September 10, 2019

A Wheel Adventure: Mountain Biking in Cairns


Since hosting its first UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in 1996, and again in 2017, Cairns has become somewhat of a Mecca for mountain biking enthusiasts across Australia and beyond.

The Cairns region has a reputation for being one of the most challenging and picturesque places to ride in the world, boasting striking mountain ridges and steep trails riddled with rocks and roots, plunging down through the rainforest.

While this all may sound a little too treacherous for the more recreational riders among us, don’t worry – Cairns is home to over 700 kilometres of diverse mountain biking trails, so whether you’re a novice, a seasoned pro, or just looking for fun day of riding with the family, you’re bound to find a trail to suit your skill level.

From the world-renowned Smithfield trails and breathtaking Atherton Forest Park, to the supercharged Port Douglas Bump Track and coastal cruising at Mission Beach, the Cairns region has plenty of mountain biking adventures to be discovered.

 Smithfield Mountain Bike Trail Park

With 60km of beginner to advanced trails, the Smithfield Mountain Bike Trail Park has something for all riders. Located just 20 minutes from Cairns, this iconic bike park hosted the 2017 UCI World Mountain Bike Championships and is a popular haunt for the pros to ride and train. The world-class terrain is sculpted into the spectacular World Heritage-listed rainforest, offering tough climbs, jaw-dropping descents, a rollercoaster of jumps and berms, and tons of excitement. The gateway trails are perfect for beginners and families who want to take things a bit easier, while the more technical and advanced trails will satisfy even the biggest adrenaline junkies. Find the park map here.

 Kuranda DH Trail

Touted as Australia’s oldest running downhill (DH) trail, the Kuranda DH Trail was first blazed in 1876 and has since earned itself legendary status among local and international riders. The trail is fast, steep, rough and rocky, and features high drops, big gaps, and swooping berms. Not for the faint-hearted (nor for novices), the gruelling Kuranda DH track is classed as a Double Black Diamond trail so only the most experienced and advanced riders should attempt to conquer it. Find the trail map here.

  Davies Creek Trail Network

Located 40 minutes from Cairns near Mareeba, the Davies Creek Trail Network is ideal for beginner and intermediate riders, offering a range of great introductory mountain biking trails for newcomers wanting to hone their skills. The network offers six easy sections, ranging from 500m to 4km, and four intermediate sections, ranging from 1km to 2km. The trails here have a much easier flow and there are no obstacles or technical challenges, so riders are able to take in the natural beauty of the park as they pedal. Some of the more difficult climbs will work up a sweat, but you can cool off afterwards with a swim in Davies Creek. Find the park map here.


Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park

Set within the stunning mountain hinterland of the Atherton Tablelands, the Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park offers over 50 kilometres of beginner and intermediate off-road trails to explore. From flowing beginner singletracks, to scenic back road rides, to breathtaking ridge climbs, this park is perfect for both the thrill seekers and those who just want to cruise. Riders seeking a challenge can rip down precipitous descents and test their mettle on big jumps and berms, while the more mellow riders can opt for easier trails to enjoy the serene rainforest surrounds, waterfalls and lakes as they weave through the National Park. Find the park map here.

 The Port Douglas Bump Track

Located about an hour’s drive from Cairns, Port Douglas is home to the infamous Bump Track, one of the best mountain bike trails in Australia. The Bump Track begins in the Port Douglas hinterland, taking riders on an undulating and action-packed trail through the dense rainforest, past waterfalls and wildlife, and ending with a scenic ride along the remarkable Four Mile Beach. Running over 6km, this adventurous track offers single trail, downhill and cross-country sections, as well some of the best views the region has to offer. Find the trail map here.

 The Cassowary Coast

From a casual cruise along magnificent Mission Beach to a shady rainforest ride under the ferns, The Cassowary Coast boasts some truly spectacular bike trails. Here you’ll find the Musgravea Track, a shared-use trail for walkers and mountain-bikers and the only trail in the Djiru National Park where bikes are permitted. The 6-kilometre Musgravea Track offers a smooth and non-technical ride through the tropical rainforest that is easy enough for the whole family to enjoy – you might even spot an elusive cassowary as you quietly pedal through the palms. As the sun begins to set, head to nearby Mission Beach, where you can enjoy the glittering coastline and views of Dunk Island as you cruise along the flat white sand – a postcard perfect end to an epic day of riding. Find the trail maps for Musgravea Track and Mission Beach here.

Ready for your own Cairns mountain biking adventure? Explore the tropics on two wheels this spring and stay at Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort. Book now and enjoy our Spring Break offer where you’ll receive $25 off your booking, plus breakfast for just $1!

Images supplied by Tourism Tropical North Queensland

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