Return to Shop. Continue planning your vacation.

Back to Mountain Biking

MTB Beginner Guide

Looking to hit the gravity mountain bike tracks for the first time? You’ve come to the right place! Our Beginner Guide has everything you need to get started…

The Thredbo Mountain Bike Park is designed for skill progression with trails and terrain to suit everyone from beginner riders through to the pros. Discover everything you need from day one with bikes and gear conveniently located at Thredbo Retail & Rental and MTB School instructors who will make sure your first day is a great one.

MTB SchoolKnow Your Level

Nail The Basics
Trail Map Explained
First Trails & Beyond
Choose Your Ride
No Bike? No Problem
Gear Guide
Nail The Basics

We highly recommend that beginners get the right techniques from the start by taking a lesson with one of Australia’s top certified instructors at Thredbo’s MTB School. Clinics run daily at 10AM.

Never ridden a mountain bike before?

Our 2-hour Intro to MTB Clinics are specifically tailored to riders who are new to the MTB world, helping you to get to know your bike, select your gears and control your brakes. 

Find Out More

Are you confident on a BMX, road bike or motorbike?

With some basic skills under your belt already, you’ll be ready to ride easy gravity trails with a certified instructor in a MTB Fundamentals Clinic.

Find Out More

Not sure what level you are? 

No matter what level you are, the MTB School has programs designed to help you improve your skills. Take our handy quiz to find out which Clinic is right for you.

Take The Quiz

Trail Map Explained

It’s important to understand the difficulty rating system and trail types so that you know which ones are best suited to your abilities. Before you ride, spend some time exploring the Mountain Bike Park map so that you’re good to go upon arrival. 

Trail Styles

  • Gravity Trails: Lift-accessed trails beginning at a high elevation and using gravity to propel the rider downhill.
  • Cross-Country Trails: Trails that traverse through undulating terrain. 
  • Skills & Jump Parks: An area where riders can practise freeride tricks and technical skills using a range of jump and drop features.

Trail Difficulty Rating System

  • Beginner: These trails generally have a wider trail width, a firm and stable surface and a steady gradient.
  • Intermediate: These trails have a mostly stable trail surface with some variability in the terrain. The trail may feature both avoidable and unavoidable obstacles including small jumps and drops plus a steeper gradient.
  • Advanced: These trails are widely variable and are suitable for advanced riders only. The trail will feature larger jumps and drops, loose rocks, very steep gradient and large unavoidable obstacles.

Trail Types

  • Flow: These trails are machine built and offer wider trail width, smooth surface, flowing terrain with manicured berms and jumps.
  • Technical: These trails generally have a rougher surface, narrower trail width and irregular surface. These trails may feature tighter corners, rocks, roots and other trail features.
First Trails & Beyond

Now that you’ve nailed the basics, where to next? Here’s a handy guide to your first ride and beyond…

First Trail

All new riders should take the Merritts Gondola and then the Cruiser Chairlift up to the top of the Cruiser MTB Area. Once at the top, ride the Upper Easy Rider trail into Grasshopper, taking you back down to the bottom of the Cruiser Chairlift. Make sure to take your first lap easy and inspect the trail at low speed. Continue lapping this trail a few times to get the flow for the features before working up to faster speeds and larger features.

Next Up

Once you are feeling confident on Upper Easy Rider, you can progress to Sidewinder for an added challenge. It’s important to make sure you are fully confident on each trail before progressing so repeat each trail as many times as necessary.

Trail Progression

To navigate the park with confidence, we recommend that you follow the trail progression map which starts small and builds up to more complex trails. 

Choose Your Ride

Riding in the Thredbo Mountain Bike Park may require a different bike setup to what you’re used to. Having the right bike will ensure that your experience is as fun and safe as possible. 

Enduro Bikes: Combines full suspension in the front and rear with a lighter bike design and more gear options, allowing riders to both climb and descend hills. At minimum, all riders should have a full suspension enduro bike as these are suited to the majority of trails in the mountain bike park.

Downhill Bikes: A full suspension, downhill-specific bike is especially designed to handle the bike park’s more advanced technical and freeride terrain. We recommend this bike for those looking to rider the stepper & faster trails in the MTB Park.

Cross-Country​ Bikes: Generally have less suspension than downhill & enduro bikes, making them ideal for pedalling long distances both up & downhill. While these bikes are a good option for Thredbo’s cross-country trails, they are not recommended on the gravity trails in the Thredbo MTB Park.

No Bike? No Problem

Visit the experts at Thredbo Retail & Rental to find your perfect ride.

Thredbo Retail and Rental offers an extensive range of the latest gravity focused enduro and downhill bikes from Norco. We also have a range of e-bikes and recreational mountain bikes for kids and families to enjoy on the Thredbo Valley Trail and village cross-country trails.

All downhill, enduro and hardtail rental packages must be booked online. Bike rentals may sell out over peak season and school holiday periods. We highly recommend booking your rental and lift pass at the same time to avoid disappointment.



Staying safe starts with having the right gear to protect your body. Protective equipment can help reduce risks from weather, visibility, surfaces and hazards. It is mandatory for riders to wear a helmet on all trails and full-face helmets are highly recommended. 

Recommended Protective Equipment

  • Helmet (Mandatory)
  • Wrap-around goggles
  • Neck brace
  • Body armour
  • Long sleeves
  • Elbow pads
  • Full-finger gloves
  • Knee pads or shin guards
  • Closed-toe shoes

Armour Package

Don’t let a crash put an end to your day. Protect your body with our Rental Armour Package. Available with all bike rentals. Armour package includes helmet, pressure suit & knee pads.

Purchase Protection

Stocking a huge range of helmets, body armour, gloves and goggles from leading brands including Fox, Oakley, Troy Lee Designs, Ion, Leatt and 100%, our Retail store has everything you need to tackle the trails safely.


First Day In Thredbo

Thredbo is located in the heart of the Kosciuszko National Park in Snowy Mountains, NSW and is conveniently accessed by car, bus or plane. Roughly 5.5 hours’ drive from either Sydney or Melbourne and 2.5 hours drive from Canberra, Thredbo offers both day and overnight car parking facilities.

Once you’ve arrived in Thredbo, your first step is to pick up your MyThredbo card, your personal key to Thredbo.

Find Out More


Mountain Safety

To stay safe while riding, always follow the Mountain Biking Responsibility Code.

Find Out More

Download our new mobile app

Whether you ski, snowboard, hike, mountain bike or are visiting for the first time, our app is your companion to Australia’s Premier Adventure Destination.

Thredbo sits on the traditional land of the Monero – Ngarigo people who have looked after this land, water and community for over 60,000 years. We thank them for all they have done and continue to do to look after their country, a special place which we all love and respect.

Coca-Cola Red disk
Flip Logo_Landscape Insurance_Colour (72dpi)
Osprey_Logo_Bird-Word_black (1)