Cairns Bike Hire & Exploring Myola’s Tropical Gravel Pathways

Written by: Courtney Williams



Time to read 4 min

Venturing off the beaten path, our Biked Crew decided to take on a new challenge and explore trails less ridden. With the aftermath of Cyclone Jasper putting a damper on our usual hot spots, we decided to go full-on explorers and uncover a hidden gem that has been lying dormant. In our first blog of the "Discovering Hidden Gems" series, we take you on a meandering journey through the Myola Loop. Pedal up and join us as we share what we discovered!

Myola Loop - Kuranda Gravel Ride - Bike Hire Cairns - Biked
Myola Loop Gravel Ride - Kuranda - Biked Cairns

Bike Riding the Myola Loop - Kuranda - Cairns

Myola, which is approximately 32kms away from Cairns City Centre, is a picturesque location that can be reached by driving up the Kuranda Range for about 25 minutes. While the roads are winding, the drive is worth it as you'll be surrounded by beautiful tropical greenery. However, it's crucial to be cautious on the way up as the area is home to our beautiful albeit endangered cassowary families that locals are trying desperately to save. So chill, relax and enjoy the twists in the road, ready to spot a road side cassowary.

Our starting spot for our ride was Black Mountain Road, the second turn off North from the Kennedy Highway once you reach the top of the Kuranda Range. Located in the Ngunbay (known as Kuranda) area, home to the to the Djabuguy peoples. Ngunbay translates to "place of the platypus," an area also renowned for camping and fishing. You can see when you ride around why the local indigenous peoples found this area so fruitful.

Our turn off from Black Mountain Road is West onto La Road (however you want to pronounce it.... La as in sing or L.A as in the USA. Following La road we are careful not to miss our turnoff onto to the "Forresty Road" as named by our friends at Google! Maybe we will have to give this road a name for the sake of cyclists!!!

Don't follow the road to the township of Mona Mona, make sure you turn South East onto the Forestry Road, this will eventually have you meet Armstrong Road which will bring you back towards the Barron River. 

Continuing on Armstrong Road for km's of stunning gravel you eventually will reach Oak Forrest Road. Not sure how its call "Oak" as this is the pure rainforest tropics.

Just a slight pedal and you with reach the causeway crossing over the Barron River, definitely a spot for a photo and a rest snack stop (don't forget your mozzie repellent!)

Need a bike to start your journey? CAIRNS BIKE HIRE by Biked  - 

We can get you sorted here>

Keep reading to find the other part to the loop 🌴

Gravel Riding - Myola Loop - Bike Hire Cairns - Biked
Gravel Riding - Myola Loop - Kuranda - Biked Cairns
Gravel Riding Biked Cairns - Bike Hire Cairns - Biked
Wild Horses - Myola Loop Gravel Ride - Biked Cairns

The complete loop is mainly gravel, situated amidst a mixture of rainforests, farming, and forestry. The well-graded roads are perfect for X-Country Riders as a fantastic training route or for gravel grinders, who can enjoy a nice 43km ride. Unfortunately, we couldn't cross the Barron this time due to the high water flow from Lake Tinaroo after the Cyclone Jasper flooding.

Our tour manager, Nichole, who has crossed the river previously, suggests that the opposite side, through Kowrowa and beyond, is a great workout for the legs, especially if you're up for rolling climbs or riding an eBike. The road on that side of the Barron is mostly sealed, and if hill climbs aren't your thing, Nichole recommends riding the loop in reverse and having a support vehicle pick you up at the Baron river where you could freshen off with a dip (of course abide by all the swim safety rules when doing this!). On any normal riding day, the crossing is a simple causeway where you wouldn't get your wheels wet.

The roads are generally quiet however it's important to be aware of logging trucks passing through the forestry area. Most of the drivers are courteous and will acknowledge you as they drive by. Keep an eye out for the "K" markers that indicate your progress along the way.

Although part of the loop does take you over the Barron River via the Kennedy Highway, we are going to push this as an opportunity to take your time and enjoy the sight, instead of the usual quick drive over which you probably have always taken for granted. The river bridge crossing is an opportunity to actually take in the sights of everything around you, looking west further into the Tablelands or East towards the beaches, this river means a lot to the locals and is majestic.

Once over the Barron River again its time to head back up Black Mountain Road to your starting point.

Overall, the Myola Loop is an excellent route for intermediate gravel and XC riders who have a good level of fitness. We recommend bringing a hydration pack and some snacks for the journey, as there aren't any corner stores or servo’s nearby. 

Grab some friends and enjoy a grind ride through the scenic Myola Loop.

Total Loop - 43kms - Approx. 3hrs on Gravel Bikes

CAIRNS BIKE HIRE - Hire a bike or book a tour with the Biked crew here>

Myola Loop - Biked Cairns - Bike Hire Cairns
Myola Loop - Biked Cairns
Myola Loop - Biked Cairns - Bike Hire Cairns
Elevation Levels on the Myola Loop - Biked Cairns