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Sydney to Cairns

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by Jasonjetski, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. I have been getting the urge to go on a decent road trip and thinking to ride up to Cairns to visit my Dad.
    This would be the first time ever going to Cairns,So Iam curious what are the better routes to take and what would be the best time of year?
    I would be riding a Vulcan VN900 classic,So would need to stick to the black stuff.
    According to Google maps,The trip is 2500km each way. Iam thinking about 500k's a day would be good. So 5 days getting there and then spend a few days there and another 5 days getting back to Sydney.
    Iam unsure whether to camp or use Motels. Maybe a combination of the 2.
    Any input would be welcome.
    Regards Jason

  2. Great trip to plan, just remember the extra gear you will need to carry if you are camping.
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  3. Camping gear would consist of Small tent,Sleeping bag.Self inflating sleeping pad.
    Maybe a camp single burner and camp cook pan for coffee and simple meals.
    Extension cord for powered camp sites and a power board pre tested and tagged. I have heard many caravan parks insist on tested and tagged cords.
    Then all my normal stuff such as clothes and electrical gear.
    First aid kit and a few tools.
    All the camping gear could be strapped onto the pillion seat and be positioned to act as a backrest.
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  4. I reckon after the long ride that a nice room with hot water, comfy bed and a beer fridge would be the go...but that's just me. :)
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  5. Good point Caz64.
    I like the idea of crashing in a tent,But can really relate to all you listed above.
    Even a fairly average Motel can be like a palace after a day in the saddle.
    Maybe a mix of camping and Motels would be a good idea.
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  6. Epic trip, good on you for wanting to give it a go. Personally I would go for the combination accommodation option. After a few hard days riding it is a good feeling to just pull up, have a meal and a hot shower without having to setup your campsite. The camping option gives you some great areas to stay in National Parks that can be spectacular, and is much cheaper. I will let others who know the roads in that area better to offer advice on your route.

    If you are camping in QLD parks you need a permit from HERE
    The NSW Park services has a pass scheme as well although not sure how that works, check HERE
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  7. Jason,

    Thats a great ride,
    I f I was just scooting up for a visit I woud go the inland route up and back, but if this is a fist go the coast route one way and the inland route the other and see the country.

    Both have places to free camp, or if you prefer motels and hotel as well.

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  8. Thanks for the replies. Lots of great ideas.
    I have some family in the Logan area,So I will have to stop there for a night to catch up with them.
    Iam thinking to plan for 500k's per day,But hope to get into it more as the days go on and cover more ground then.
    I also like the idea of going inland one way and coast the other way.
    Today I did Kangaroo Valley and was thinking I enjoy the ride a bit more in the cooler weather. I assume this is the better way to do it to avoid the heat in Cairns during summer.
  9. As per the map above. Maybe up the coast and back inland. I thought the Charters Towers – Emerald stretch was a bit monotonous. And the inland route will still be a bit chilly in winter at dawn/dusk. But it’s all good on a bike.
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  10. Ok just be wary that if you haven't done long distances before you can get rider slump after the first couple of days and start to lose concentration. You also want to spend some time to see the sights, take pictures etc so don't push yourself too hard. You should take plenty of breaks, take water, dehydration can creep up on you. Not sure how much long distance experience you have had so I may be teaching you how to suck eggs as the saying goes. :)
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  11. I do around 500k's most weekends,But dont get out on many decent road trips yet.
    The last ride was to Jindabyne and I did about 1200k's over the weekend with a pillion.
    Then 1400k's out to Parkes,Gundagai and Batemans bay over 3 nights late last year again with a pillion.
    I find I can travel further when alone though.
    My rule is that if I don't need to pee at a rest stop,Iam not drinking enough water,So I stay pretty well hydrated. Grazing on snacks all the way to pass time and keep some energy up. Strong mint lollies if I need a pick me up.
    All advice is very welcome though.
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  12. Jason I use to drive that trip every 3 months when I was a coach driver, we went up through the centre of Qld. e.g.: Blackall ,Long Reach and so on. Then back down the coast roads. If your in a hurry just do the cost roads up and back. Best time is from around May / June till no later than mid to late August as it is the dry season and after August it gets was too humid in the tropics. Plus it is close too the start of the rainy season. If you want the central roads best go from Barcaldine to Townsville or the reverse a much nicer trip.Enjoy the trip and be safe.
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  13. Thanks for all the great info guys.
    In about 10-11 months from now gives me some much needed time to get myself ready for the ride. I would need to invest in some new camping gear.
  14. I DROVE Brisbane to Townsville and back this time last year, and basically do it every five years as we at my age only celebrate 5s and 10s birthdays amongst friends. ;) I left Brisbane and went up the "inland" route via Nanango, Murgon etc to Rocky then took the Bruce Hwy to Townsville. You have to be careful about wildlife on the inland route, and there is virtually no wildlife on the Bruce Hwy.

    The smaller towns are very welcoming along the inland route, but mainly aimed towards the grey nomads, but camping facilities etc are good in the smaller towns on that route.

    We did come back via the Bruce Hwy mainly because of the wildlife issue, any time around dawn and dusk is pretty risky with Wallabies etc.

    If you are happy to travel 500-600 km a day you can do that in the safer hours between sunrise and sunset.

    Overall, both routes have their advantages and disadvantages, the scenery I think is better, north of Rocky at least, on the coastal road, inland just becomes mile after mile of not very green pasture land. At least the coast has the views of the ocean, coastal waters and occasionally the islands.
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  15. The best thing is you have the time to do the research and look at what routes work for you. I am sure your going to enjoy the ride and love our wonderful country and the personalities of some of our towns people you will meet along the way.
  16. I've done Cairns to the Island (and back) a few times now on a '79 GS1000S Suzuki .
    I don't camp as there's to much extra gear to carry .
    I'm a country pub sort of bloke and don't mind a beer and a bit of "social intercourse" with the locals after a days ride . Stay in little "blink" towns and you'll discover some real gems . Usually fairly cheap and pub food is usually cheapish and mostly edible .
    500 k's a day is fairly comfortable (although I tend to do a bit more than that) .
    I invested in an Airhawk seat pad and found that was a good value . Just don't over inflate it . Less rather than more sorta stuff .
    I reckon it doesn't matter which way you go , from Brisbane to Cairns is as boring as bat excrement .
    The coast road has more towns to break the trip up a bit though .
    Mid year's the go . Right about now is near perfect .

    Have fun.
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  17. The route Highett posted is a good one. I've been down that inland route twice in the last 18 months and planning a trip down again in two weeks.. Atherton straight through to Toowoomba, this time I will fill-out all the paperwork for my IBA1600 run. Last time I was running late and never got it filled out as I was running late. Still managed a 1700km day tho.. Its all good road, just plan your fuel stops :)
  18. Good thread peeps!
    I'm starting to do my homework for this trio since I'll be arriving to the Gold Coast from Melbourne in mid to late May. I'll have a week to recover and service my bike before setting off to Cairns in late May to 1st week of June.

    * Anyone going that way around that time of the year ? It's always more fun with other riders....
    * Can anyone recommend places to stay?
    * Anyone done some dirt roads but that are fun?
    * Anyone had a go at getting to the Carnarvon Gorge by bike? Road conditions ??

    From my other touring travels I also prefer the local pubs, Airbnb and YHA/backpacker places. Since you are in your helmet for so many hours it is fun to have a chat with people and that is how you get some local information about cool places to look at that are free and or road conditions, especially when travelling alone.

    [Apr 24, 2016] Gold Coast -> NSW -> ACT -> VIC Ride (March 2016) (Qld) and
    [Apr 24, 2016] Melbourne to Adelaide (Return) (Melbourne, Victoria)

    I assume though however that the ride up to Cairns and back isn't quite as exciting as going from the Gold Coast to Melbourne since there are hardly as many mountain ranges in between....? I know there's some choice twisties once you get to Cairns.... but.... in between?
  19. JasonjetskiJasonjetski , did you complete this journey.... can you post pictures or highlights? :D
    Would be sublime!
  20. I have no idea what happened to a post I just tried to submit...? Computer playing up....
    Anyhow - I am thinking of doing this trip in last week of May 2016 or 1st week June... Dates are flexible depending when I get to the Gold Coast from Melbourne.

    I've been doing some touring on my 390 KTM duke (see Melb to Adelaide - [Apr 24, 2016] Melbourne to Adelaide (Return) (Melbourne, Victoria) and Gold coast to Melbs - [Apr 24, 2016] Gold Coast -> NSW -> ACT -> VIC Ride (March 2016) (Qld))

    I tend to stay at local pubs, YHA / backpackers and Airbnb since touring solo you spend too much time in your helmet and social interaction is nice at the end of the day. Also talking to the locals you can get some cool tips, things to see for free and also road condition info from them.

    Can anyone that's done this area recommend:
    Certain routes?
    Areas or specific roads to take in between Gympie and Tully?
    Good places to stay at?
    Any other road tips, things to see, people they know etc?

    :) Much appreciated!
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