Whether you're a veteran biker, a BAMBI (born again motorbiker) or a newbie, there's one thing all bikers agree on - riding isn't all about the destination but rather the journey it takes to get there. Together with the Coral Coast Riders we've compiled the rides you need to do in Far North Queensland.
Get ready to have the wind at your back and warm Queensland sun on your face with these great destinations from the North of our sunshine state.
Where: Innisfail to Herberton via Palmerston Highway
Distance/time: 98 kilometres/ 1.5 hours
Why you should ride: This ride is a picturesque and easy ride with a gentle winding range that suits all styles of bikes/riders. Once you reach the top of the Palmerston, there are several routes you can take to enjoy plenty of stop-offs and attractions…Windy Hill (lookout and photo opportunity with the windmill turbines), Millaa Millaa waterfalls circuit, Herberton’s Historic Village and Spy Camera Museum or relax and soak the road dust away at Innot Hot Springs.
Where: Cairns to Port Douglas/Mossman via Captain Cook Highway and Rex Range to Julatten
Distance/time: 110 kilometres/ 2 hours
Why you should ride: This section is known to locals as “the coast road” and this is quite heavily travelled by tourists and locals alike. Very scenic route that allows multiple stop offs to enjoy the views of the Pacific Ocean, kms of sandy beaches to explore. Stop in at Ellis Beach, a well-visited motorcycle stop or try your hand at building a balancing rock cairn. Visit Hartleys Creek Croc Farm or try your hand at hang-gliding off the Rex Lookout. Wander around the Sunday markets and the boutique shops in Port Douglas…popular with the motorcycling crowd for a breakfast run. Do a quick lap of the Rex Range to Julatten & Mt Molloy. Head further north to Mossman to take in the views or a swim at the Mossman Gorge.
Where: Cairns to Malanda, via Kuranda Range & Mareeba
Distance/time: 115 kilometres/ 1 hours 45 minutes
Why you should ride: One of the busiest ranges in the Cairns region, this will take you to explore the Kuranda markets & Barron Falls, enjoy a healthy bite at local cafes like Sprouts Café and check out the indigenous arts/crafts. Sample tropical recipes at Emerald Creek Ice Creamery or locally grown coffee at Coffeeworks or Jacques Coffee. The FNQ Road Racing Club meets at Mako Trac (watch the motorcycle racing or take the go-karts for a spin). Book in an overnight stay and take in a movie at Mareeba’s Rodeo Drive-inn & Museum - one of only a handful of Drive-inns still in operation in Qld! Check out the Mareeba War Museum, Mareeba Aerodrome & Springmount Raceway/Dragstrip. Pick up some cheese and chocolates at Gallo Dairy or enjoy a meal and some local history at the Malanda Dairy Centre. Cool off with a refreshing swim in the Malanda Falls.
Where: Cairns to Cape Tribulation, via Daintree Ferry
Distance/time: 142 kilometres/ 2 hours 45 minutes
Why you should ride: Nice as a day-trip but even better for if planned as an overnight trip. Stop into various tea plantations, chocolate plantations, wineries and deserted beaches. A quick ferry ride (charges apply) across the Daintree River and you’re in a rough & rugged wilderness…with high chances of seeing resident crocodiles, cassowaries and other native fauna.
Where: Cairns via Gillies Range to Yungaburra
Distance/time: 85 kilometres/ 1 hours 30 minutes
Why you should ride: Gillies Range is famous for its 263 corners & 800 mtr elevation in only 19 kms, featuring Heales Lookout over Goldsborough Valley. Gillies Roadhouse is a quite popular motorcycle stop-off for breakfast, especially early on a Sunday morning. Swim in the extinct volcanoes Lake Eacham / Lake Barrine and enjoy a civilised lunch at the Lake Barrine Tea House. Ask about the resident ghost at Peeramon Hotel. Enjoy the large dining deck and friendly service at Quincan Café in the township of Yungaburra. Pause for some reflection at the Afghanistan Avenue of Honour. Marvel at the sheer size of the Curtain Fig Tree. Continue on into Atherton to visit Fascinating Facets and Chinatown Museum.
Many of the local riders enjoy all "4 Ranges" in one ride...heading south head up the Palmerston Range, then down the Gillies, up the Kuranda, down the Rex Range and home along the Coast Road - 473 kilometres - 7 hours.
If you'd like to join in a local social ride, contact the Coral Coast Riders!
Have you tried all of these Queensland ride destinations? Give us your recommendations below!