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Thread: Australia - Sydney to Cairns - Spirited bike ride?

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    Australia - Sydney to Cairns - Spirited bike ride?

    Looks like I'm off to Australia at the end of the month for a weeks work. I'm considering extending the trip by a week, hiring a bike and riding up to Cairns to see my nephew before flying back to Sydney. It looks like 2600km via the coast route.

    Questions then -

    1. Has anyone done this exact trip and is it a good ride - i.e. interesting twistie roads? Is the coast route better than the inland route?
    2. My preference would be an R1150GS purely because I know the model well - I've mailed one hire company in Sydney but any other recommendations would be great
    3. Any recommendations of places to visit or places to stay would be appreciated

    I think that covers it. Ta

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    I drove Brisbane to Townsville mainly along the Bruce highway, you ain't leaving much tome to see anything other than petrol stations giving yourself a week.

    Go and dive on the Whitsunday's

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAlf View Post
    Looks like I'm off to Australia at the end of the month for a weeks work. I'm considering extending the trip by a week, hiring a bike and riding up to Cairns to see my nephew before flying back to Sydney. It looks like 2600km via the coast route.

    Questions then -

    1. Has anyone done this exact trip and is it a good ride - i.e. interesting twistie roads? Is the coast route better than the inland route?
    2. My preference would be an R1150GS purely because I know the model well - I've mailed one hire company in Sydney but any other recommendations would be great
    3. Any recommendations of places to visit or places to stay would be appreciated

    I think that covers it. Ta

    I have done Townsville to Cairns, miles and miles of sugar plantations, roads not that twisty but quite scenic. Sydney to Cairns and back in a week is a lot of riding unless you leave the bike in Cairns

    Another thing to consider is the heat you will be in the hottest part of the year and it is very hot and humid on the east coast especially as you get further North. They have been experiencing extreme heatwave conditions recently.

    Agree chill on a beach in the Whitsunday's or fly to Cairns on the way home and get your Nephew to take you to Port Douglas

    Mike (lived in Aus 25 years back in bloody cold Wales and loving it )

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    Try a route up the Blue Mountains rather than up the A1. I did Sydney to Hervey Bay in a day (c1,280km) to catch up the remainder of our group when my R1150GS was held up at the port. They have nraely dualled most of the A1 north of Sydney to Brisbane now so its not exactly interesting.

    Personally I thought the R1150 was ideal. Simple enough to be able to fix but with plenty of range and power.

    Be careful of speed limits out there; I thought that NSW resembled a police-state as there were spped patrols everywhere and there is no +10% margin. Average spped cameras, patrols and radar traps galore.

    Airlie Beach is a happening place & great for exploring the Great Barrier Reef but if you are over 25 you will feel like a geriatric as its "youthful"!

    Hervey Bay is good for vists to Fraser Island.

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    It's a police state alright, be very careful as they have tough laws and penalties e.g. $200 fine for not wearing a crash helmet.....on a bicycle.
    Double fine and points on a bank holiday.........how do they get away with that, speeding isn't worse on a particular day!!!!

    Holiday weekends are best avoided for coastal routes as lots of big vehicles towing boats, jet skis, caravans etc....

    I wouldn't go back if you paid me.

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    Could you get a flight to cains then hire a bike and then go North and also take in some dirt roads...
    Sell my bike?
    I would rather stick wasps up my arse !

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    Quote Originally Posted by gspod View Post
    It's a police state alright, be very careful as they have tough laws and penalties e.g. $200 fine for not wearing a crash helmet.....on a bicycle.
    Double fine and points on a bank holiday.........how do they get away with that, speeding isn't worse on a particular day!!!!

    Holiday weekends are best avoided for coastal routes as lots of big vehicles towing boats, jet skis, caravans etc....

    I wouldn't go back if you paid me.
    Much higher accident rates on public holidays, most Aussies drive 95% in urban environment (sweeping statement), come the public holidays there is a lot of rural driving, going to The River, Holiday shacks etc.... and a lot drive like they are still in town, tailgating outside lane hogging etc and as a result more accidents ........ Soo the response is double demerit points on a public holiday.

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    Thanks all - sounds like it could be a whole world of pain and hadn't considered the heat issue. With the speeding laws it sounds like I'd end up getting myself deported - oh, hang on

    Wreford - good suggestion, hadn't thought of that. I'll look into 2/3 day trip loops around the North East with my nephew on the back, he'll love it

    Ta

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    I'm Australian (live in the UK), have access to bikes in Australia and heading out in 2 weeks to Brisbane and then up to Port Douglas to see some mates.
    I'm flying to Cairns and hiring a car- biking would be doable, but miserable.
    Stiflingly hot, cops everywhere and bugger all to see.
    Oh and it is still the wet season- expect to get wet, then steamy, then wet again.

    If you want to bike in Australia then go to Strahan in Tasmania, or the Blue Mountains, or the Oxley Hwy, or the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, or the Adelaide Hills.
    Australia kinda sucks as a biking destination when you get past the 'oh wow, I'm a long way from home' element, when compared to Europe.

    I'd take the Alps every single time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
    I'm Australian (live in the UK), have access to bikes in Australia and heading out in 2 weeks to Brisbane and then up to Port Douglas to see some mates.
    I'm flying to Cairns and hiring a car- biking would be doable, but miserable.
    Stiflingly hot, cops everywhere and bugger all to see.
    Oh and it is still the wet season- expect to get wet, then steamy, then wet again.

    If you want to bike in Australia then go to Strahan in Tasmania, or the Blue Mountains, or the Oxley Hwy, or the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, or the Adelaide Hills.
    Australia kinda sucks as a biking destination when you get past the 'oh wow, I'm a long way from home' element, when compared to Europe.

    I'd take the Alps every single time.
    Okay dokes - thanks for the heads up. I'll give biking a miss and stick to beaches and beer!! Thanks

    Maybe the Alps in the summer instead

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    You are doing the right thing, it'll be boring as fek.
    I drove from near Ayr to Brisbane in a (long) day on the A1, I think it was around 1100kms.

    Fly and enjoy your time chillin.
    Cairns, Port Douglas, Barrier Reef, Whitsundays & Airlie Beach are no comparison to slogging your guts out on a bike!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAlf View Post
    Maybe the Alps in the summer instead
    A spirited RDGA ride
    Sell my bike?
    I would rather stick wasps up my arse !

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    It will take you a week to get over the jet lag personally Id stay in Sydney there is plenty to do there in a week stunning beaches great bars and restaurants. Its so easy to get around make sure you take the Manly ferry to Circular Quay(the slow one) stunning scenery of the city the bridge and Opera house on the way, take your camera if its sunny you'll get some stunning pictures.

    You can also climb one of the towers on the bridge and get fantastic photos of the city from there.

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    I live in Brisbane 800K north of Sydney and 1,800K south of Cairns.
    All the above advice about NOT riding to Cairns is pretty accurate.
    So, a bit of a rant......
    The ferocity about the Oz Police in trapping and booking any who dares to travel a little over the speed limit in unbelievable.
    Unfortunalely this is all driven by zelots requiring compliance, Governments requiring revenue and Police on a quota system.
    While you might get away with 85 - 90mph on a British motorways almost all roads here have a 100Kph limit and you will get booked over 102 Kph. Our speed camera's are loaded and so are our red light camera's.
    The entrappment is legendary and includes tricks like an unmarked 4WD police vehicle, complete with a jet ski trailer, travelling slowly on a bike friendly road that is littered with double white lines. You overtake and get a mirror full of flashing blue lights... think the Swiss on Steroids.

    I now spend 3 months a year riding in the UK and Alps and love the freedom of not feeling hunted.

    If you must go north then do it on week days and follow the ridge line or "mountains" called the Great Divide (cooler also) that run parallel to the coast (about 100K). Stay below 110Kph and be very wary. Do not speed near or in towns.

    There are a few places that rent GS's (only late models) in Sydney at around A$250 a day for a couple of days or about A$270 for a single day. Don't know any that are one way hire.
    Being a bit dismal arn't I.

    On the bright side a couple of days around the Blue Mountains near Sydney would be a lot of fun (noting the above caution) and use Best Biking Roads on the web (BBR) or App to get a list of reasonable rides.
    Getting west out of Sydney (3 million people) is not a lot of fun so get a GPS with the bike or rig up your phone.
    Finally, the comments on weather are correct and at tis time of year we all like to go South to Tasmania (2,000K) to get out of the heat. We will in fact be going to Tasmania in 3 weeks via the Superbikes at Philip Island!!

    So, take head all the earlier advice and enjoy Sydney BUT if it is not hot and you can ride carefully then a day or two riding along the Great Divide will be memorable and well worth it.
    Send a PM for suggestions on roads but do check BBR.

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    Thanks all - decision made, I'm going to fly to Cairns and spend a week seeing the sights with my nephew in his camper. Biking in Oz sounds like a royal PITA. I've always wanted to ride New Zealand - is it the same in NZ?!

    Spirited RDGA would be good and as for 3 months playing in the Alps each year -

    Thanks all

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAlf View Post
    Thanks all - decision made, I'm going to fly to Cairns and spend a week seeing the sights with my nephew in his camper. Biking in Oz sounds like a royal PITA. I've always wanted to ride New Zealand - is it the same in NZ?!

    Spirited RDGA would be good and as for 3 months playing in the Alps each year -

    Thanks all
    Good choice plenty to see round Cairns, if you want some fun look at the white water rafting.

    On the speed limits i once got a $425 fine for 66kph in a 60 zone (3.6 mph) in Adelaide

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