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An adventure in Far North Queensland

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by WKD60, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. Went for a 24hr jaunt around FNQ a few days ago. Been wanting to do it for a while, and as I was in Innisfail with the outlaws for Xmas, the opportunity was ripe.

    Never mind the threat of cyclone, monsoon trough moving in, severe thunderstorm warnings, flooding, blah blah blah. I wanna go for a ride, so shut-up mister weatherman, you pompous arse.

    Day 1 would consist of a straight run up the coast from Innisfail to Cape tribulation. Nice easy going ride, which promised some nice flowing roads with fantastic scenery.


    Day 2 would be the ‘thrills’ day with plans to run back south to Mossman, then up the range (thrills) on the Mossman - Mt Molloy Rd (Never done before), through Mt Molloy and south to Mareeba, past Kuranda down the McAlister range (thrills) to Cairns, down to Gordonvale, then up the Gillies (BIG thrills) for a stop at Yungaburra before heading back to Innisfail down the Palmerston HWY.


    So, threw the Biker swag on the back of the StripleR and strapped it down. Fresh shirt, socks, jocks, a piar of boardies, few cans of Johnnie, couple of bags of Bhuja mix for sustenance, and a power pack all thrown in the back pack. Oh, and a little pillow.

    Tank bag had a torch, phone, wallet, gopro accessories.

    Standard fit items already on the bike include a puncture repair kit, multi tool, allen key set, OBD reader.

    Set off around midday on Sunday with the intention of going straight up the coast through Cairns, Port Douglas, a quick detour to Daintree Village, then across the Daintree river on the ferry and on to Cape tribulation. Was planning on throwing the swag out on a beach at either Cow Bay, Thornton Bay or Cape Trib. Having not been up that way for near on 15 yrs, it was going to be a look and see decision. All up, roughly 230km run, so plenty of time to get up there, find a spot and setup before dark...

    The weather was seemingly perfect. After raining constantly in Innisfail and throughout the region to the north the previous day, Sunday was looking glorious. Spirits were high and the run north was great. First time I’ve ridden the Captain Cook highway between Cairns and Port and it did not disappoint. Fantastic ribbon of tarmac with spectacular views that threaten to break your concentration just long enough for you to run off the road and DIE. But what a way to go...


    All was looking good until I approached Mossman, just past Port. I could see it, a big black mass of... wet hell. I found myself riding into a torrential downpour. As I rode into Mossman I sought shelter (Found a little servo that was closed, eureka!) Good chance to get off the bike, take the gear of, have a stretch, relax and check the rain radar. I ended up sat for an hour or so to let it pass.


    During the stop, doing the normal check over the bike, noticed some ‘wear’ on the exhaust... Oops, seems I lent the bike over a bit too far on the run between Cairns and Port. I remember the moment, thought it was my foot peg... It wasn’t... Oh dear


    Saw a gap on the radar so thought I’d make a dash for Daintree village, in the hope I could find shelter there as there was more rain on the way, with the intention to push on to the cape with another break in the weather. Headed off and had a pretty good run past Lower Daintree but as I came into twisty section preceding the village, the weather rolled in and I again found myself being beaten by relentless, torrential rain. The Metzeller’s were doing a great job given the conditions and the suspension was giving me plenty of feedback as to what was happening down there at the ‘coal face’. I could feel the tyres under me, desperately searching for grip as water cascaded across the road. Things were getting sketchy but I had to push on a few more kays to the village.


    As I entered the village I spotted a small rest area on the left with a decent looking shelter and toilets. Mental note: good place to set up for a couple of hours if needed. I wanted to head into the village, and down to the river, as it had been a few many years since I’d been there. So, there’s the village... Yep, hasn’t changed... Continue down to the river... and a photo op. Then back to the shelter to check it out, have a break and see what the weather’s doing.



    I find a shed that seemed purpose built for a man and his machine. No table and chairs taking up valuable space, just a shed, built up on three sides with a guttered roof. Perfect. Looking at the radar things are looking bleak... With some big rain inbound. Oh, what’s this, a fresh severe storm warning released for the Daintree and Cape Tribulation...

    As it was, this was to be the end of the road, and it was only 3 or 4 o’clock. I was going no further, and the decision made so much easier having found such an ideal shelter. This would do me for the night.


    Back-up some gopro footage, re-charge everything (Including myself with scotch and Bhuja), fart around on the bookface, read some news, throw the swag out blah blah blah. I wanted to go for a walk down to the village to get some more scotch, and maybe a feed, but I didn’t trust to leave my shit with the locals across the road that had been eyeing me off since I’d been there... So I settle in for an early night.

    Let’s see what the night has in store for me.

    As it happened, a couple of heavy downpours, but not as much as the forecast made out. The thunderstorm passed to the north of me (probably best I didn’t go all the way up to Cape Trib) so a pretty good night if I’m honest. I was dry, warm, comfortable (and so was the bike), and very grateful for this little shelter. I woke up around 6, well rested and excited to see what the new day had in store for me.

    It wasn’t what I had hoped...

    Day 2 started with me breaking camp at around 7am, riding off in the drizzling rain. Just enough to get me all wet again at the start of the day, but not wet enough to create dangerous road conditions, so I was happy. (This is far north Queensland, in summer. I could be soaked to the bone, doing 120kmh, and not be COLD. It’s actually quite pleasant being wet)


    I head south, swing by the ferry at Lower Daintree for a look, before continuing back down to Mossman where I stop for fuel. Then head off and turn right onto the Mossman-Mt Molloy Rd. By this time the rain had eased. As I hit the range and began the climb, the road was damp, even dry in places. But very slippery in the shady spots, of which there are many, and I did not feel comfortable pushing too hard on the climb. A beautiful piece of road winding through the rainforest, with magnificent views at the top. Will definitely be coming back in the dry season!


    So, onto the top of the range and we open into flowing winding roads as we approach Mt Molloy. Some beautiful country indeed. I remember seeing the ‘welcome to’ Mt Molloy sign as I came into town. I think I must have blinked... because the next thing I saw was the ‘thanks for visiting’ Mt Molloy sign.

    30 boring, and very wet, minutes later I’m entering Mareeba and decide to stop for a quick bite to eat and a coffee. Normally I’d go to Coffee Works, but for whatever reason I wasn’t in the mood and just went into the local maccas as it was quick and easy. Check the radar and it’s looking absolutely terrible at Kuranda and Cairns. I quickly lose the desire to go down the McAlister range, and instead decide to keep heading south down to Yungaburra. From there I’d decide if I’d go down the Gillies for a blast or just head home to Innisfail.

    Get into Yungaburra and the weather breaks as I stop into the Avenue of Honour. Plenty of people around on the lake fishing and skiing. A few people wandering the Avenue, which was nice to see. I pay my respects to some old mates, and decide to give the Gillies a miss this time, and head straight home.


    Wet, but picturesque run down the Palmerston to Innisfail and my trip concludes pretty much bang on 24hrs after it begun.

    Day 2 didn’t pan out like I had hoped, but it was still a great morning of riding.

    First time I’ve gotten away on the bike for an overnighter and I felt very satisfied at the end of the trip. It was... rejuvenating. There’s nothing like getting away on the bike by yourself and ‘roughing it’.

    Highly recommended!
    • Winner Winner x 14
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  2. Excellent ride commentary and photos WKD60WKD60, thanks for posting. I would really like to do some riding in Far North Queensland and the route you rode looks like a great start. What brand/model of bike swag do you have there? It looks compact on the back of your Street Triple.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Great read and photos WKD60WKD60
    Thanks for putting it up here.
    Like XJ6NXJ6N I have had an itch for some time to ride as far north as my comfort zone will let me.
    Who knows, I just need to let the Idea ferment for a little while longer.
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  4. Thanks guys :cool:

    XJ6N the swag is a an Oztrail Biker. It is a great little swag, I've been very impressed with it.
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  5. Duly noted, thanks very much. I'm sure I will return to your ride report quite a few times to re-read through, very enjoyable. That you scraped up the exhaust on a lean is very impressive. With the riding photos, and the one of the rain in particular, it makes me think a GoPro will be a good investment for me to make for future rides too.
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  6. Outstanding report mate... I live in Townsville and I'm always searching for a ride buddy to do some weekend adventure. Let me know next time your in the "Ville" as I work from home, and have a number of bikes and bike projects.
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  7. Thanks for sharing your ride and photos.
    I enjoyed reading your report
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  8. WKD60WKD60 Thanks for posting this jaunt up :) How cool! This is exactly what info I am after at the moment since i'm trying to plan a trip from Gold Coast to Cape Trib :D
    This write up is exactly what I needed.

    Also I so agree with you - in the wet tropics, it could be pissing down - but you wont get cold... just like a warm shower (still doesnt make it any less pleasant getting into wet leathers though!).

    Also, good job on the 'wear' on the bottom of the exaust - you must have been having lots of fun!
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  9. Also WKD60WKD60 ....
    Where. Is. That. Giant. Fruit?

    Being a connoisseur of large (generally ugly) looking "big" items.... I MUST go see this! :p

    See attached examples of my ridiculous fascination....
    image. image.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. LOL. That's quite a fascination.
    The Mango you speak of is at Frosty Mango, about 40mins N of Townsville. If you do your trip to the Cape, you'll come across it. Make sure you stop in for an ice cream!

    And give me a holla when you're passing through this way, I'd love to join you for your final push!
    • Like Like x 1
  11. WKD60WKD60 ... You had me at "mango". :p

    Like you need to tell me twice to have icecream....pfffft!

    Cheers! I've now put it on my riding map as a must stop rest :angelic:
    Will do! I'll let you know, thanks!!
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  12. I have to stop reading Netrider on my phone while perched on the toilet. I completely misread the meaning of this remark...
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  13. hope you have a waterproof cover on your phone... :wideyed::facepalm:
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  14. Someone I work with came into the office one morning and said that he'd "drowned" his work-supplied iPhone and asked the administration officer if it could it be replaced.

    "Yes...you'll have to give me the one you've drowned..."

    He pulled it out of his pocket, "Here..."

    The admin officer started to reach for the proffered iPhone while asking, "How did you manage to drown it?..."

    "It fell out of my shirt pocket into the toilet when I bent over last night". The admin officer's hand shot back like it'd touched a hot iron.

    "What..? What's the matter..?" said the iPhone poo-er, looking confused.

    Even when it was explained to him that the phone was taboo and never to be touched again, certainly not outside a seal-able plastic bag, he mooched off to his desk looking aggrieved. "I even used Glen 20 on it!"

    Some people, eh? To answer your question...yes, mine does have a waterproof cover... :yuck:
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. Yeah, my bad. Sorry about that o_O

    I've been trying to refrain from using sexual innuendos...

    But it's just...


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