If you’re mountain biking in Tropical North Queensland and want to share the splendour of #exploreTNQ, get onto these trails and have your smartphone ready.
The next best thing to a great holiday is uploading great holiday photos to your social media platform and watching the ‘likes’ roll in. Visitors to Tropical North Queensland – and the locals – agree. Search #cairns on Instagram and you’ll find nearly two million results. Add #portdouglas, #missionbeach and other hashtags to that list and you’ll find several hundred thousand more. Hit the trails and catch your breath at these photo-worthy destinations.
Four Mile Beach
This beach is a special place for mountain bikers; hard-packed and easy to ride on, it’s used as the finishing straight for the area’s Reef to Reef, Triple-R and Crocodile Trophy mountain bike races. With its white sands, coconut palms stretching into the distance and tranquil Coral Sea views, it’s also the perfect spot to stop and take a photo (#tropicalparadise).
Kuranda Downhill Trail
Before you drop into this legendary local downhill trail, drink in the views from Henry Ross Lookout just metres away and get ready to post #wow. Named after the foreman in charge of building the Kuranda Range Road and perched 430m above sea level, it offers a sensational panorama of Cairns, its Northern Beaches, Trinity Bay and the Coral Sea far below.
Chase the #waterfalls on this gently undulating 16km return ride through the magnificent tropical rainforest scenery of the Goldsborough Valley. As you set off, Kearneys Falls can be seen cascading spectacularly down a mountainside over your left shoulder. Further along the trail, the several creeks that tumble down mossy boulders and over causeways are beautiful places to stop, splash your face and get snapping.
After an early-morning ride up the hard-packed sands of Mission Beach, keep riding north past Clump Point Jetty and onto Bingil Bay for a well-earned #breakfast at the famous #bingilbaycafe. Whether you choose eggs benedict, a smoked salmon and avo bagel or a fresh fruit and granola bowl, the pretty plates at this boho-styled eatery are sure to give your followers a serious case of food envy.
Sharpen your #naturephotography skills with this easygoing 6km one-way ride through the dense tropical rainforest of the Djiru National Park just inland of Mission Beach. The Licuala Fan Palms on the trail are beautiful and you might just see a cassowary.
Cardwell Forest Drive
This road into the Cardwell State Forest south of Mission Beach delivers you straight into a treasure trove of shared 4WD/mountain-bike trails and natural attractions. Look out for the Cardwell Spa Pool about 8km in and take a cooling #swim in its beautiful turquoise waters.
Smithfield Mountain Bike Park
Show the world your off-road skills by pointing your #mtb down some of this world-famous mountain-bike park’s most challenging trails and obstacles and getting a mate to capture it.
Before you tear down this big, wide and rollicking roller-coaster of a trail, stop to take in the amazing #view of the coastline near Port Douglas that can occasionally be seen through the trees.