Ticket To Ride
Cool sunny days and an ever-changing panorama of picture postcard scenery give biking around Lake Tinaroo a special quality.
The lake forms a backdrop to the historical village of Yungaburra, an Atherton Tablelands focal point for music, craft, markets and dining.
From there, roads and tracks go in all directions with easily travelled sealed roads to the vantage points of Tinaburra, Lakeside and The Afghanistan Avenue of Honour, a living memorial dedicated to the memory of all who served and died in Afghanistan.
Lake Tinaroo (Tinaroo Falls Dam) was completed in 1958 to provide water for the Mareeba-Dimbulah irrigation scheme and is about three-quarters the area of Sydney Harbour.
For serious cycling, Lake Tinaroo offers some spectacular challenges with a circuit ride of more than 90km from Tinaroo township, which is 19km from Yungaburra.
Danbulla Road crosses the Barron River below the dam spillway and goes around the north perimeter of the lake on a mix of sealed and dirt roads. Vantage points include Platypus Rocks Lookout, Downfall Creek and Kauri Creek.
From the northern arm of the lake, the road climbs through pine plantations and natural rainforest, past historic sites including the School House and The Chimneys, to little volcanic crater Lake Euramo and the spectacular Cathedral Fig Tree.
From there the road passes through farmland before joining the Gillies Highway for the final stretch to Lake Barrine, Yungaburra and back to Tinaroo.
Kauri Creek-Mt Edith Loop
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, an even more challenging trail is the Kauri Creek-Mt Edith Loop from Tinaroo around the lake to Kauri Creek, then climbing through Danbulla State Forest and Dinden National Park with its spectacular mountain and forest scenery.
This ride traverses semi-remote country with limited mobile phone coverage so riders should be experienced, well prepared with food, water, first aid and tools, and make sure somebody knows where they are going and when they expect to return.
Some of the accommodation in Yungaburra is “mountain bike friendly”, offering bike lockup and wash-down facilities as well as advice about the local trails.