Mountain biking the bushland in and around the Shire offers some of the most exciting and challenging trails that you will find in Australia. Terrain changes from flat, wide trails to steep, single-track trails that can be a little rocky under your tyres. It will also be worth taking a camera with you as you will more than likely come across some of the local bushland's beautiful Flora and Fauna
Mill Creek MBT Park
I finally made the time to try out Mill Creek Mountain Bike Park. The current network of trails are around eight kilometres, although this is growing with new sections currently under council evaluation prior to building. The trails provide a mix of terrain; the technical sandstone that I have ridden over the years is still present and just as enjoyable.
I crossed paths with this curious Echidna on one of my mountain bike rides in the bushland around Menai.
I find the bush trails around Sutherland Shire and the Royal National Park are up there with some of the best in Australia and have given me some of my most interesting experiences with our local native wildlife.
The area is common place to large Gymea Lillies, Grass trees and other amazing native flora yet it also give you a bit of an adrenalin kick with some of the scenic challenging bike rides.
Definately one of my favorites of the bush. The Echidna is one of those creatures that will always amaze me with their temperament and unusual looks. Even though the quills are needle sharp and can easily pierce your skin you still get the urge to want to pick one up and give it a big soft hug
On the ride I also came across this curious Water Dragon.
They are common in the Menai/Sutherland bushlands mosty located around creeks and waterways.
The thing I find interesting with water dragons is that they all seem to have their own personalities and most often have a distinctive difference in their facial features. Their colours range from a deep chocolate brown to a dark charcoal grey with a strong red underbelly.
Always a great photo opportunity with these reptiles because their curious nature allows you to get up close enough and long enough to get all the right shots.
Second to the Kookaburra in my books is the Sulpher Crested Cockatoo.
This bird is sometimes hated for its destructive nature around homes chewing through external timbers and the occassional pool solar matting.
For me if its not the sounds of a Kookaburra laughing then what else better than the screatching of Cockatoos to remind you that you are in Australia
The hotter days will quite often bring out the best in the bush, like this 2 metre Goanna.
I would go close to calling these powerful creatures "King of the Bush", with their massive claws and bodies built like a weight lifter on steroids. Watching a goanna climb a tree with such ease I soon get the feeling they have no fear that I am close by which makes me understand that in some cases close enough is good enough.
Swamp Wallabies are common around the Royal and Georges River National Parks. I spotted this wallaby while riding the tracks around Loftus and was lucky enough to get out my trusty Sony Cybershot to get a few good shots in the open. They tend to spring out of nowhere in front of you and disappear just as quick into thick bushland. If you move slow and quietly you will usually find that they are only just hidden nearby in the bush and you will get the chance to check them out in their natural enviroment.