The Cape York Luxury Bike Tour is your passport to an eye-opening experience that you will never forget. This unique ride explores one of Australia’s last great remote wilderness areas. Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland is a region bordered by coral reefs and islands and filled with lush tropical forests that have been cut through by mountain ranges and huge rivers fed by the annual monsoon.
Having the opportunity to ride and explore this magnificent part of the country brings out the adventurous spirit that lies within all of us. With full time support we provide a flexible cycling tour which allows all riders to ride within their abilities and spend as much or as little time on their bikes as they like. Travelling between the best riding parts in an air-conditioned 4WD safari vehicle you will be able to truly experience the top of Australia in only 11 days and in great comfort.
Australia’s first ever luxury outback bike and bus tour
Cycle to the Tip of Australia! What a sense of achievement - celebrate your success and absorb the atmosphere
Cairns –the heart of Queensland, an exciting cosmopolitan city and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Australia’s most prestigious rainforests
Mossman Gorge – cascading waters open up the dense tropical rainforest
Cape Tribulation – a World Heritage Listed area and one of most diverse and beautiful examples of natural beauty in the world
Cooktown - named after Captain Cook’s landing point, it’s a place with history at every corner
Bramwell Station – the northern most cattle station on the cape
Eliot Falls and Fruit Bat Falls – unsurpassed swimming holes
The Overland Telegraph Track – challenging, adventurous, a tradition and stunning scenery
Split Rock art site – one of the world’s best and largest collections of indigenous art
Moon light cinema - around the fire after a gourmet camp-oven cooked dinner
We pride ourselves in organising adventurous, action-packed cycling tours in interesting and scenic destinations throughout Australia. We organise everything that you will need for the duration of the tour; the best accommodation, great food, bike mechanic, vehicle support and expert staff to provide information and support for anything that you might require. Riders that participate in our tours enjoy camaraderie, sharing laughs and experiences with their fellow cyclists, all the while knowing that AllTrails expert preparation of the ride allows them to sit back and relax at the end of each day.
Need more reason to come with us? Check out the 'Top Riders' website here. This is a promotional website for a film that was made about one of our Cape York rides a few years ago.
With the mountain bike and air-conditioned 4WD safari vehicle you will take in some of Australia's most remote and magical landscapes, including the Daintree National Park, Bloomfield Track and the legendary Overland Telegraph Track in this journey through remote north Queensland. Fill your days with cycling, swimming, bush walking and four-wheel-driving from one magnificent location to the next.
Australia's North East is a land of extraordinary contrasts, where the rainforest landscapes of the Cape York Peninsula meets the bright turquoise waters of the Coral Sea. Ride through ancient landscapes and swim in freshwater pools under plunging waterfalls. Encounter amazing native wildlife and fascinating local cultures.
Our purpose is to provide a cycle tour that is flexible for a wide range of cycling abilities and speeds, allowing people to ride as much or as little as they like through the best parts that the region has to offer. The opportunity to ride fully supported for between 2-5 hours is made available each day, then depending on cycling surface, terrain and speed this equates to roughly 20km-70km. We aim to provide riders with as much time possible each day outside of the vehicles to enjoy and explore this unique wilderness by riding, swimming, walking and of course relaxing!
The overall distance that will be covered by vehicle and bike from Cairns to Cape York is 1100km. The below kilometres are an indication of the cycling distances that will be available each day. For the individual cyclist these distances can be varied to as short as you like and in some cases increased.
Come and take part in this journey to the Tip of Australia!
It's a place like no other on Earth.
Meal and accommodation inclusions noted as B, L, D, A (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodation)
CAIRNS Sunday, 25th September 2011
A day to unpack your bike, relax, swim in the pool and explore this exciting cosmopolitan city. In the afternoon we will go out for a quick skills ride and check over the bikes, before sharing a drink with the riders.
CAIRNS, MOSSMAN, DAINTREE NP to CAPE TRIBULATION , 40km Monday, 26th September 2011
L D A
The adventure begins! We leave the bustling city behind in our 4WD safari vehicle and enjoy the fantastic coastal views as we head to Mossman Gorge. Take a walk through dense tropical forest and maybe a refreshing dip in the cascading waters. We pass through the sugar town of Mossman and make our way to the Daintree River, where you might just see a saltwater crocodile or the Cassowary bird.
The ferry will introduce you to another world, the road from here climbs and winds its way through the world heritage rainforest. The perfect place to get on your bike to cycle to Cape Tribulation, where we will be staying at our beautiful resort on the beach, complete with swimming pool, all set in a natural bush setting.
CAPE TRIB, BLOOMFIELD TRACK to COOKTOWN, 30km Tuesday, 27th September 2011
B L D A
This morning we tackle the famous Bloomfield track, where lookouts, waterfalls, virgin rainforest, clear streams, pristine beaches and unique mountain ranges are some of the special experiences to reward your hard work on some incredibly steep tracks.
We get the bikes back on the vehicle after spending some time watching the thundering waters of the spectacular Bloomfield Falls. We pass through Cedar Bay National Park to the historic Lions Den Hotel for lunch and a look at the artefacts and entertainment by the local snake man.
If the legs have the strength there is the option of a leisurely ride on some bitumen to Cooktown with the major on-route highlight the mysterious tower of granite boulders that make up Black Mountain. A place so different from its surroundings several species of animals exist only within the edge of these eerie black rocks.
COOKTOWN, BATTLE CAMP RANGE to KALPOWAR, 50km Wednesday, 28th September 2011
B L D A
We leave the hotel in the morning and drive to Isabella Falls. A magic spot. As we head inland we enter rugged outback country of woody eucalypt forest and palm lined streams. The riding gets more exciting, bumpier and dustier with some great weaving downhills through Battle Camp Range.
Our camp tonight is on the banks of the Normanby River complete with showers and toilets, where you can kick back and enjoy the bush setting.
KALPOWAR, LAKEFIELD NP to MUSGRAVE, 60km Thursday, 29th September 2011
B L D A
Lakefield National Park is a haven for waterbirds. During the wet season its many rivers flood the plains making this country inaccessible. As the rivers retreat they leave behind chains of waterholes and billabongs. Look out for these on your ride as they are home to the stately Jabiru Stalk and the beautiful Brolga Crane that can sometimes be seen having their courtship dance on the open plains. After a rest at the cool waters of the Hann River we make our way to Musgrave which began its existence in 1887 as a telegraph station.
MUSGRAVE, MANGKAN KANDJU NP to ARCHER RIVER, 70km Friday, 30th September 2011
B L D A
This morning we enjoy one of the many advantages of this bike and bus tour, by getting a lift up the road and avoiding the climb up Bamboo Range. The bikes hit the dirt again and after dodging a few bulldust patches you get to ride a stretch of blessed bitumen. The ride takes you through Mungkan Kaanju National Park where kangaroos, emus, Brahman cattle, lizards and lots of tropical birds are part of the scenery.
Tonight we stay at Archer River Roadhouse just up the hill from the Archer River which, during the dry season, becomes a pleasant stream bordered by a wide, tree-lined sandy bed.
ARCHER RIVER to DULHUNTY RIVER, 45km Saturday, 1st October 2011
B L D A
We follow the road up the west of the Great Dividing range to Bramwell Homestead and begin the roughest, toughest and best part of the trip. If your legs have the energy you can spend the next two and a half days on your bike. It begins with a short ride to the beginning of the famous Old Telegraph Track (OTT) that follows the original telegraph line through the peninsula and for over 100 years provided those living in this remote part of the world with the only method of communication with the outside world.
Our camp tonight is on the Dulhunty River, where there are some lovely places to swim and is a great place for our moonlight cinema and camp oven dinner.
DULHUNTY RIVER, FRUITBAT FALLS to ELIOT FALLS, 62km Sunday, 2nd October 2011
B L D A
A terrific full day on the bike following the ancient forlorn looking telegraph poles north. The creek crossings are deep and frequent and you can enjoy watching 4WD vehicles struggling where cyclists saunter. Lunch is at Fruit Bat Falls and when the 40 metre tall paperbarks that line the rivers of The Cape are in flower, full of sweet nectar, you can see how the place gets its name. From one beautiful spot to another ride on to our camp at Eliot Falls where the favourite activity is swimming and lazing in the rock pools.
ELIOT FALLS, OLD TELEGRAPH LINE to PUNSAND BAY, 50km Monday, 3rd October 2011
B L D A
The morning challenge is the last stretch of the OTT. Over eight kilometres there are Canal, Sam, Mistake, Cannibal and Cypress creeks to cross. All offer their own sweet challenge.
We jump back in the 4WD safari vehicle to the mighty Jardine River where we cross by punt. We stop by a DC-3 bomber plane that crashed during WWII before heading to the Islander Settlement of Seisia for lunch. A great bike track follows the coast past Loyalty Beach with views of the Endeavour Straight to our accommodation for the night, Punsand Bay resort.
PUNSAND BAY, CAPE YORK TIP to PUNSAND BAY, 20km Tuesday, 4th October 2011
B L D A
The end is near! Backtracks take us through the stunning peninsula before entering Australia's northernmost rainforest and an area marking the end of vehicle traffic. We walk the last couple of kilometres to the point that marks the very Tip of Australia. It's time to celebrate and have your photo taken next to the sign proclaiming you made it all the way to Australia's northern most point.
After enjoying morning tea and soaking up the atmosphere we return to camp for lunch and celebratory dinner.
PUNSAND BAY, JARDINE RIVER to COEN (Rest Day) Wednesday, 5th October 2011
B L D A
Packing up the bike for the last time you finally get a chance to rest those legs and see the country you rode through from a little higher and a great deal more comfort. The 4WD safari vehicle will take us through Bamaga, a colourful and culturally diverse town. The vehicle follows the Bamaga road that bypasses the OTT. We will have some time to explore the historic Moreton Telegraph Station resting on the banks of the mighty Wenlock River.
We spend the night at Coen, a classic Queensland stilted pub, decorated with photos of floods, drought, fire & famine.
(Option to remain and explore Thursday Island and fly back. See 'Extras')
COEN, ABORIGINAL ROCK ART to CAIRNS (Rest Day) Thursday, 6th October 2011
We travel the western route back to Cairns, through Laura and stop for a walk to one of the world's best and largest galleries of indigenous art. There are many fine paintings of animals and the Quinkan spirit figures that are unique to this part of Australia.
We continue through the gold rush town of Palmer River, stop at some magnificent look outs before we reach Mareeba and the Atherton Tablelands. We arrive in Cairns in the afternoon where your Cape York Luxury Bike Tour ends, but you'll take home memories that will last you for a life time.
TUESDAY, 15TH NOVEMBER 2011
Written by Cyclist
Ben, Thank you for the CD bringing to mind, a great 11 days with you Andrew and Dan along with the other participating cyclists. Thanks also for leading the trip so well. Robert O (VIC), Cape York Luxury Tour 2011
THURSDAY, 27TH OCTOBER 2011
Written by Cyclist
What a great experience. Certainly got the feel of the country, through all senses! Ben was a terrific leader, always cheerful, never impatient. His culinary triumphs with the camp ovens were amazing, and the extra hot breakfast at Cooktown was welcome & amusing. Andrew the bus driver was much more than that. A fountain of great info, who understood the country & the aboriginal history. Dan the mechanic always had a smile & an amusing anecdote - he was an expert on unusual native foods & enticed us into tasting the merits of green, or were they electric ants? Great company, terrific organisation, what more to say? Looking forward to the DVD. John R (VIC) Cape York Luxury Bike Tour.
THURSDAY, 13TH OCTOBER 2011
Written by Cyclist
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the trip to the tip of Cape York. All 3 support crew were fantastic as were the riders. Special mention to Ben for his great 4WD and culinary skills. Very well organised - I just wish it did not have to end. A big thanks to all involved from me. Noel C (QLD) Cape York Luxury Tour
THURSDAY, 13TH OCTOBER 2011
Written by Cyclist
Dear Ben, Thanks again for the trip and, in particular, the great job you did leading it. I hope you had a safe and not too boring drive back. Simon W (VIC) Cape York Luxury Tour
THURSDAY, 13TH OCTOBER 2011
Written by Cyclist
Just some feedback from my perspective of the trip. It was certainly something to have experienced . It was superbly organised and delivered. Ben had formidable organisational, culinary and personal abilities. To organise the delivery of Brian's monster painting bought in the middle of nowhere to Melbourne - well incredible!! Andrew was a very genial fountain of all knowledge and always thinking of extra experiences for us and exceptionally reliable. Dan was a lovely laid back character but knew his bikes and again was always there when wanted. Altogether a superb crew. Kate G (NSW) Cape York Luxury Tour
THURSDAY, 13TH OCTOBER 2011
Written by Cyclist
Just got back from the Cape York tour and wanted to say that “good” and “great” do not do justice to this tour. It was an EXCELLENT all round EXPERIENCE. THANK YOU Phil for giving me the confidence so that I did not pull out due to injury. As it turned out, I managed the whole tour and my fitness improved as time went on. You are very lucky to have Ben on board and he was instrumental in making the tour the great success that it was. He was well backed up by Andrew and Dan. I will have no hesitation recommending All Trails to my friends. The trip was top class in all aspects including bus, meals, support and accommodation. I was also very impressed with my fellow riders and look forward to meeting them again on other rides. I guess that my only regret was that I had hoped to get rid of the extra weight that I had put on during my 3 weeks of inactivity. However, due to all the great food on the trip (and the odd beverage) I ended up putting on weight. Oh well, I’ll just have to do more riding. Thanks again for a fantastic time. I now look forward to Pheels Phantastic Great Vic Bike Ride. Gwyn W (VIC) Cape York Luxury Tour 2011
Question not answered below?
Feel free to contact us at any time through our website ‘Contact Us’ page, phone or email. We love what we do and want to get you on the best bike ride for you. Speak to us about what's on your mind and we'll help you make your decision.
How Tough is the Ride?
Although the distances look fairly easy on paper, each day is a new challenge. Early in the ride you will cycle through rainforest with some short hills as steep as you’ve ever seen, and then later there is beautiful gravel intermittent with corrugations and sand. The different surfaces constantly test your skill and are sometimes equivalent to half as far again if you were on bitumen. The great thing about this tour is that you will always have the support of the luxury 4WD safari vehicle at the ready if you wish to have a break or a lift.
What is the Accommodation like?
The chosen accommodation is the best available. Cape Tribulation accommodation is just out of town with upmarket beach cabins amongst dense forest, right beside an idyllic beach scene. Cooktown is luxury in the centre of town, Musgrave and Archer River are motel rooms and cabins, while Punsand Bay is cabins overlooking the beach. There are 4 nights on tour where we are between any sort of town or civilisation. On these nights we set up your large walk-in tents (and camp beds) next to beautiful creeks or amazing bushland. We have showers, water and toilet facilities for these nights.
Sharing rooms – how does it work?
On the online entry form you can nominate any travelling companions that you would like to share a room with and/or be accommodated close to so that couples or friends can be roomed together. This can be in a double bed or in twin beds. If you are travelling alone like many of our riders, you can choose to 'twin share' where single riders are paired with other riders of the same gender and sometimes changed at each accommodation to create interest in sharing rooms. Single Supplement is also available for those that would like their own room for the whole trip. If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room.
Pre & Post ride Accommodation
Accommodation on 25th Sep and 6th Oct are not included in the tour. Motel rooms are available on these nights (before and after the ride) at $160 a room for single supplement, or $95pp twin share or double. We may arrive back into Cairns late on 6 Oct so we strongly recommend that you stay in Cairns for that evening although you do not need to stay with us at our hotel.
Return to Cairns
AllTrails vehicles depart Punsand Bay Wed 4th Oct with bikes. We'll plan to arrive in Cairns in the afternoon of the 6th Oct and would recommend arranging return flights the following day.
As you will be riding on most types of off-road surfaces, especially sandy tracks, try and practise on similar terrain, if possible. Once you have committed yourself to this great ride, start training with a promise to yourself to be as fit and skilled as you can be. Once on tour, your guide can instruct you further and help you gain more confidence so that you can handle all cycle variations comfortably.
A normal level of fitness is required to get the most out of this tour. The fitter you are the further you will be able to ride without fatigue and the more comfortable you will be. The support vehicles will be there if assistance is required.
Duration of Ride
We aim to allow you to ride as much or as little as you like with plenty of time for stopping, photos and swims.
Remoteness of Cape York
The beauty of this ride is the total detachment from everyday life, propelling yourself through lush nature, the only sign of civilisation being the local store, your modern hi-tech life is only a memory. The reality is sharing your life with others, in outback Australia and enjoying missing your home comforts. (Internet & ATM available sometimes)
Vehicles will have CB radios and we will have at least one satellite phone enabling us to contact the outside world for any special reason.
Health & Safety
Vehicles display signs “Caution Cyclists Ahead”. Food carried is refrigerated if need be and dishes are washed in hot water and rinsed before storage. We strive for a high standard of health and safety, while cyclists can enjoy the natural environment. Please help us help you.
How do I get to the Cairns Motel from the airport?
Airport Transfers: Cairns Colonial Resort provides a shuttle bus for a cost of $5pp. Bikes can be carried in the bus trailer. Call 07 4053 8800 when you arrive at the airport (you do not need to be staying at the resort to use this service).
Average temperature is around 25 degrees Celsius with some humidity. The days have around 12 hours of daylight. There should be little wind, as most days you will be riding between rainforest or trees.
We don’t expect rain as this is the driest and one of the coolest times of the Cape year, but it is still wise to be prepared
The great part about your energetic holiday is that you share it with intrepid people, all ages, average about 40-50. The usual 60% male & 40% female composition makes for an interesting group of adventurous characters with a great variety of backgrounds, who come from all walks of life. Most riders come from Australia, some from New Zealand and a few from other overseas countries.
We provide all meals. We pride ourselves on good, healthy, well-balanced food for energetic people and plenty of it. Breakfast is a wide range of cereals, fruits and sometimes fully cooked. Lunch is sandwiches or something not too heavy and dinner is a good cyclist-sized meal.
The bike must be in excellent condition and recently serviced. Mountain bike or hybrid with wide tyres and wide handlebars. Front and rear suspension is good, but not essential. There are a few very steep, short hills, but mostly slight undulations so the amount of gears is your choice. Creek crossings will totally saturate your bike, or you can carry bike.
Bikes in Flight
Bikes must be packed into bike boxes, bike bags or hard cases for transport. Prices vary between airlines and the combined weight of your luggage and bike. Contact the airline for details.
Take pedals off and carry them in your luggage. This allows for tighter packing and less likelihood of damage. Cardboard bike boxes can be found for free at most bike shops or purchased from some airlines. If you are unsure how to pack your bike box, at a fee your local bike shop can do this for you, or show you how to.
Once unpacked be sure to check brakes, wheel nuts, pedals, steering etc after transport and reassembly.
Can I rent a bike?
Yes, you can rent a Merin Bobcat Trail, or Merin Iron Springs for a cost of $300 AUD for 12 days.
We have a contact in Cairns that we are organising bike hire through. When you make your booking just tick the box for bike rental and we will organise it for you.
(You can also bring your own seat and/or pedals to give you that little bit of 'home comfort').
As we expect dry roads and sandy roads, past experience has shown cyclists prefer very little tread, allowing the bike to roll freely, not hindered by big knobbly, chunky tyres. However, any good tyre will get you there.
I am coming from another country, what do I need to know?
Welcome! Traditionally most of the clientele on our rides have been from Australia or New Zealand, but we also have had many riders from USA and UK/Europe. You just need to make sure that your passport and visas are in order and check the cost of transferring your bike to Australia, or rent one here.
Do I need insurance to join the tour?
Travel Insurance for lost deposits and cancellations:
Lost deposits: We very strongly recommend you take out travel insurance for your trip. This should include cover for cancellation fees, lost deposits, and stolen or lost luggage (including your bike). We cannot emphasise enough how important this is. There are many unforseen reasons why cyclists may need to withdraw from a ride - injury, health, weddings, business, personal and many more. Cancellation fees can be a major financial loss to you and as a small business we need to adhere to our cancellation policies. Please go to the ride page on our website for your ride and click the 'Terms & Conditions' button to see the ride's cancel policy.
Travel Insurance: Domestic travel insurance cover tends to be significantly cheaper than international cover (approx $50 for one week). Above are two websites that offer both international and domestic travel insurance that you can look at. You can also speak to your local travel agent, or often airline booking websites will offer travel insurance as an optional extra as you book your flight.
This is also very strongly recommended. We cannot emphasise enough how important this is. Cycling can be a dangerous activity and you must be prepared for the worst. You may have an accident in training for the ride, on the ride itself, or cycling down to the corner dairy. If you are a cyclist coming on our tour you should be 100% prepared for the unexpected.
Cyclist insurance can be bought separately, or it comes with cycling memberships such as Bicycle Network Victoria or Bicycle Queensland. If you are involved in a crash or collision they will support you with personal injury costs, loss of income, third party liability insurance, assistance in completing your claim paper work & free legal consultation.
Life Insurance and TPD Insurance (often paid through your superannuation), and Private Health Insurance are also worth considering.
Do I need to carry anything on my bike?
We suggest you carry a spare tube, a full water bottle and your own personal goods such as camera, wallet and perhaps rain gear if it’s threatening. We transport your luggage, day packs, food & extra water. A detailed list of what is required and provided will be sent to you in your pre-tour info pack.
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