Mountain Biking at Finch Hatton in Central Queensland

Names: Anna Beck | Photo and video: Noah Davidson & Bergen O'Neil

If you're from the southern states, chances are your mental picture of Queensland mountain bike trails has the southeast pocket, then the tumbleweeds, then Cairns. The truth, however, is that like all small towns in Australia they are getting smart to tap into the mountain bike tourism trend. Enter Finch Hatton, west of Mackay a trail network (and certainly not a little bird in a bowler hat) described by trail experts as “in the top three mainland trail networks in Australia”. That's a lot of praise from a Maydena park rat that has changed.

Although it's not central—getting to the trails is a 55-minute drive from Mackay Airport—it's definitely something to keep in mind. In its current state, the network designed for the World Trail has developed a route network up to 250m high, with ideas to expand the network during the second phase, up to 650m high. There are currently 16 routes open; 7 green, 6 blue and 3 black modes that prioritize flow time and wind time. The second stage consists of 82km of flow and gravity routes, and a 40km wilderness route from the nearby town of Eungella to Finch Hatton.

But how does it ride? If epic-scale streaming and airtime is your thing, you'll have a hoot. The range of routes from family friendly green rated routes to full commitment pitches all black diamond routes means there is a route for everyone. The more advanced rider can have a blast on the easy routes by pumping up airtime with optional lines and shipping, while new riders are tasked with improving their airtime in the blue and black areas. While the first stage is completely flowy, the second stage will feature some technical pull-downs for the rock garden lovers among us.

To get to the top of the network, a family-friendly climbing track called G'Day G'Day offers a back-to-back climb in about 15-20 minutes designed to be friendly no matter your fitness level. For those who don't adhere to the 'find your turn' mantra, there is a shuttle service from the main route with full and half day transfer options.

One thing to note about Finch Hatton is that the trails actually ride better when wet; useful in the hot climate of central Queensland, although the trails are built to be ridden all year round. The rainy season usually starts in December and lasts until March or April, so although you may be able to ride the trails during this time, the weather is unpredictable and very wet, so going up between April and September can be the ticket: temperatures he started. rising again in late spring!

Check it out!

The Tasty Fig trail features the network's flagship, 1.1km blue-rated flow trail with killer berms, rollers, and enough jump lines to keep big hitters happy.

Cafes and attractions

The village of Finch Hatton has a cafe, local shop and pub which produced the best pie one of our riders has ever had!

Features of the router head

The existing track at Finch Hatton has left nothing to be desired, featuring a high grade pump track, rest and barbecue area, bike racks, amenities, water fountain and bike wash.

Cell phone reception

While we found Telstra's service to be reasonably reliable, other carriers can have patchy reception in the area. It is recommended that riders carry an EPIRB or PLB, especially as the trail network expands and diversifies with the section 2 trail network.

If you would like to explore more about Finch Hatton – visit their website here.


Technology: 2/5
Eligibility: 2/5
Cross country: 3/5
Clue: 4.5/5
Every mountain: 4/5
On the way down: 4/5
skip: 4/5

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