BikeRadar recently traveled to Cairns, Australia, for the UCI mountain bike world cup and while there, we took the chance to see why a place best known for its coral reefs, rainforests and crocodiles is now gaining a reputation as a world-class riding destination.
Our first stop was Atherton, a small town an 80-minute drive south-west of Cairns. The Atherton Forest mountain bike park boasts an ever-expanding 35km of purpose-built singletrack with varied trails for all abilities and ages.
Trail builder Glen Jacobs claims these trails and the surrounding area are on the ‘tipping point’, where soon it won’t be possible to see or ride everything on offer in a single day. The flowing nature of the trails soon made us forget that we actually had a job to do – we're certainly keen to get back and ride them again soon and try out the other routes that surround them too.
Video: BikeRadar rides the Atherton Tablelands
With the trails right on the doorstep of town, there is plenty in the way of local accommodation and lots of options for refuelling. The town has really embraced mountain biking, with places such as the Big4 Atherton Woodlands accommodation now offering its guests a place for bike cleaning, a workstand and a full complement of tools.
For more information on the Atherton Forest mountain bike park, and many other tropical Queensland rides, visit RideCairns.com.