2019 Destination Mountain Biking Forum

The Destination Mountain Biking Forum is a gathering of world-class speakers and delegates from across the Australian and international mountain bike industry, hosted at one of Australia’s most high-profile mountain bike destinations, Maydena Bike Park.


A group of industry-leading speakers will present keynote performances and a variety of workshops across a two-day program. The Forum has an extensive social and networking component, including group rides and dining sessions that have been designed to maximise networking opportunities.


The Forum program has been developed to provide valuable insights and discussion for all areas of the mountain bike industry, with a focus on developing world-class mountain bike destinations.


    The Forum is hosted at Australia’s newest major mountain bike destination, Maydena Bike Park in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley. Maydena Bike Park is located in Maydena, approximately 1:30 from Hobart Airport and 1:15 from Hobart CBD. Hobart Airport has direct flights available from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast.

    For travel planning assistance please contact us at [email protected]


  • February 13th – 15th, 2019


  • Early bird (prior to November 30)- $449 (save $50.00)
  • Standard admission $499


  • 2-day conference program

  • 2 days of morning tea and lunches

  • Thursday night Summit dinner

  • Afternoon riding sessions (including uplift)

  • Delegate gift bag

  • 50% discount on additional uplifts pre/post event
Speakers are invited to submit a 200-word abstract or workshop proposal if they would like to be included in the forum program.

Our Keynote Speakers (more announced soon)

The MPB story

Simon French + the MBP Team

Bio: Simon has been involved in the mountain bike industry in a range of roles for over 20 years. He has spent the past 10 years as the founder and Managing Director of both Dirt Art and the Maydena Bike Park, two companies that have helped shape the Australian mountain bike industry in a rage of ways. Simon is a passionate rider, who has ridden and raced many of the words leading mountain bike destinations.

Summary: The Maydena Bike Park has been arguably the most ambitious mountain bike project yet undertaken in Australia. The park is a commercially operated, privately funded facility which has transformed an ex-timber town into a thriving mountain bike destination. Uniquely, the MBP is a privately owned, commercial bike park, which has negotiated a complex framework of approvals, leases and property purchases, to deliver a unique partnership development that has broken new ground for mountain bike destinations in Australia.

Hear the full story from MBP CEO and owner, Simon French and the MBP operations team.

The emerging media and marketing landscape

Chris Southwood and Mick Ross

Bio: Chris and Mick have been involved in the Australian mountain bike media industry for many years, more recently founding the Flow Mountain Bike Company. Flow has gone on to re-shape the Australian media landscape, particularly in the area of destination marketing.

Summary: Flow Mountain Bike is at the forefront of modern mountain bike media and destination marketing, with a well-established web platform and a huge social media audience. As mountain bike destinations continue to develop across the country, marketing is becoming a critically important tool. This Keynote will discuss the current and emerging trends in mountain bike destination marketing.

The changing retail environment

Robbie McNaughton, Drift Bikes

Bio: Robbie has been involved in the mountain bike industry for over 20 years. 15 years ago he co-founded Drift Bikes, going on to grow the business to multiple outlets despite the challenges of retail operations.

Summary: As the retail environment is changing, mountain bike retail changes along with it. Robbie is the proprietor of Drift Bikes, in Newcastle, NSW. Drift is now in its 15th year of operation, having gone from strength to strength, and is now one of the most established bike retail companies in Australia. Join Robbie for a discussion around the challenges and opportunities posed by modern Australian mountain bike retail environment.

The Australian mountain bike market

Tony Scott – Dirt Art, Simon French – Dirt Art

Summary: Every two years, Dirt Art completes a national mountain bike market profile survey, providing valuable data to all areas of the industry. In 2018, the survey is in its third rendition, providing data across a 6-year period. Join Dirt Art’s Tony Scott and Simon French for a summary and analysis of the 2018 survey data.

The mountain bike tours industry

Phillip Boorman, NZ Active Adventures

Bio: Phil Boorman is the co-founder of New Zealand Active Adventures, which was recently purchased by private equity firm Blue Sky Alternative Investments partnering with some heavy-hitting individuals such as Virgin Australia co-founder Brett Godfrey. Phil has more recently gone on to co-found New Zealand Mountain Biking, a new mountain bike specific tour provider operating in North Island New Zealand.

Summary: As the mountain bike industry continues to grow, there is an increasing market for high-quality tours providers. So how do you not only establish the right product, but also target your audience and achieve strong sales in an increasingly competitive industry? Phil will lead a wide-ranging discussion on the fundamentals of building and operating a successful mountain bike tours company.

The Bike Park Wales story

Rowan Sorrell

Bio: Rowan is a veteran of the UK mountain bike industry, as a racer, Director of trail development company, Back on Track, and founding director of Bike Park Wales, the UK’s largest uplift bike park. Bike Park Wales set the world standard for uplift bike parks, and continues to be a market-leader for bike parks on a global level.

Summary: Bike Park Wales is now in its 5th year of operation, and continues to act as a market-leader for shuttle uplift bike parks. Rowan will present the Bike Park Wales story, from the projects early design stages, through to its current position as an internationally recognised facility.

Rowan will provide a unique insight into the makings of Bike Park Wales, and the challenges associated with developing a new standard for uplift bike parks when the industry was still very much in its infancy.

Our Workshops

Workshop 1

A: Risk management- how to prevent incidents and minimise their severity

Presenters: MBP safety team, other speakers TBC

Summary: This work workshop will include an expert panel of guests facilitating a comprehensive discussion around the prevention and management of mountain bike incidents. The workshop will include mountain bike industry professionals and medical professionals.

B: Bike schools- The who, what, when and why

Presenters: Rhys Ellis- MBP, Other speakers TBC

Summary: Bike skills coaching is a relatively new phenomenon in Australia, though there is a growing demand for courses at both public and commercial bike parks. Hear from a panel of experts on the who, what, when and why of bike skills coaching.

C: Mountain bike events- What to host, and why

Presenters: Simon French and Tony Scott- Maydena Bike Park, Duncan Giblin- The Hellfire Cup, Thredbo MTB

Summary: The Thredbo Cannonball and Hellfire Cup events are two best of type events in the Australian mountain bike events landscape. Hear from the Thredbo Events Team and Duncan from Hellfire Cup, along with the Maydena Bike Park Events Team talking about the current trends in events, why events are important tools for marketing, and the fundamentals of what makes a great event.

Workshop 2

A: Incident management- how to be prepared, and how to manage the fall-out from a critical incident

Presenters: Romany Brodribb- Timmins Ray PR, Liam Hooper- MBP

Summary: Crash related incidents and injuries are an unfortunate reality in mountain bike riding. While it may be impossible to avoid incidents entirely, they can be managed to reduce their likelihood and severity. Importantly, it is also important to effectively manage public relations and communications when serious incidents do occur. Join our panel of experts, including medical, specialist mountain bike and PR experts for a robust discussion around post-incident management.

B: Grant writing for success

Presenters: Tony Scott- Dirt Art, RDA Tasmania Representative

Summary: Both the public and private sector is becoming increasingly reliant on government sector grants to develop successful mountain bike destinations. Join our panel of industry experts for a discussion on the do’s and do nots of grant writing, and help put your next project on a pathway towards a successful grant funding application.

C: Trail-related business opportunities

Presenters: Buck Gibson- Vertigo Blue Derby, Simon French- MBP

Summary: Mountain bike trail development offers fantastic potential to invigorate regional economies, join our panel of experts, including Maydena Bike Park COO, Liam Hooper and Vertigo MTB Blue Derby Managing Director, Buck Gibson, for a wide-ranging discussion around the business opportunities associated with trail destination development.

Workshop 3

A: Land Manager Relationship Building

Presenters: TBC- Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, Liam Hooper- MBP.

Summary: Developing strong relationships between land managers and public and private mountain bike developers is critical to the success of any mountain bike project. Join a Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife representative and MBP COO Liam Hooper, for a discussion around building relationships between private and government sector agencies.

B: Trail Master Planning for Success

Presenters: Simon French & Jason Lam- Dirt Art, Dave Willcox- Common Ground Trails

Summary: As more mountain bike destinations emerge, it is becoming increasingly important to successfully master plan projects to ensure their ongoing success. Join a group of the industry’s best planning professionals for a session on the fundamentals of high-quality destination planning.

C: Trail Design 101

Presenters: The Dirt Art operations team

Summary: This workshop will involve a practical session in the Maydena Bike Park with the Dirt Art Trail Design Team. The session will take participants through real-world trail design exercise in the Maydena rainforest.

Workshop 4

A: How to develop and operate a successful volunteer trail building model

Presenters: Adam Carlson, President Queenstown Mountain Bike Club (NZ)

Summary: Queenstown New Zealand, is widely regarded as one of the best mountain bike destinations in the Southern Hemisphere, if not the world. The Queenstown Mountain Bike Club plays a major role in the success of the destination, include significant volunteer trail building efforts. Join club president, Adam for a comprehensive overview of the history of the club, and how they have built one of the best volunteer trail building models in the world.

B: Knowing your customer- how to target customers in the tours industry

Presenters: Phil Boorman, New Zealand Mountain Biking

Summary: Phil is one of the world’s leading experts in the adventure tourism tours space, having developed and sold one of the world’s leading adventure tour companies, Active Adventures. Join Phil for an engaging discussion on how to understand and target customer markets in the mountain bike tours industry.

C: Coming soon