Eungella National Park west of Mackay is a mountain-biking mecca.
The annual Mackay Mountain Marathon attracts riders from all over the country, all of whom are keen to take on the park’s epic network of trails. Three courses cater to riders of all ages and skills, and cover a variety of terrains and trail types (including bitumen roads, fire trails, single lane dirt tracks and creek crossings). The more challenging the course, the more fire trails, dirt tracks and hills it includes.
The non-competitive 15-kilometre Recreation Course is suitable for riders aged 14 years and older, who are taking part in the Mackay Mountain Marathon for the first time.
The 38-kilometre Sport Course is for riders aged 16 years or older, who have a moderate skill and fitness level. It’s designed to test the metal of intermediate riders, as they work their way up towards tackling the Marathon Course.
To take on the 80-kilometre Marathon Course, riders must be aged 18 years or older, and have a high level of skill and fitness (the course climbs a total of 2,321 metres). The winner of the Marathon Course takes home the Platypus Trophy, along with a cash prize. Prizes are also awarded in the other categories.
All riders must bring their own bikes, which are inspected by officials prior to the event. Riders must also supply and wear a helmet, closed-in shoes, and eye protection. Registration costs are between $70 and $100 per rider, depending on their age and the course they will be competing in. The registration fee includes a donation to the Rural Fire Service.
While riders must be at least 14 years old to take part in the Mackay Mountain Marathon, there are plenty of activities on the day to keep younger children entertained. The Eungella Cricket Ground generally hosts entertainment, a slow riding competition for kids, and a family BBQ.
For more information on taking part in this exciting event, visit the Mackay Mountain Marathon website.
Need a place to stay?
Eungella National Park is situated 80 kilometres west of Mackay. There are local camping sites and some accommodation options available in and around the town of Eungella itself. If you’re planning to stay in Mackay, Comfort Resort Blue Pacific offers resort-style accommodation in the Northern Beaches. Choose from a variety of self-catering room types, some just metres from stunning Blacks Beach.
Closer to the airport and CBD, Econo Lodge Beachside makes an ideal base for enjoying everything central Mackay has to offer. Families will love this hotel. Children stay free in existing bedding and well-equipped Quota Park is located just across the road, along with the sandy expanse of Illawong Beach.
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