All of Falls Creek’s trails start and finish from the mountainside village which attracts cyclists of all persuasions through summer and features a surprisingly buzzing vibe. Beginner and intermediate trails loop close to the village making Falls a perfect family-friendly destination.
Since the opening of Flow Town trail, you can easily flow a perfect 20-minute descent from the summit, all the way down to the Blue Dirt shuttle waiting at the resort gates.
Falls Creek has closed out one of its most successful ski seasons on record with perfect conditions for the 3rd annual McKayos mass start gravity enduro and Flow captured all the action.
Billed as a Snow-Dirt-Road Mountain Bike Enduro, the race incorporates a mass start on snow from the highest slopes of Falls Creek’s alpine ski terrain. Riders use extreme skill negotiating the snow-covered trails through to more traditional singletrack and National Park fire trails. This race is the only mountain biking experience of its kind in Australia.
McKayos has promised one thing it had yet to deliver in the past 2 years – a hectic mass start racing on a frozen snow course. Consider that debt paid.
You might have followed the epic snow season Falls Creek has had (2m depths across the board no trifling matter) and its impact was felt in the planning for this crazy bash. Dropping the traditional Mount McKay start from too much snow, the alternate route brought an excellent alternative – a seemingly purpose-built runway heading through snow fences & ski terrain from the resort’s Ski Patrol headquarters.
Next it was the weather’s turn. Brilliant blue skies with zero cloud this side of Albury set an incredible backdrop for the 87 strong field whilst a healthy overnight freeze did the desired job in locking up the freshly groomed corduroy. The result? the promised epic start we’ve all been waiting for!
With 2 time McKayos champ Paul Van Der Ploeg not in the field, Panozzo was the early favourite & this showed with strong form handling the unfamiliar surface in a pre-race shoot the day earlier. True to expectation, Panozzo was first out of the blocks and took an early lead ahead of a super fast field before turning into Shortcut where the fast and smooth ride was quickly a white-knuckle affair. Big bumps and sharp turns in a steep, narrow trail soon sorted out the pecking order as the spills stacked up.
The McKayos course is definitely unique but it’s safe to say there were plenty happy to leave the snow behind and get onto tarmac as the route made way into the village. Bombing stairs through the village Plaza soon took way to the singletrack Falls has earned a big name for before Junction Spur fire trail set the stage for the real racing to begin.
“Mountain biking is an intrinsic part of the culture at Falls Creek. We are excited to see more and more riders come to experience the resort”
In the lead pack it was a 3 way arm-wrestle between Ben, Seb and Chris with each taking turns as the lead. Panozzo emerged ahead heading within striking distance of Bogong Village before disaster struck. An ill-fated call by Panozzo to take the creek crossing offered Mcilroy & Jayne the chance to overtake via the longer B-line and pip him to the post for the finish.
The diverse field was a great result for organisers and included riders of both sexes from Junior U15 through to 50+ Super Masters. The Ladies Elite was a tight battle with only minutes separating Lisa Brydon, Indi Boer and Rebecca Feltrin. Indi was a sore sight climbing the podium, having overcome a major spill earlier to push back through the field and finish top 50 overall.
Josh Tanzen set it alight, bursting into the overall top 8 on his way to win the Junior U19 category & prove he is one to watch going forward. The same can be said for Joel Grimes who scored a tidy 11th overall from the same Junior category. Locals Dylan Cosgriff and Ayla Armitage were surprise packets in the Junior U15 categories with Dylan breaking the 45 minute barrier and Ayla continuing her impressive form from last season to finish the best-placed Junior female rider.
Falls Creek Mountain Bike Park will open its trails at the popular social ride event “Ignition” on November 17-18. Marking the official opening of the Mountain Bike season, this event is followed by the resort’s gravity shuttle service which operates every weekend. For more information visit fallscreek.com.au
Falls Creek specialises in the spectacular: of all the mountain biking destinations slung across this region, it’s Falls that always drops our jaw. There’s something incredible about its location, with the Keiwa Valley funnelling up to meet it, Falls sits like the gate keeper to the alpine plains. The drama of the whole scene is enhanced by the gnarled, skeletal fingers of white snow gums, which frame the trails and give the distant slopes a grey shimmer.
But of course you don’t come to Falls Creek for the views alone, you come to enjoy one of the finest mountain bike trail networks in Australia! The rise of Falls Creek in the mountain bike world has been meteoric. It was barely four years ago that the initial humble scratchings of trail building began, but now, with four stages of trail development completed, there’s over 40km of sensational trail to explore, and that’s before you even contemplate the endless backcountry riding that can be done from Falls. When you consider that this place is under snow for a good chunk of the year, it’s an incredible undertaking to have built such a great network in that time frame.
With the opening of Flow Town just a few weeks ago, we feel that Falls Creek has now really nailed its potential. This epic descending trail is one of the best rides in the entire region, and once you tie it into a loop with some of the existing runs, it becomes a run for the ages – 20 minutes of nearly non-stop downhill shredding. For this run alone, Falls Creek was always going to be a stop on our Ride High Country road trip.
Amongst the best aspects of mountain biking in Falls Creek is that the trails all start and finish right in the village, so you can literally roll out your accommodation and be into the thick of it in seconds. This is especially true of Flow Town, which descends from straight from town, ending up at the resort gates after six kilometres of insanely good trail. From there, you can pedal back up the Pack Horse trail, or better yet, jump in a shuttle service provided by Blue Dirt, which is exactly what we did.
With the shuttle running right to the peak of the resort, you’ve got the entire network splayed out beneath you, all funnelling you back to the village where a coffee, lunch or beer awaits. It’s a surprisingly buzzing scene in town too. With the opening of the Blue Dirt Bike Cafe, there’s usually a good contingent of mountain bikers milling about refuelling or using the bike wash, joined by the constant trickle of roadies who’ve taken on the climb from Mt Beauty. You’re not short of places to stay or dine either; QT hotel runs all the way through summer (which is where we called home during our stay) and their restaurant, Stingray, is open all day too so you won’t be scrambling for a meal, as can sometimes happen in the green-season in resort towns!
Also worth a mention is the development of more beginner and intermediate trails right on the edge of the village too, which opens up the appeal of Falls to rider who aren’t interested in tackling the whole mountain. We can see how this place is going to be very popular with family groups in the future with so much kid-friendly riding just moments away from the accommodation.
From Falls Creek, one of the newest mountain bike destinations in Victoria, it’s just a short 30-minute drive back down the mountain to one of the oldest mountain biking destinations in all of Australia, the legendary mountain biking town of Mt Beauty, for a totally different trail experience. There mustn’t be many places in Australia where you can go from riding high-alpine, machine-built flow trail after breakfast, and then be on some of the absolute original mountain bike singletracks in the country, by lunch time! It’s exactly this kind of diversity, all condensed into such a tight region, that has us so pumped on the Victorian High Country right now.
We don’t think anyone could have predicted just how spectacular Falls would eventually prove to be.
It was back in 2013 that Falls Creek opened their first stage of mountain bike trail development, the latest in a procession of alpine areas to acknowledge that ski seasons were becoming patchier than Trump’s policy detail, and summer is the way of the future. Back then, if you’d been a talent scout for mountain bike trails, you’d have put Falls Creek in the ‘has potential’ column – it was a place with all the bones for an incredible mountain bike park, but there was no meat. Let us tell you, there’s plenty of meat here now – we don’t think anyone could have predicted just how spectacular Falls would eventually prove to be. When you consider that Falls only began mountain bike trail development in earnest three years ago, and that the place is covered in snow for a good chunk of the year, it’s unreal how far it has come.
This summer sees the completion of Falls Creek’s fourth stage of trail development, including the opening of Flowtown, which will certainly become a signature trail for the region. We last visited Falls in 2015, at the end of the third stage of trail development, but with Flowtown now cranking, along with a regular shuttle service from the crew at Blue Dirt, Falls is the full monty. If you’ve got a mountain biking holiday on the brain, Falls has got to be on the list – it genuinely will go head to head with any of east coast Australia’s best mountain bike destinations. You could quite blissfully spend an incredible week in the Falls/Beauty/Bright zone. You could quite blissfully spend your entire life there, actually!
In the context of Victoria’s high country Falls Creek, Mt Beauty and Bright form a tight little love triangle at the eastern end of the strip of mountain bike towns that run across the region like a rich seam of gold: Mt Beauty, Beechworth, Yackandandah, Bright, Mt Beauty and Falls Creek. The Falls crew knew, that being a little more far flung from the population of Melbourne, they’d have to work hard to entice riders up the hill from Mt Beauty. But with visitor numbers doubling every year, and the hugely successful Ignition MTB event seeing almost 400 riders on the hill for Falls Creek’s opening weekend, the message is out there now.
The setting couldn’t be more spectacular: resting on the cusp of the Bogong High Plains, hemmed by views of the magnificent Kiewa Valley and rolling alpine meadows, Falls Creek is just a stunning place to be. The stark, white fingers of gums line the surrounding mountains, with the Bogong Dam a shimmering in the backdrop to the village. Sunset from the peak of Mt Mackay alone is worth spending the evening for – the view from the top of Australia’s highest public road across the range to Hotham is truly top notch.
The bulk of the trails are located in the huge bowl that naturally funnels you back towards the village – this accessibility is one of Falls’ real draw cards, with the trails starting and finishing literally on the edge of the village square. Exhaust yourself, and you’re not staring down the barrel of a long slog back to a brew. Stage 4 has also seen the development of a new beginner loop too, which keeps riders within cooee of the village, but is a great gateway into the broader Falls Creek network. Of course, the area’s sensational aqueduct trails, which we explored last time we visited, are all out there too if you’re keen on a mellow day in the mountains. Or, if something seriously epic is what you desire, then the legendary Fainters Track is a must-do as well – a multi-hour mission that traverses the ridges of the surrounding hills before dropping like a stone back into Mt Beauty miles away.
Laying some tracks on Flowtown, the brand new creation from the folks at World Trail, was the main driver for our trip to Falls this time around and it left us a fizzing at the bung. This all-new 5.5km descent is a gem, linking seamlessly from some of the existing trails, you can effortlessly put together over 20 minutes of face-warpingly awesome descending from the peak of Falls all the way back to the entrance gates hundreds of metres below. The run from Frying Pan spur, into High Voltage, then Wishing Well and finally down Flowtown is just unbelievable fun. Finally, when you pop out on the main road, jelly-legged from almost half an hour of flat out descending, you’ve got the option of either jumping in a shuttle back to town, or taking in the gradual climb back up the recently opened Pack Horse track.
The visionaries at Falls who’ve made this all happen deserve all the success in the world. Like so many alpine areas, they had to overcome the winter blinkers that have commonly hampered mountain bike development in ski areas, but they’ve made it happen! Each year Falls has bulked up, and now it’s a true contender – make sure you’ve got it on the list this summer.
Over the last 4 years, Falls Creek has been developing single track mountain bike trails. On Saturday, 19th November the trails are set to double with stage 4 official opening to riders. Blue Dirt will be hosting the inaugural ‘Ignition’ weekend of fun with demo bikes, drift bikes, guided tours, shuttles and a beer hall to entertain everyone. They will also be operating vehicle shuttle services, bike hire, skill clinics every weekend for the entire summer.
“During the peak holiday period, from 26th December, Blue Dirt, will be operating every day for the month” says Falls Creek Resort Management Marketing & Communications Manager, Jo Prothero. “Last summer saw a big increase in riders so we are looking forward to continuing that trend this summerwith the opening of several beginner trails and the epic Flowtown trail connecting the Summit all the way to Howman’s Gap.”
In addition to mountain bike riding, visitors can enjoy road cycling, trail running, kayaking and hiking, to name a few activities. The kids will be entertained throughout January with a daily kid’s club, including activities such as fishing, nature walks, cooking and games. Collingwood Football Club will return for the third time this November to put their players through a training camp utilising the resorts many natural attributes, which is a testament to what is on offer at home rather than travelling overseas. The Australian junior cross country team will also host a dry land camp in November.
Events play a big part on the calendar and commence in November. The resort comes to life with visitors’ taking advantage of the cooler temperatures and unique natural surroundings. We are biased but can’t think of a better way to avoid the crowds at the beach this summer.
After the success of the inaugural McKayos in 2015, it will be back bigger and better on Sat, 24th September 2016.
The unique mass start mountain bike Gravity Enduro event, similar to the Megavalanche style event held in many European resorts, attracted 75 riders in 2016. Marketing & Communications Manager, Jo Prothero says ‘we are anticipating a much larger field this year, given the success of the inaugural event, so would encourage riders to register early to avoid disappointment’.
This unique event will start from the snowy slopes of Australia’s highest drivable peak, Mt McKay at 1,850m to the pristine shores of Lake Guy in Bogong Village at 660m.
Combining Snow, Dirt and Road, the course takes riders 22km through single track, fire trails and sealed mountain roads for a total descent of 1700m. A mass start on snow is sure to see some chaos from the starter’s gun as riders muscle for position. Fingers crossed for a freeze the night before.
The event is also a State Finalist in the Australian Event Awards for Best new event.
• Single Gravity Enduro mountain bike stage
• Single mass start on snow
• 22km course – including NEW 7km of single track
• 1,700m total descent
• Entries open to Individual competitors and NEW teams (one has to be female)
• $75 per rider or $300 for a team
• The event will be officially timed this year
• Winning awards presentations at Bogong Village after last riders has finished
• Competitors will be shuttled back to Falls Creek upon finishing the stage
We’ve spent plenty of time here before over the years filming and shooting videos for Flow themed around tourism, trails, road trips and beer. But this time a family holiday brought one half of Flow (the better half) to the iconic town of Beechworth for a few days of quality time, but not without a bike of course. Beechworth’s well-preserved township and rich Australian history give it the feeling of stepping back in time, around six hours from Sydney and three from Melbourne is more than enough to give the feeling of a proper getaway and also keeps the trails safe from the hordes of skidding tyres.
With a population of less than 3000 people it’s a surprise the town has amazing purpose-built mountain bike trails within a quick ride from the main drag, and plenty of adventure riding beyond that. The Beechworth MTB Park and Flame Trees have two trails in the Dirty Dozen, North East Victoria’s best trails handpicked by locals.
When we think of Beechworth we immediately think of sweet trails and er, beer! The local brewery Bridge Road Brewers is one of the finest craft brewers in the country, exporting all around the country its great quality brew. Aficionados know what we’re talking about, this place is beer tasting heaven and we feel even warmer and fuzzier with a hoppy pint in our hands knowing that the brewery is also heavily involved in the mountain bike scene, supporting development, events, and the local club the Beechworth Chain Gang.
You’d be mad not to try the tasting sample plank with 11 distinct beers brewed a few strides away from the bar. The pizza is seriously delicious too, take our word for it. And the pretzels. And the open fire…
Want To Ride Beechworth?
For more on what this place is all about head to our most recent Flow Nation trip to the region here: Flow Nation, Beechworth.
With the Bogong High Plains sprawling at its doorstep, Falls Creek really is at the gateway to some incredibly spectacular country, and with so much of the riding here above the tree line, the views are breathtaking.
Falls Creek has been investing heavily in a world-class trail network of late, folds of the terrain above the village are now riven with loads of machine-built trail, crafted by World Trail. We were lucky enough to spend a few days at Falls Creek in early 2015, and recently we had the opportunity to ride the last addition to the network, High Voltage, too.
But the two trails which Falls Creek contributes to the Dirty Dozen lie beyond the bounds of the bike park, further out into the mammoth landscape that surrounds the village – and what these two trails lack in terms of technical challenge or features, they make up for with their views and uniqueness. Mountain biking isn’t always about ripping turns and singletrack, and these two trails are a good reminder that just being on your bike in beautiful surrounds can be pretty incredible too.
The Mt Mackay Loop takes you up Australia’s highest public roadway, to the peak of Mt Mackay. From the top, you’re presented with a view right down the Kiewa Valley and over the plains. If you’ve got the opportunity to get up there for a sunrise or sunset, you will not regret it. Bank on about an hour to make it to the peak, as the climb is pretty solid! Mt Mackay is also a good starting point for exploring the epic Fainter’s Track, which descends all the way back to Mt Beauty, something we highly recommend you check out!
Falls Creek’s second Dirty Dozen trail, the Historic Huts loop, takes advantage of the network of aqueducts with criss-cross the landscape, feeding the hydropower station at Bogong below. Following the flattest contours, the aqueducts and the trails that run beside them seem purpose built to let you explore the plains and the hundred year-old huts that are dotted about the place. Riding from the village across the dam wall and into the plains is beautiful, and you can easily spend an entire day feeling dwarfed by the views.
Pack lunch, park up at a hut, and remember why this kind of mountain biking will never get old.
Of course, we do think you’d be mad to visit Falls Creek and not ride all the other trails too!
The network is growing all the time, and with the final stage of trail development scheduled for completion in the next year, Falls Creek is going to be vying with likes of Mt Buller and Thredbo for the title of Australia’s best alpine trail centre.
Falls are celebrating the start of the summer season with something new – a mental mass start race from the peak of Mt McKay (1850m) to the edge of Lake Bogong over 1200m below! The McKayos (geddit?!) mass start race will kick off with a couple of kays of snow, before linking up a variety of trails and surfaces over its 18km course. Read below for the official word from Falls Creek, or head to the McKayos page here for all the details.
Following in the footsteps of Europe, Falls Creek will host the inaugural ‘McKayos’ mass start mountain bike Gravity Enduro event on the closing weekend for the winter season, similar to the Megavalanche style event held in many European resorts. This unique event will start from the snowy slopes of Australia’s highest drivable peak, Mt McKay at 1,850m to the pristine shores of Lake Guy in Bogong Village at 660m.
Combining Snow, Dirt and Road, the course takes riders 18km through fire trails and sealed mountain roads for a total descent of 1200m. A mass start on snow is sure to see some chaos from the starter’s gun as riders muscle for position.
The riders will start on a packed snow surface for approximately 1-2km. Roads used will include Mt McKay / Pretty Valley Rd, Road 26 and the Bogong High Plains Rd, plus other local tracks. Riders will traverse a varying type of surfaces including packed and groomed snow, formed sealed and unsealed roads and tracks and formed, unsealed trail. In the interests of competitor safety, competitors may be requested to dismount and walk across small sections of course.
100 riders are anticipated to race in this unique event on Sunday, 4th October 2015. This is one riders won’t want to miss.
• Single Gravity Enduro mountain bike stage
• Single mass start
• Entries open to Individual competitors
• Winners will be determined by first individual rider to complete the course
• The event will not be a timed event. No official timing will be provided by the event organisers
• Competitors will be shuttled back to Falls Creek upon finishing the stage
• Full face helmets are mandatory
• Event will conclude with a presentation and BBQ at Slalom Plaza in Falls Creek
The ENVE Victorian Gravity Enduro state championships took place in the last week of January at the amazing Falls Creek. The event took in four stages, totalling 6.8 kilometres of racing. Here’s the all of the action from a frenetic weekend of racing.
This is just the second season that Falls Creek has been up and running with its new trail network, and already they’ve got more than enough quality trail in place to put themselves on the map in a region where mountain bikers are truly spoilt for choice. World Trail, the same team responsible for the magic of Mt Buller, have been handed the shovels at Falls Creek, so the calibre of the trails certainly aren’t in question. Think of the best bits of Buller, but closer to the village, and more easily accessed – because the Falls Creek resort has a ‘bowl’ layout, with the village at the bottom, a burger is never too far away.
They’ve already got four trails in place – two cross country trails which begin right in the village, and two descending trails that can either be ridden to, or shuttled with the help of the guys at Blue Dirt Mountain Biking. Between all four, there’s more than enough riding to keep you going for a full day, and once the whole lot is completed, taking on all the trails at Falls will be a multi-day affair.
But the bike park is only one feather in Falls’ cap, and the alpine trails across the Bogong High Plains are something pretty special too. The whole region is criss-crossed with aqueducts that feed water into the hydro-electricty plant, following the gradual contours terrain. Alongside each watercourse runs a fire trail, and there’s near endless exploring to be done, with huts along the way if you’re keen on an overnighter.
The Fainters Track is another must-do backcountry ride, descending from Falls all the way to the valley floor at Mt Beauty. This 40km ride is one of the best out going; it’s a tough half-day affair, real, raw mountain biking at its finest. Leg burning climbs, eye-popping views and brake cooking descents. You’d be mad to ride Falls Creek and not give this one a try while you’re there.
Already a must-ride destination, we’re looking forward to re-visiting Falls over the coming years as even more of the vision for this beautiful spot is rolled out.
Snow lands Apartments – Big, roomy apartments, right in the heart of the village. Just metres to the trails! http://www.snowlands.com.au
Blue Dirt Mountain Biking – these the only guys you need speak to for all your shuttling and guiding services in Falls Creek. Not only will the whisk you to the top, but they know all the backcountry trails like the back of their hands. Give them a bell to get the most out of this place. http://bluedirt.com.au/mtbriding/
For the past 2 years Falls Creek Resort Management has been busy at work bringing to life a dream shared by those who love the resort. In 2014 this dream is realised with the opening of the first 2 of 4 brand new mountain bike trails.
Under the commission of World Trail – the best bike trail builders in the business, months of development has joined years of planning to bring the new trails to completion.
The 2 intermediate cross country trials now open can be ridden as one big loop, the network consists of one riding uphill and one downhill. The trails are intersected by the Aqueduct trail which means you can ride each as a separate loop. Whilst classified as cross country, there are some great downhill features and corners to navigate at speed. There are some spectacular viewpoints along the way to stop and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.
An intermediate downhill trail will open by the Australia Day long weekend. Starting at the top of the Summit Chair (those familiar with Falls Creek in Winter, will know this well), the trail winds down under the Poma line before zig-zagging down Grand Coer ski run and cutting through Short & Curly to the base of the Summit Chair.
The 4th trail coming on line this summer is a 3rd intermediate cross country trail connecting the popular ‘Wishing Well’ spot to the Gully region at the base of the International Poma and Gully Chairlift at the entrance to the Resort.
A third party operator will shortly be commencing a downhill shuttle service, to take riders to the top of the trails together with offering bike hire options.
At this stage, Falls Creek Resort Management is two years into a four year mountain bike development project funded by the State Government of Victoria. Construction for stage three will commence this summer and be ready for us in 2014/15, ending in stage four operational by 2015/16. In total, 3 downhill and 11 cross country trails will be built in and amongst the Resorts ski runs.
FALLS CREEK – AUSTRALIA’S MOST COMPLETE CYCLING DESTINATION
This green season a trip to Falls Creek Alpine Resort is a must for any cyclist – Road or Mountain, young or old, beginner or pro.
Falls Creek cyclists can expect to see some of Victoria’s most stunning scenery, quiet country roads, alpine ascents, happy-to-help locals and an excellent events calendar. Rides range from beginner trails along the village aqueducts to more challenging trails like Bogong High Plains.
Falls Creek is developing new mountain bike trails. The first stage being the easy trail along the aqueduct trail and a network of intermediate cross country and downhill trails which will be on offer this Summer. Watch this space for announcements on a weekend shuttle service and new events.
Falls Creek offers quiet days where you can find a trail to yourself and busy days with some of the biggest events in Victoria’s cycling calendar.
For those interested in Road Cycling, Falls Creek has been called “the closest thing in Australia to anything in Europe”, often compared to a stage of the Tour de France. Falls Creek plays host to the epic Scody 3 Peaks Challenge – entering its 5th year the event starts and finishes in Falls Creek. Bicycle Network’s one day epic circumnavigates Victoria’s Alpine National Park in a 235km loop. This has become a riders ‘bucket list’ must do.
Falls Creek is also a climb in the 7 Peaks, The Alpine Ascent Challenge. It is an at-your-own pace cycling challenge which takes you up winding mountain roads, around steep turns and past spectacular views right to the top of Victoria’s Alpine Resorts.
Falls Creek will be part of Victoria’s High Country Inaugural Cycle Salute between 18th October and 5th November 2013. This is a three week celebration of all things cycle in the region.
Falls Creek offers great altitude training for anybody looking to cycle or play any sport at an elite level. Living, breathing and training at 1600m and higher prepares your body for when the going gets tough and has, in the past, been used by track and field Olympians and AFL & rugby union teams.
Green season at Falls Creek includes Christmas and Easter, where guests can celebrate the holidays amongst some of the most pristine views and fresh alpine air in the country without the extreme hot temperatures experienced elsewhere.
Accommodation at Falls Creek has a wide range of options for all budgets, from huge lodges to standard hotel and apartment rentals.
Falls Creek not only offers the most complete cycling experience of any destination in Australia but boasts a breathtaking landscape of ancient mountain ranges, glacial lakes, heritage huts, clear springs and waterfalls, and in the summer a plethora of stunning wildflowers.
A trip to the amazing Falls Creek All-season Alpine Resort is a must for any riding enthusiast.