WHERE THE WORLDS OF ADVENTURE SPORT MEET IN ONE ULTIMATE FESTIVAL.
MOUNTAIN BIKING. TRAIL RUNNING. PADDLING. ADVENTURE.
Take on an ultimate adventure challenge. Make your way through the adventure playground that is East Gippsland with a non-navigational challenge of mountain biking, trail running and paddling in the spectacular Mitchell River National Park. Face plenty of surprises to test your adventure skills, and bring out your inner adventure racer.
The AAF Adventure Race extracts the most adventure thrill possible from the Mitchell River National Park and its surrounds.
Competitors will begin at the Echo Bend Camping Ground event hub, darting north into the National Park for a short access trail run (2km) amid the fern jungle surrounding the mystical Den of Nargun.
A quick (50m) swim across a flat pool section of the mighty Mitchell River and it’s onto the kayaks for a 12km downriver paddle south. You’ll encounter mostly slow-moving flatwater with occasional small (grade I-II) rapids easily and safely navigated.
Halfway down, racers will come across a giant broken weir wall that soars above on river right, resembling an ancient Incan structure. Further down, nearing the river-left exit prior to a road bridge, you’ll have some fun on the Final Fling rapid (Grade II-III).
Out of the wets and cleating up, it’s onto the mountain bike for a 24km ride. A short U-turn route to get you across the bridge and back tracking the riverbank north, riders will enjoy a small gorge section before taking a big climb west into private farmlands. Ahead is a mix of farm, state forest and bush trails, including an out and back loop on Echo Bend property that uses some of the old Mitchell River Walking Track. There are two short ‘hike-a-bike’ sections: one on the traverse across to the loop (a very steep track) and another unrideable of about 200 metres at the end of the Walking Track.
Take the opportunity on the latter to stop and check the big views back over Mitchell River.
Wheeling back through the start/finish zone (you can stop to refuel, say hi to your support team), it’s now a 4WD dirt road dash to the next transition, the route weaving you up the west side of the National Park. When we say ‘dash’, there will be some tougher, slower sections with several meaty hills encountered.
Reaching a crossroad intersection, leave the bike and don the trail runners. The 14km course takes you further north on fire road before turning you back south and onto the best bits of the Mitchell River Walking Track, including gigantic vistas over the Mitchell River Amphitheatre. From here it is singletrack bliss (if the legs weren’t so tired!) all the way back along the riverbank trail to Echo Bend finish hub.