Who doesn’t love a day out on the trails? Twisting through chicanes, pushing up ascents and thundering back down to earth on the other side.
It only makes sense that we give a little back to ourselves on occasion and what better way to do it than delving into some of the best in mountain biking that the region has to offer.
Thankfully, right here in Ipswich there’s loads of places to explore and we’ve done the hard yards to get all that information right here in the one place.
The first destination on this list is a mountain biking wonderland that’s no less than perfect for tearing it up over the weekend. There’s 15km of track, running through an assortment of difficulty levels and consequently, it’s a totally unique location that can satisfy a range of skill sets.
What sets Castle Hill apart from the rest is its menu of IMBA classified trail options, tightly woven within a small area, allowing for a single group to split off into individual sections and reconvene at any given time. It’s a highly versatile experience and all within shouting distance. A great option if you’re heading out with friends of different abilities.
But whatever your choice, be warned. The hilly, rocky terrain will make you work for every, single, metre. Castle Hill is easily characterised by its short, intense sections of terrain that can challenge even the most competent of mountain bikers.
We promise, it’s worth it.
White Rock Conservation Estate
A little bit different to our first location on this list, White Rock offers a welcome change in atmosphere, away from the thrill of the ride and more towards the journey itself.
At this location you can expect much more gradual crests and falls, stretching high up into the ridgelines and then back through the deep valleys of low lying swampland in between.
Prepare to cover significantly larger distances whilst transitioning though a collection of different biomes along the way. The estate is a unique location wherein a single trip can encompass everything from paperbark flats, through to dry sandstone peaks, laden with red soil and clusters of volcanic rock.
Access to White Rock is off School Rd, 25 minutes from the Ipswich CBD.
Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate
Similar to White Rock but with a few key differences, Flinders Goolman again presents the opportunity for a mountain biking adventure more focused on the journey than the destination. And with over 2000 hectares of conservation estate to explore, what a journey it will be.
This beautiful expanse of land is situated between the Flinders Plum Picnic Area and Hardings Paddock campground, with accessibility from each.
And being apart of the Flinders-Goolman mountain range, it’s a terrific opportunity to press through a series of peaks and valleys along some of our most extreme topography, extending a full 19km in one direction.
Grab a friend, drop a car either side and set off on an adventure right through the heart of some of the best-preserved dry vine bushland in the region.
Or if you prefer a shorter excursion, there’s a number of circuit options available from the Hardings Paddock side of the estate.
For unparalleled views of the tallest peaks in Greater Brisbane, Flinders Goolman is a must.
Hidden Vale Adventure Park
Now we’re really into the meat of the list with this one. Saving the best for last, we have Hidden Vale Adventure Park and it’s arguably one of the most comprehensive and impressive mountain biking parks in the Ipswich area.
In fact, it’s the biggest park of its kind in all of mainland Australia. A day out at Hidden Vale means access to 110km of trail network, twisting within an expansive nature refuge and complete with shuttle rides to the highest and most distant corners of the property.
There’s mountain eucalypt forests, dry rainforest scrub, grasslands, paddocks and pastures, edged with Queensland blue gums and creeping bushland in between. So be ready for a coalescence of climbs and blistering downhill circuits throughout an absolutely breathtaking mountain biking estate, entirely in a league of its own.
For a meager $10 you can gain access to the park and over a series of visits you can begin to scratch the surface of the sheer quantity of world class mountain bike trails available here. For those of us a bit more serious about their riding, Hidden Vale also hosts a number of events on a yearly basis, including the Giant 3 Plus 3, 99 Bikes Dingo and even the Merida Hidden Vale 24hr relay.
Our recommendation for this one is the 500 and above trail at the very back of the park, which sees visitors greeted firstly by the rugged mountain-scape of the Scenic Rim, before ultimately wrapping around to stunning views of Granchester, Ipswich and the skyline of Brisbane in the distance. It’s truly an experience to behold. Just be sure to catch a ride in with the boys from the front desk, or it might be a bit of a tough one getting there.
Not to be forgotten, HVAP also operates alongside the award winning Spicers Homage Restaurant, so if you’re down for a bite post-ride, there’s a prestigious hatted dining experience ready and waiting on the way out.