06 May 2019

Telegraph Station is one of Australia's most remarkable historic sites, and an icon of Alice Springs. But for mountain bikers, it's the huge network of trails that extend from the station that are the real drawcard.


Every which way you head out of Alice Springs, you’ll soon run into singletrack. But it’s the trails to the north of town, at the historic Telegraph Station, that are the heart of the network. Telegraph Station is a remarkable place; you can only imagine the isolation back in 1872, when this tiny outpost in the vast surrounding desert came into being as a repeater station for a telegraph cable from Adelaide to Darwin.

Sarah Tucknott, always happy to be on the trails, even at 5:45am.

Many of the original buildings still stand, surrounded by rustic cattleyards; the preserved history makes it one of the most intriguing spots in Alice Springs and the green lawns that run alongside the Todd River are a popular oasis for Alice locals on a weekend arvo. It’s also the busiest trailhead for mountain bikers too, and with coffee on offer at the Outback Cycling cafe on the station, it’s a perfect place for a morning ride.

Reece lofts it against the morning sky.
When you look at how rocky the Alice Springs terrain is, the flow and fun the trail builders have managed to create is impressive.

With the promise of a post-ride brew and the allure of a spectacular Alice Springs sunrise, the Tucknott family were up before dawn, lights on the bikes, seeking out a prime position to welcome a new day. After the world turned golden, the trails called. Telegraph Station is home to the only ‘formal’ trails in Alice, all mapped, with recommended loops marked out for different abilities. You can happily spend a day here on the Station trails alone, flowing along the ridge lines, or branching out into the broader network that plugs into Telegraph Station’s trails at many points.

Unlike some of the other riding zones in town, the trails are marked and the loops easy to follow. Plus with a bike shop and bike hire, plus food and coffee at the Outback Cycling store, you’ve got it all laid on for the travelling rider.

Tony Tucknott, following a perfect contour of singletrack through Telegraph Station.
Reece Tucknott – getting a taste for it. Trying to stop this guy riding is your biggest challenge.
Back to the Outback Cycling cafe to refuel.