As a rider on the ground, this means that when you step out of the shuttle bus, get your bike and take a selfie at the top of the park, by the time you roll in, you are only sharing the trail with your mates, and the chances of seeing others on the way down is really small. With such a myriad of trails that stretch across the park, you are offered choices all the way down. With some trails coming together at major junctions with trail maps and a place to take 5, it is easy to regroup, and jump into an easier or harder trail if you want. And that variety of trail is likely greater than you think.


 
“We started with the initial gravity offering and broadened it from there,” explains Ellis. “We'll continue to make things more accessible for families and beginner riders so they can come to learn to jump and learn to mountain bike as well. We've done that now but we'll continue to broaden that. We'll also be doing more jumping things too. Not just big jump trails, but some green and blue jump trails where people can learn to jump properly and learn to use that elevation to build progression into people's riding.”

 

There's a bit of a theme here – Maydena Bike Park is progressive in a few ways. It's a high-level bike park in a small town,that has had to bring much of the infrastructure it needed with it. The town has had to change, and there have been a number of property sales with new owners taking advantage of short-term accommodation demand. And time riding Maydena will push you. Not only is it physically demanding, but the option to progress your skills are clearly evident. With an all-day shuttle, you can hit run after run trying to get your lines right on hard trails or maximising your flow on the easier trails.
 
With some top-notch food on offer ride at the Rider's Hub, who are licenced and have beers on tap, great coffee and tasty baked goods, you might even eat three meals there a day, while talking to other riders and staff. The question then remains – how long will you stay? We had two full days of riding at Maydena, but still we barely touched the surface.

 

“We have been here for three days but I need to now move on, my hands and arms are so sore!” West laughed when we warmed up around the fire.
 
“If you're a bit fitter then staying more than three days is worthwhile,” added Korum. “It takes a little while to know all the trails and all the features.” While other groups were there for a few days, some were open to staying longer, as they were travelling on a pretty open itinerary. With the scope of the riding in Maydena Bike Park, and the huge playground for hiking, endurance riding, kayaking and more in the surrounding area, if you can head to Maydena with an open agenda, you won't be disappointed. Just book your shuttles ahead – you don't want to be stuck without a seat.
 
Maydena Bike Park has made a big impression since opening about 18-months ago, and I suspect this is just the start. They are vying to have riding options and services that rival those of the big bike parks like Queenstown and Whistler – and we reckon they're well on their way.

Stay tuned for part two as we take the van to Derby!

 

Maydena Essentials
 
Where to stay in Maydena
 
While you could look up short-term accommodation online, we stayed one night in our van near Junee Caves, then at Left of Field Caravan. Book in advance if you need a powered site as this place is popular.
 
Give them a call: 0418 136 434

Don't forget
 
Maydena Bike Park is hard on brake pads, so bring some spares. It's also pretty wild, so take a jacket and clothing to suit a wide variety of conditions.
 
Rent a big bike
 
If you don't have a longer travel bike, you can ride plenty of the trails at Maydena. But we guarantee you'll have more fun on something with more travel. Book your shuttles and lock in a Canyon Torque or Sender as well.