Up in tropical north Queensland, lies one of Australia's fastest growing and most amazing mountain bike destinations: Atherton. A town where the singletrack is more plentiful than the mangoes, or even the cane toads, and the living is good.
Atherton has been receiving a lot of attention lately, after the tireless work of local mountain bikers secured a near unprecedented level of funding for trail construction as part of a regional development grant. Over the last twelve months this funding has been put to work, dug into the rocky hillside of Mt Baldy. Almost 40km of professionally designed and built singletrack has been put dug in so far, with close to another 30km to be built throughout 2104.
Naturally, Flow had to check it out.
Atherton is about an hour inland from Cairns, up on the tablelands at around 800 metres above sea level, amongst the rolling hills of cattle country and banana plantations. It’s cooler, and a little drier, than Cairns down on the coast, making it the ideal escape from the maddening humidity that can plague this part of the world. We have a feeling this town will become a popular refuge amongst the Europeans in Cairns for next year’s World Cup!
There are plenty of things that make Atherton a special place (the volcano lakes and colossal pubs are two), but the proximity and the quality of the trails are really amazing. A five minute pedal from the coffee shop will see you deep in singletrack, where you can lose yourself for a few hours in the steep terrain, riding deep benched flow trail. The local crew are all quality folk too, and more than happy to have an outsider lob in on their ritual morning ride, leaving at 6:00am every single day.
We’ll let the photos and video tell the story. Atherton is truly one of Australia’s must-ride destinations. Ah, take us back, we can still taste the mangos!