Tourism Tropical North Queensland has launched a dedicated mountain biking website to position the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region as a world class destination for recreational riders.
Ride Cairns was launched at Smithfield Conservation Park on Wednesday (February 26) where World Champion mountain bikers Paul van Der Ploeg and Jenni King were testing the new purpose-built cross country mountain bike track for the second round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Cairns on April 25-27.
TTNQ Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said the Ride Cairns brand would build on the momentum created by Cairns being selected to host the 2014 and 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cups as well as the 2017 UCI World Mountain Bike and Trials Championships.
“Whether you want to ride through World Heritage rainforest or along the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, there is an incredible diversity of trails across the mountain biking regions of Cairns, Atherton Tablelands, Mareeba, Port Douglas and Daintree, and the Cassowary Coast,” he said.
“TTNQ has been working with local mountain bike clubs, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and World Trails to catalogue a 550km-network of nearly 40 mountain bike trails throughout the region to create www.ridecairns.com which will be developed further as more trails are finalised.
“The trails have been graded so riders can choose from those suitable for families through to the most challenging of trails for competitive riders and additional information is included on mountain biking events, services, accommodation and the destination.
“The next step for the www.ridecairns.com will be to develop comprehensive interactive maps of the mountain biking trails which will link in with data sets being developed locally by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and will be available via the Queensland Government Open Data Portal.
Mr de Waal said the Ride Cairns brand included a number of marketing activities such as Ride Cairns brochure distribution at bike and lifestyle shows, media famils and social media.
"Positioning the region as a world class mountain biking destination builds on the extensive groundwork already undertaken by local community groups especially the Cairns Mountain Bike Club, TIMBA, the Mareeba Mountain Goats and Tableland Cycle Sports Inc.
"Countless volunteer hours have been spent developing mountain biking as a tourism product for our region and I thank these many dedicated people for their effort.”
Ride Cairns is funded through the State Government's Contestable Grants Scheme and Cairns Regional Council.
*Photos: Tim Bardsley-Smith