Go riding in Rotorua anytime in the summer and you’re bound to bump into a bunch of Aussies on a riding holiday. Well this latest announcement from the folks at Mt Buller is sure to reverse the trend; the trails look mind blowing. In fact we are so sure of it, we’ll be heading over the ditch early in December to check them out on your behalf (after the opening crowds have bedded in the trails of course).
Mt Buller is getting set to tear the wrapping off its newest mountain bike trail on Saturday 6th December, with the Australian Alpine Epic to be officially launched and open to the public for the first time. The resort will celebrate with a weekend of events dubbed the Epic Festival, complete with a film festival and a launch party with fireworks, an Epic Pump Track Challenge, live music from BONJAH and more.
The Australian Alpine Epic is the jewel in the crown of Mt Buller’s staged mountain bike trail development plan, which has seen some the country’s best and most innovative trails constructed by Australia’s leading trail builders, World Trail. The trail is a 40km long-distance, cross-country descending trail that winds through some of the most spectacular terrain and scenery in the Australian Alps. Starting at Mt Buller, the trail takes riders through the Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Resorts (managed by the Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management), Mansfield State Forest (managed by the Department of Sustainability and Environment), and the Mt Russell Education Area (managed by Parks Victoria). The project has been a partnership between the Australian Alps National Landscape Committee Inc, Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management and the Australian Government through the T-QUAL Strategic Tourism Investment Grants program, and has received state and federal funding to the tune of half a million dollars. In August this year, the trail was awarded ‘Epic’ status by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), putting it in a league reserved only for the best of the best trails around the world.
Chief Executive Officer of Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management, John Huber, said the trail represents a successful regional partnership. “The Australian Alpine Epic trail project has been the result of a huge amount of hard work and planning by a number of stakeholders, with invaluable support from both state and federal government. North East Victoria has long been a region known for cycling, and developments like the Australian Alpine Epic prove just how serious we are about making it the ultimate destination for cyclists of all disciplines.”
Glen Jacobs, whose company World Trail has been responsible for the design and build of the Australian Alpine Epic, said his team is thrilled to let everyone enjoy the trail. “Our guys have spent many summers on Mt Buller constructing some of the best trails in the country, but the Australian Alpine Epic is something else entirely. The terrain and scenery is unlike anything we’ve worked in before, and the trail itself is going to blow riders’ minds. The team is so proud of what we’ve created and we know people are going to absolutely love it.”
The Mt Buller Epic Festival will be held on December 5-7 with a full weekend of events planned. The weekend will be preceded by the inaugural Australian MTB Summit, a conference developed by the industry and featuring over 20 international and local speakers. For further information, visit bike.mtbuller.com.au.
Mt Buller Epic Festival schedule
Friday 5 December
Radical Reels Film Festival, 7:30pm, Mt Buller Cinema
Saturday 6 December
Australian Alpine Epic Official Opening, 9am, Mt Buller Village Square
Epic Launch Party (featuring the Epic Pump Track Challenge, live music from BONJAH, fireworks and more), 6:30pm, Mt Buller Village Square
Sunday 7 December
Peak to Peak Poker Ride, 9:30am, Mt Buller Village Square