be a unique trail adventure for riders of all skill levels.
It will also open up the West MacDonnell area to mountain bikers for the first time, with new campgrounds planned for the area.
Ms Moss said this project will complement the Alice Springs Mountain Bike trail network that's set for further expansion in 2018.
New trail work on the west side of Alice Springs will link up to existing trails in the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Reserve, according to the government.
Alice Springs plays host to the multi-day Redback stage race, which takes place in August.