Up behind the beaches of Noosa, there is a mountain bike park with shuttling and plenty of raw trail.
Words: Matt Nauthe | Images: Tim Bardsley-Smith
The Noosa region is fast becoming one of the go-to areas for mountain biking in the country with a temperate winter climate and loads of trail options. Tucked away in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Garapine offers some of the best gravity fed riding in the region.
Less than 2 hours from Brisbane and 40 minutes to the beaches this a great option for those who are looking for a weekend away on the trails. This is a must if putting together a trip to the Noosa area.
The Garapine trail centre is used as part of the Queensland Enduro Series so that should give you a fairly good indication as to the intent of these trails. The centre consists of 6 runs, 2 blue and 4 red plus a purpose built trail back to the top for those who are that way inclined.
Get your eye in the easier blue trails, hitting the floaty tabletops and pumping through the rollers. Then step it up to the black runs which are steeper and faster. These trails are like a blast from the past, narrow hand built trails that have personality that can be missing in larger trail parks.
The runs all have their own distinct flavour and throw spice into the mix just when you think you have the place sussed out. Sometimes its a poppy gap that crops up, other times a pinball like rock garden or a long off camber root section. The variety makes for a great day on the trails. “Dumb it down” was the definitely the trail of the day though, the wet conditions coupled with the clay base and off camber roots and rocks made for some pretty exciting moments.
As far as experience levels needed to ride here intermediate level upwards would get full value of all the trails on offer. Even if you don’t hit all the A lines the trails still flow nicely and will induce many smiles.
Aside from the trails Garapine doubles as an outdoor recreation camp so facilities here are awesome, although it does restrict trail days to the weekend. There is plenty of shade to chill in in-between runs and general facilities like water and toilets. If coming up on race days there is normally a BBQ cranking and cold drinks to service the masses. With runs ending down by the river it would be rude not to enjoy a post run swim.
Garapine is located at 24 Mountain View Rd, Kybong (off Traveston Crossing Rd). Just 5kms off the Bruce Highway. Full directions are available from the website. Allow 2 hours if coming up from Brisbane or 40 min from Noosa.
$10 park entry and $40 for shuttle service.
Pack the usual spares and food for a day on the trails. Pack the kitchen sink if you like, you can leave it all in the car which is conveniently at the trailhead.
The park contains 6 runs that range from 800-1500m in length. There is also a purpose built climbing trail of 800m. It's worth having them loaded on Trailforks.
Hosts Nick and Emma are a wealth of information on the local scene, other trails to hit while in the area or for the best watering holes on the Sunshine Coast. The Trail Forks app is also worth a look to find your way around the local riding spots.
BEST TIME OF YEAR
March to September to escape the winter blues of the southern states and escape the worst of the Sunshine State heat and humidity.
WHILE IN THE AREA
If you are keen for some more riding checkout the singletrack at Wooroi. A solid little cluster of trails only 10 minutes from Noosa. If you're feeling like a bit more of an explore the Noosa Trail Network is worth a look. Take a few days to traverse some or all of the 100km of mixed trail that links up the hinterland townships of Kin Kin, Cooroy, Cooran and Pomona. Of course you could always head to the beach for refreshing swim after a hard day on the trails.
LOCAL BIKE SHOPS
15 minutes to Gympie for basic spares or 45 mins to Noosa where there are multiple shops with larger variety available.
Follow the Garapine Facebook page to keep upto date with ride days and races.
Drinking Water: Yes.
Parking: Onsite parking available.
Some trailheads are marked but all are within 30m of the main carpark. Nick points you in the right direction and coupled with the trail map available from their website and you cannot go wrong.
Optus - yes
On site accomodation available for large groups, contact Nick and Emma for details.
The closest town is Gympie only 15 minutes away.
Fitness level 3/5