The stunning Scenic Rim – Bike Magazine Australia

Words: Imogen Smith     Images: Mike Blewitt

The Scenic Rim is a collection of green forested peaks whose attractions are often eclipsed by south-east Queensland’s beachside holiday destinations. Lying west of the Gold Coast and stretching towards the NSW border, what the region lacks in beaches it makes up in towering gums, wildlife, dramatic views and unforgettable sunsets.

The Hidden Peaks Trail is run between two of the area’s luxurious Spicers hotels – Spicers Hidden Vale and Spicers Peak Lodge, and covers about 110 kilometres of trails including singletrack, farm roads, bitumen, and historic convict road over four days’ riding. Rather than spending nights at the Spicers hotels themselves, riders sleep the first two nights in comfortable solar-powered, sustainable cabins with filtered rainwater and eco-friendly worm farm septic tank systems. The last night, on the Spicers Peak property, is spent glamping at Spicers Canopy, an Advanced Eco-Tourism Accredited ‘camp’ with luxurious king beds, fine food and views to match.

Day one

Riders meet for morning tea at Spicers Hidden Vale, and get kitted out and fitted to Merida 140 dual suspension mountain bike. The bikes are more than capable for the terrain you will encounter, with 140mm of suspension, a wide range of gears, strong brakes and a comfortable riding position. Then it’s time to get acquainted with the machines and ride some of the 80-odd kilometres of purpose-built singletrack the property has to offer. Spicers Hidden Vale’s owner, Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner (who is also the founder of Flight Centre), is a mountain bike obsessive, and over the last couple of decades has populated the working cattle farm with more and more trails – the most recent built by the renowned team at World Trail. The Hidden Vale trails are open to the public, and play host to a range of events over the year, the best-known being the Flight Centre Epic, one of Australia’s best-loved marathon mountain bike races.

With its historic homestead and 12,000 acres of working cattle farm set in open bushland, the visit to Hidden Vale also presents a chance to explore the rural side of the Scenic Rim as you get a feel for mountain biking through technical singletrack. Hidden Vale riding is a mixture of old and new. Older trails are rocky, natural, and hand-built, and provide plenty of physical and technical challenges. Newer trails have been built with the help of machinery, so are smoother, flowing freely through jumps and berms. That said, there are trails to suit all levels at Hidden Vale, from beginner to advanced, and this first day offers riders an opportunity to choose their own challenges and explore the different routes and tracks that criss-cross the property.