Motorcycle Council of NSW Ph: 1300 679 622 (1300 NSW MCC) |

Why we love single track

This is what single track is all about for registered trail bikes and licensed riders. Follow the natural terrain, see amazing places that only a motorcycle can get you to, hang with your mates and get mentally and physically healthier all at the same time. Enjoy!

Where we stand – the good news and the bad news.

It’s been a big week for us here at MCC of NSW. It started with a meeting of the Elders of Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation to establish some background information relating to our trails. In a nutshell it doesn’t appear that there are any issues relating to where our trails go and any cultural heritage sites but it does need investigation and it’s something we will be pursuing as part of our process to ensure access for riders in the new State Conservation Area. Bear in mind that it may be that if any of our trails impinge on these areas we will have to move or close those trails. It is a sign of the respect that we want to show if we want to earn the same in response.

Next was the NPWS management team who have overriding authority over the Newnes plateau and Ben Bullen SF among other areas. The good news is that as long as you are licenced and riding a registered bike the status quo remains for the next 5 or 6 months. If your bike is unregistered and you are unlicenced our advice is to stay very far away. There will be compliance checks in operation and anyone caught will, hopefully, just be warned initially to get the word out but it is possible they could be fined.

As it stands there is no facility within the current NPWS stucture that permits motorised bikes (that means us) to access single track trails as we know them. The 4×4’s will have dedicated trails and we are welcome to ride those (watch out for the bullbars!) but single track is off limits. We have stated that will not work for us.

There is a draft proposal for MTB single track trails but they are mapped and monitored and have a management plan. The facts are unless we can provide a similar plan that meets all the criteria required by NPWS there will be no further access to single track in NPWS controlled forests. If, and it is a BIG “IF” we can develop a plan (yes we are working flat out on it now) and be able to present it to NPWS as a part of their overall management plan, AND they approve it then yes, we might be able to continue to ride. BUT, once this next 5 or 6 months pass we will no longer have free reign over our trails. Access to the forests will be controlled and we will be limited to approved trails.

Part of this process is for us to provide a map of our trails to NPWS who will then assess them for manageability (this will be done with our input so it is not totally one-sided) and that covers environmental impacts, maintenance, location, sustainability, etc. As part of our contribution we will need to provide a methodology of how we can be a part of that ongoing trail management – this is where you put your hands up! We have been quite forceful about the need for them to compromise but they are limited to the current conditions of operation within the beauracracy – it is our job to change that.

The future…. Whatever we achieve, or fail to achieve here, will effect all future areas that NPWS has under its authority.

Stay tuned!
MCC of NSW Trailriders Committee.

Gardens of Stone/Newnes plateau – update!

Hello friends and supporters. We have an update on the status of access to Newnes – it is certainly not resolved as yet so riding can continue until we know better, but that may not be the case in the future so if you see anything happening up there with regard to closure signage, fencing, new gates, etc please let us know asap!

Here’s what we have done so far and what is coming up next…

This week we meet with Local Land Services with whom we have an excellent working relationship, the aim to collect some background information on the situation behind the decision to move the plateau into the Gardens of Stone National Park and a new State Conservation Area. We have also gathered supplementary information relating to how the other invested parties operate on the plateau and other NPWS documentation that we feel can support our case to continue riding single track. We will be meeting the NPWS representative in the coming week to gain a better insight into what might or might not be the potential for us. We are also endeavouring to open dialog with the Aboriginal custodians of the land to better understand their position with regard to single track and the effect or otherwise on potential heritage sites.

At this time the Bill to pass the most of the plateau into the Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area has gone through but there is a lot of consultation to be had before any work is to commence – we are aiming to be part of that consultation process. Be aware that this process will take considerable time, possibly years, even so we will keep you up to date.

From here we will be working to clarify the reality of single track existence (which we know is much less damaging than the perception) and reassuring that the MCC of NSW is advocating the continued access for registered, licenced and insured riding. We do not have solutions yet but have certainly taken all your suggestions on board and eventually we will be able to formulate a response once we have a better understanding of the actual situation.

Stay tuned!
MCC of NSW Trailriders Committee.

Old Convict Road access at Paynes Crossing

The Motorcycle Council of NSW has been contacted about the legality of using Old Convict Road at Paynes Crossing.

The MCC has visited the area and also spoken to Singleton Council and the National Parks and Wildlife ranger responsible for Yengo National Park.

Attached is a series of maps of the eastern end of Old Convict Road where there is ‘on paper’ a road reserve that would give access to Wollombi Road. While Google maps show that the road reserve is relatively open, it is now very much overgrown, see attached photo taken on 28th January. There is about a 10 metre almost vertical drop down to Wollombi Brook so you can’t even walk across let alone ride.

These maps show the track continuing onto Stockyard Creek Road but this section is across private property and there are signs on this gate to that effect.

Old Convict Road can be accessed at the western end from the Putty Road. However, the road doesn’t quite follow the road reserve so be careful not to stray off the formed track.

It should be noted that Old Convict Road may not be passable as it is possible creek crossing are washed away or there are fallen trees. You also need to respect the needs of private property on either side of the road by closing gates and not adversely disturbing stock and horses.

If you access Old Convict Road from the Putty Road you have to come back out the way you went in as there is no way out at Paynes Crossing and the only trails off Old Convict Road, North Link Trail and South Link Trail, have locked gates.

If you want to cross from the Putty Road to Paynes Crossing/ Wollombi / Laguna or the reverse, this can be done using Howes Trail to Finchley Lookout and then Yango Creek Road to the Great Northern Road at Laguna. See the National Parks and Wildlife map on their website under 4WD touring routes.

You can also follow this route by using Google Maps by searching for Howes Trail, then follow it to the Yango Track, Finchley Track and then Yango Creek Road to the Great Northern Road.

Map showing Old Convict Road coming out at Gunnadoo on Wollombi Road. The track continues south to Stockyards Creek Road but this is across private property.


Sign on the gate at Stockyard Creek Road.

How ‘on paper’ you could get from Old Convict Road across to Wollombi Road using the road reserve however it is overgrown and there is a steep embankment.

The gate on Wollombi Road accessing the road reserve. Very much overgrown since this was taken.


The gate on the road reserve as it was on 28th January 2021.

The gate on Putty Road accessing Old Convict Road.

The Putty Road end (western end) of Old Convict Road.

The topographic map at the Putty Road end shows Old Convict Road doesn’t quite follow the road reserve.