Biking from Cairns to Brisbane in January

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Biking from Cairns to Brisbane in January

Postby margheritac » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:49 pm

Hi all!

So, as the question box suggestions, my friend and I are planning on doing a cycling road trip from Cairns to Brisbane in January. We are both Exchange students (I'm Canadian and she is Italian) at the University of Sydney. We started in July and are in Australia until the end of June (leaving to go back home right after). We have Jan and Feb off so we really wanted to do it then.

Our (rough) plan is to go to the Great Barrier Reef from Jan 8th-Jan 13th and then take the next 3 weeks (or so) to make our way down to Brisbane on our bikes (and then fly from Brisbane to Sydney).

We know that the weather that time of year is supposed to be the hottest so we are wondering if our plans and goals are realistic. Obviously there will need to be a lot of planning involved.

Any advice would help!



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Re: Biking from Cairns to Brisbane in January

Postby ozdavo » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:50 pm

3 weeks... 1800km... so maybe 100km/day 6 days a week in 30+ deg heat
Doable, but i wouldn't want to be riding between 11am & 3pm...
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Re: Biking from Cairns to Brisbane in January

Postby Scotness » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:36 am

A few notes on the weather - it's not just the heat but the humidity - if you've never experienced it before it will knock your socks off! It will be very humid - this will inhibit the ability for your sweat to evaporate - which will make it alot easier to overheat. Also it will be stinger season (box jelly fish and irakanji jellyfish) - so you won't be able to swim in the sea as those jelly fish will kill you. Also you'll really have to watch the rivers for crocodiles - and remember the jellyfish will go up the tidal rivers too.

Your trip is very doable but you will have to take some very serious precautions. Also try and plan your route off the Bruce Highway as much as you can - the further north you are the more crappier that road is - with plenty of trucks especially at night.

You can do it but plan sensibly - including plenty of drinking water and rest days.

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Re: Biking from Cairns to Brisbane in January

Postby elantra » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:24 am

Well i guess you could start riding in Cairns and see how far you get.
If you bail out the train is a pleasant way to travel but not sure if bikes allowed on train.

Yes there are some nice places between Cairns and Townsville.
Yungaburra, Ravenshoe, Mission Beach, Dunk Island, Cardwell, Ingham, to name but a few.

After that it is mostly just long hard miles, almost a thousand miles until you hopefully arrive in brisbane.
In that distance you will have to overcome withering heat and humidity.
The roads are of reasonable quality but resting places are few and far between.
But cars and trucks drive like zombies and have no regard for your safety.
And then there could be floods and cyclones !
And you might see a few snakes too.

Yes some stubborn people do that ride but very few at that time of year.
But there are far nicer things to do in Australia at that time of year. And that's the truth.
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Re: Biking from Cairns to Brisbane in January

Postby RonK » Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:30 pm

That is a bad idea. Far North Queensland in the wet season is a place for cyclists to avoid.

Depending in exactly when the monsoon breaks, it's likely to rain heavily almost every day. Have you ever seen 100mm rainfall in 30 minutes? It leads to flooding and road closures. The Bruce Hwy is already a dangerous route, and would even worse when visibility is poor.
There is also the possiblity of cyclones, and you cannot swim in the sea because of the sea wasp and irrikanji jellyfish. Not to mention the crocodiles.

It's unlikely to be a fun trip. Choose someplace else - like Tasmania.
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Re: Biking from Cairns to Brisbane in January

Postby singlespeedscott » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:02 pm

Tassie riding in summer would definitely be a much nicer option. Can get hot but a least it's not muggie.

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Re: Biking from Cairns to Brisbane in January

Postby JessicaAlba » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:56 pm

+1 for humidity...but also, Jan Feb are right smack in the middle of the wet season (aka monsoon). Expect sudden torrential downpours, that may last for hours, days, or even weeks.

As has been said, doable journey, but be very, very prepared...
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Re: Biking from Cairns to Brisbane in January

Postby Roinik » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:54 pm

I concur with everyone here. ARE YOU NUTS? Do Tassie and experience that part of the world during summer. It's more like Canada weather wise and you can do things like go swimming in Wine Glass Bay and not worry about Box Jellyfish, Portuguese Man-o-War, Irikanji Jellyfish, crocodiles, land or sea snakes or the humidity . A Tassie trip will eclipse Queensland for sure.

Alternatively, if you're after the warmth, ride from Sydney to Brisbane along the coast.
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Re: Biking from Cairns to Brisbane in January

Postby stinhambo » Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:07 pm

I live in Cairns and I don't think I'd consider driving that far in January or February. Humidity gets up to 75%+ and the sun is intense.

If you really wanted to do it then I'd suggest June or July as it's much cooler.

I aim to do all my riding early in the morning as the heat and humidity build as soon as the sun pops his head above the horizon.

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