Atherton Forest feature

5 places to go mountain biking in and around Cairns

World-class trails and magnificent rainforest scenery aren’t the only things on show when mountain bikers tear through Tropical North Queensland‘s trails to tackle cross country and downhill courses. There’s also the odd koala, panoramas over the Great Barrier Reef and a few contented cattle to contend with.

If a snorkel trip doesn’t quite quench your thirst for adventure, then BYO bikes and explore some of these top mountain biking trails in and around Cairns.

Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park

Atherton Forest Park | Mountain biking in and around Cairns

Keen to try mountain biking? Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park is the place for beginners to get involved in the action while exploring national parks and admiring beautiful lakes and cascading waterfalls.

Dipping into gullies and creeks and rising to the ridge lines of the surrounding hills, there are currently over 50 kms of off-road tracks to explore ranging in length from 0.9 km to 10.5 with a mix of easy and intermediate ratings.

Davies Creek Trail Network, Mareeba

Davies Creek | Mountain biking in and around Cairns

A wilderness experience that’s hard to beat, the Davies Creek Trail Network offers a remarkable ride for beginner to intermediate mountain bikers. Located 40 minutes from Cairns, and 13 km from Mareeba, these trails are fast and flowing and allow riders to enjoy the surroundings. Pedal seven tracks ranging from 1.7 km to 10.6 km spread throughout the park.

With a few tough climbs to negotiate, riders can cool off with a dip in Davies Creek or have a rest at the nearby camping grounds.

The Bump Track, Port Douglas

Starting in the Port Douglas hinterland, this infamous trail delivers an unforgettable adventure through ancient forests, past serene waterfalls and finishes with a ride along Four Mile Beach.

The Bump Track is a challenging ride which delivers action, adventure and amazing views.

Paluma to Hidden Valley and The Cassowary Coast

Experienced riders can hurtle through World Heritage rainforest on the Paluma to Hidden Valley trail (about four hours south of Cairns). Home to the annual Paluma Push mountain bike adventure, the trail winds through cattle country, past Paluma Dam and finishes in the historic Hidden Valley.

Keen mountain bikers visiting the Cassowary Coast should also check out the palm-lined 12 km Musgravea Track in Djiri National Park, or tackle the exciting trail from Cochable Creek up to Tully Gorge.

Smithfield Mountain Bike Trail Park, Cairns

Beginner or pro, a thrill-seeker or Sunday rider, the Smithfield Mountain Bike Trail Park has something for everyone. The park features 60kms of trails seamlessly sculpted into its rainforest surrounds.

If you just can’t get enough mountain action head here for a list of mountains you can climb (and camp on) around Cairns.

What mountain biking trails get your heart beating?

*This post was originally published in 2014 and updated in September 2018.