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About Smithfield

Getting there and getting around

McGregor Street entrance. Photo: Queensland Government.

McGregor Street entrance. Photo: Queensland Government.

Panguna Street entrance. Photo: Queensland Government.

Panguna Street entrance. Photo: Queensland Government.

Smithfield Conservation Park is about 16km north of Cairns via the Captain Cook Highway. There are three main entrances to the park.

McGregor Road entrance

This is the main entrance to Smithfield Regional Park and the only entrance with a car park. From Cairns, travel north along the Captain Cook Highway for 16km and turn left at the McGregor Road roundabout near James Cook University. Drive 1km along McGregor Road, past the university, to the Smithfield Conservation Park car park. This entrance provides access to the start of the ‘easy’ mountain-bike trails and the Cairns Mountain Bike Club clubhouse.

Panguna Street entrance

From Cairns travel north along the Captain Cook Highway for 19km and turn left into Arawa Street, about 500m past the Trinity Beach roundabout. Drive 100m then turn right onto Panguna Street and continue for 600m to the park entrance. This entrance provides access to the ‘more difficult’ mountain-bike trails.

Moore Road entrance

From Cairns travel north along the Captain Cook Highway for 20km and turn left onto Discovery Drive at the Kewarra Beach roundabout. Continue along Discovery Drive for 400m and turn left onto Moore Road. Continue for another 500m to the park entrance. This entrance provides access to the ‘more difficult’ mountain-bike trails.

Maps

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheel-chair accessible facilities in Smithfield Conservation Park.

Park features

Mountain-bike trail from McGregor Street entrance. Photo: Queensland Government.

Mountain-bike trail from McGregor Street entrance. Photo: Queensland Government.

This small 278ha park encompasses the foothills of the coastal range—the steep, vegetated ridges rising 350m in height behind the suburbs of Smithfield and Trinity Beach—and extends onto the coastal plain on the alluvial flats of Atika and Moon creeks. Dense rainforest clads the southward-facing slopes as well as the damp gullies and creek lines of the northern and eastern slopes. Open eucalypt woodland, with emergent pink bloodwoods and Moreton Bay ash, is characteristic of the park and covers the steep slopes and ridgelines, along with acacia and swamp box open forest on different soils.

The western side of the park, along the ridge line, borders Kuranda National Park. The residential area of Smithfield adjoins the remainder of the park’s boundary. A 39ha section of the park has been leased to the Cairns Mountain Bike Club. Under an agreement, the club maintains a network of shared cross-country and downhill trails for mountain bikers, ranging from easy to extremely difficult.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted in Smithfield Conservation Park.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Cairns and the northern beaches.

For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Mountain bike trails are suitable for all levels. Photo: Gordon Greaves.

Mountain bike trails are suitable for all levels. Photo: Gordon Greaves.

The park boasts a world-class downhill course. Photo: Gordon Greaves.

The park boasts a world-class downhill course. Photo: Gordon Greaves.

Orientation signs are located around the trails on the park. Photo: Queensland Government.

Orientation signs are located around the trails on the park. Photo: Queensland Government.

Mountain biking

A network of more than 12km of trails provides a variety of downhill and cross-country mountain-biking trails, suitable for everyone from beginners to world class athletes. The trails are classified according to the level of difficulty for mountain-bike riding.

All trails in the park are accessible for mountain bikers, with the exception of the short trail diverging off a black (‘more difficult’) trail near the western boundary of the park. This trail is for walkers only and leads on to a long-distance walking trail—the Saddle Mountain trail—through Kuranda National Park.

Maps

Green circle (Grade: easy)

Details: Green tracks are suitable for beginners, families and children. The gradients are gentle and the trails contain minor obstacles.

Blue square (Grade: more difficult)

Details: Blue tracks are suitable for riders with some off-road experience. The trails pass through terrain with a variety of gradients, including some steep sections, and some obstacles.

Black diamond (Grade: very difficult) and double black diamond (Grade: extremely difficult)

Details: Black tracks are suitable for experienced off-road riders only. These trails pass through challenging terrain with frequent obstacles, and are designed for one-way use.

Things to know before you go

Trails throughout the park are shared between walkers and mountain bikers but not accessible to vehicles or trailbikes. Photo: Queensland Government.

Trails throughout the park are shared between walkers and mountain bikers but not accessible to vehicles or trailbikes. Photo: Queensland Government.

Myrtle rust

Myrtle rust—a fungal disease affecting many native plants—has been found in Smithfield Conservation Park. The disease poses a significant threat to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Be aware of what myrtle rust looks like before visiting the park and avoid contact with infected trees.

Essentials to bring

To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit always bring:

  • a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent
  • sturdy, reliable footwear
  • drinking water
  • rubbish bags
  • appropriate safety gear for mountain-bike riding—a helmet approved to Australian Standards (AS 2063) and protective gloves and cycling glasses.

Opening hours

Smithfield Conservation Park is open 24hrs a day.

Permits and fees

Permits may be required for commercial or organised group activities. Contact us for further information.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Smithfield Conservation Park.

Climate and weather

Smithfield Conservation Park has a tropical climate. In summer, maximum temperatures are around 33°C with high humidity. Between December and April there are frequent heavy downpours of rain and the possibility of thunderstorms and tropical cyclones.

Between June and October are the cooler drier months. The weather is pleasantly warm with reduced humidity, lower rainfall and average maximum temperatures ranging from 27–30°C.

For more information see the Bureau of Meterology.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available nearby at Smithfield, Palm Cove and Cairns.

For more information see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

Mountain bikers should wear appropriate protective gear on the trails. Photo: Gordon Greaves.

Mountain bikers should wear appropriate protective gear on the trails. Photo: Gordon Greaves.

Mountain biking safety guidelines

  • Wear appropriate safety gear—a helmet approved to Australian Standards (AS 2063), gloves and cycling glasses.
  • Stay on formed trails and take care on loose and uneven surfaces especially when wet as trail conditions are subject to change.
  • Select the appropriate trail grade for your skills and experience.
  • Inform someone of your itinerary including start and finishing times.
  • Ride at precautionary speeds—always expect that walkers or mountain bikers may be around the next corner.
  • Give way to walkers—slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary, and pass walkers at a slow speed.
  • Follow the International Mountain Bicycling Association rules of the trail.
  • In an emergency phone Triple Zero (000). If you have difficulty connecting to Triple Zero (000) from your mobile phone, try dialling 112.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

  • Domestic animals are not permitted in conservation parks. Leave all pets at home.
  • Rubbish bins are not provided—take rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Do not remove plant material, living or dead.
  • Stay on trails at all times—this reduces the risk of injury, prevents disturbance to native vegetation and reduces erosion.
  • Never scare, chase or feed wildlife.
  • Take care not to transport pest plant seeds. To avoid bringing pest plants into the park, check your clothing, footwear and bike, and dispose of seeds prior to entering the park.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Myrtle rust

Myrtle rust—a fungal disease affecting many native plants—has been found in Smithfield Conservation Park. The disease poses a significant threat to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Follow these guidelines to help prevent its spread:

  • Do not collect or move plant material, living or dead.
  • Stay on roads or vehicle tracks when walking or mountain biking to reduce contact between bikes, people and plants.
  • Avoid contact with infected plants as this may spread spores.
  • Go clean—clean your vehicle, bicycle, clothes and footwear when you leave the park or as soon as you arrive home. Remove soil, leaves and mud and clean with water and detergent.

Learn more about myrtle rust and how to minimise its spread.

Park management

Cairns Mountain Bike Club assists in management of the park. Photo: Gordon Greaves.

Cairns Mountain Bike Club assists in management of the park. Photo: Gordon Greaves.

Smithfield Conservation Park was gazetted in 2000. The park borders the Kuranda National Park and the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The park is managed for the conservation of natural and cultural values and to provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities for visitors, through partnerships with key stakeholders.

In 2007 the Cairns Mountain Bike Club signed a formal agreement to lease an area of the park (39ha) for mountain-bike riding. The agreement provides for mountain-bike trails for downhill, cross country and mountain cross activities as well as family-oriented bicycle riding. The club is responsible for maintaining and managing the trails, rider behaviour and events within the lease area.

Tourism information links

Cairns and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre
www.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au
51 The Esplanade, Cairns QLD 4870
ph (07) 4051 3588
email   

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
29 March 2017