Brisbane to Cairns

Mooloolabah to Cairns

flat with tailwinds but still a bit wet

We rolled up at Trinity Beach (north of Cairns), our first stage complete. We spent the next few days lazing around on the beach, feasting on fresh pineapple and frolicking in the sea. We were feeling pretty laid back anyway as we were well ahead of time and so had been dawdling along, investigating a few swimming spots and National Parks along the way.
Since leaving Maroochydore we’ve had the easiest riding conditions of the trip to date. Flat and fast with consistent tail winds for most of the way north.

Wet Travelling through Queensland. May 2000

Wet Travelling through Queensland. May 2000

More lovely rain had us mostly confined to the bitumen north of Mackay. One of my suggested “alternative routes” saw us wallowing in sticky black mud. Then a quick ride 500 metres down a side track to look for a nice campsite resulted in an hour spent trying to extract ourselves, bikes and trailers from the gloop. Swearing and cursing didn’t help much so eventually I had to carry bike, trailer and bag out one at a time. Our sandals soon resembled frying pans with a tangled mat of mud and grass stuck on the soles. By this time it was well and truly dark so we chucked the tent up on the side of the track and ate until we felt better. When they put up signs saying “Road Closed” in Queensland, they really mean it!

Hiking on Hinchinbrook Island

Hiking on Hinchinbrook Island

Some great campsites along this stretch. One of our favourites was a National Trail camp near Bigginden. There was a concrete trough with a water tap which we promptly filled and jumped in for a tub. It didn’t rain either, which was pretty rare for Queensland.
We have met some lovely people along the way. We would like to nominate John and Margaret from Gympie for the “Grey Nomads of the Year” Award. Our paths crossed several times as we roamed Queensland in search of somewhere dry. The homemade bikkies from the oven in their caravan were always appreciated.

Hinchinbrook Island Walk, Mid May 2000

Hinchinbrook Island Walk, Mid May 2000

There could be a job opportunity in FNQ for someone with computer/internet know how – we inquired at numerous libraries en route about whether they had internet facilities and the answer was always the same – “yes we do but the computer isn’t working at present”. So that’s my excuse for failing to send regular email updates!

While travelling along the Fitzroy Development Road we encountered some incredible mosquitos. I suspect that these monsters were the result of some sinister genetic enhancement program. They were HUGE!!! If bitten a dozen times you would probably need a blood transfusion, judging by the size of the blood splat when we squished them. Our tent soon looked like the aftermath of a chainsaw massacre – “absolute carnage”. Clothing was no defense, they just bite through it, only a liberal coating of industrial strength RID would keep them off.

Left: Gaye riding northern Qld. Right: Gordonvale (just South of Cairns)

Left: Gaye riding northern Qld. Right: Gordonvale (just South of Cairns)

We highly recommend the Hinchinbrook Island walk, it had everything – deserted golden beaches, crystal clear rainforest streams, waterfalls and rockpools, lots of rock hopping, slogging through knee deep bogs, and some great camping spots. It was definitely worth a visit. We only wish we’d stayed longer than the suggested four days/three nights. It is tightly controlled by the parks and wildlife people so you can’t spontaneously extend your stay.

A few weeks stay in Cairns and we will be off once more. We are already getting itchy feet. We are really looking forward seeing the gulf and really getting away from it all.