Cairns to SydneyProbably the ultimate east coast ride. All the highlights of Australia's bustling eastern reaches, with incredible natural wonders and fantastic scenery to ride in. Range through the tropical paradises and castaway islands of the area around Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, through to the dizzy heights of the Blue Mountains and down to the cosmopolitan centre of Sydney.
Cairns to Sydney Self Guided Motorcycle Tour
This has to be the ultimate Australian east coast bike tour. Where else can you explore the oldest rainforest on the planet, marvel at the Great Barrier Reef, relax on some of the best beaches on earth, ride through superb high country, experience the most famous Australian vineyards, climb high into the Blue Mountains and pay a visit to the Sydney Opera House all in one trip?
A huge range of fascinating regions to ride through, and some of the greatest sights on earth. Sound overwhelming? Don't worry, there's plenty of time for you to get the most out of everything en-route.
The holiday capital of northern Queensland and ideally located within short distance of the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, Cairns has incredible weather, a laid back tropical atmosphere and plenty more to offer. One of Cairns' many bars or restaurants would be the ideal place to kick back, enjoy the views and toast the start of an amazing motorcycle tour.
Port Douglas is a petite tropical town north of Cairns who's permanent population of under 1000 people, is regularly bolstered by visitors drawn by the many natural attractions on offer in the area. Palm fringed beaches, hot summers, warm winters and great riding are the norm in Port Douglas. It's also the nearest port to the Great Barrier Reef, so the ideal spot for taking a fast catamaran cruise out to the reef to snorkel, dive or just enjoy the views for the day (see the pricing below).
An unforgettable experience, one that could even top the experience of touring Queensland by motorcycle, but we're not 100% set on that.
The coconut lined beaches of Cape Tribulation back straight onto the verdant rainforest, a sight that apes many a scene from films involving castaways on tropical island paradises. There aren't many places on earth you can sit and listen to the soothing bird and insect calls of the forest, whilst taking a picnic on the beach as your motorcycle rests under a palm tree! Captain James Cook beached his damaged ship 'The Endeavour' here to make repairs, after spectacularly failing to navigate around the reefs off shore, hence the name 'Cape Tribulation'.
Rainforest features heavily in the makeup of northern Queensland, but non fits the image more perfectly than the Daintree. The oldest rainforest on earth can be explored at a pace that suits you by paying a visit the very helpful information centre, which will lead you on a tour of the densely tangled forest via easily traversed boardwalks and even a tower that allows you to get deep into the canopy and get a closer look at the creatures calling the forest home.
The narrow, tightly twisting roads are great fun on the bike but it's an area that just demands to examined at leisure, so make sure you stop often to admire the views.
A fertile plateau with smooth, rolling green scenery, leisurely curves and lazy hills to ride around and over. Some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Australia can be found on the aptly named Waterfall Circuit. The truly ancient 500 year old Curtain Fig Tree near Yungaburra is a wonder of nature and well worth a visit. Superb riding around every corner on the roads of this region, where rainforest and farming blend seamlessly into one another.
Those castaway islands you've seen in films? Here they are! This is a beautiful series of incredible 'paradise islands' just off of the small coastal town of Airlie Beach where you'll stay for two nights on this motorcycle tour. During the second day it's well worth indulging in a cruise (see pricing below) around some of the most perfect coral islands in the world.
Eungella National Park
Prowl the 'Land of the Clouds' in search of the famous Platypus. Dense rainforest provides the ideal hiding place for some of Australia's more bashful wildlife but there are some lovely walking trails through this area to get you deep into the thick of things. Rangers are on hand to help you discover more about the original aboriginal inhabitants, 'bush tucker' and the flora and fauna of the region.
Perhaps take a pause from motorcycle touring at Rainbow Beach for two nights. A vibrant little coastal town, famed for, wait for it...the rainbow coloured sand dunes which surround the settlement.
Day two is the ideal opportunity to experience a four-wheel drive tour on the largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island (see pricing below). Many people consider this to be one of the highlights of their motorcycle trip, as the tour takes you along the eastern beach, which doubles as the main road, north to rainforests, crystal clear freshwater lakes, intriguing shipwrecks on the beach and towering sand dunes.
A flight over the island as an option well worth considering. Take-off and landing is along the beach. A great experience for a relatively low cost. Easy to organise too as they’ll ask you on the 4WD tour if you’d like to take the flight. No need to pre-book.
You’ll continue winding your way south through one of the most spectacular hinterlands in the country combining rainforests, waterfalls, pineapple plantations and the beautiful Glass House Mountains. Many of the towns and settlements along the coast began life as tiny fishing ports or jetties but they've long since been developed into vibrant coastal communities.
The contrast between the wealth of upmarket coastal resorts and fringing, undeveloped hinterlands makes for a great days riding. The views from the top of the escarpment are incredible and don’t forget to visit the late Steve Irwin’s superbly kept Australia Zoo.
Capital city of Queensland, 16th 'most liveable city in the world' and the ideal place to explore mid motorcycle tour. Enjoy a glass of something nice in a restaurant overlooking the river or take advantage of the great nightlife, lovely parks, bustling shopping streets and a wealth of other attractions.
You'll wish you had longer to stay, but there's plenty more to come as you continue this motorcycle tour south.
The Gold Coast
Australia's most visited holiday destination and it'll be pretty obvious why when you ride in. Great beaches, all the top theme parks, vibrant nightlife and a surprisingly beautiful hinterland. If you want it busy you've got it, if you prefer the views and a bit more relaxation then you can have that too! The 57km of coastline bordering the aptly titled region near Surfers Paradise includes some of the most popular 'surf breaks' in the world. If you're even slightly interested in that most Australian pastime of surfing, you'll be well catered for here!
The most easterly point of Australia, Cape Byron is at Byron Bay. There are even more beautiful beaches here augmented by a lively, friendly and incredibly welcoming small town with some great riding in the surrounding countryside.
Once a centre for 'alternative lifestylers', Byron Bay has clung on to that unique atmosphere and generally chilled out approach to life. You can relax on the beach, visit the famous lighthouse, enjoy the goings on in town and get a good meal at any of the great restaurants. There's still more to come on this tour though, so don't get completely seduced by Byron Bay’s undoubted charm.
Waterfall Way and New England
State Highway 78 or the far more attractively titled ' Waterfall Way', is a breathtaking biking road through dense rainforest and past countless waterfalls. It boasts some epic views over the New England National Park and is quite rightly regarded as one of the finest roads for motorcycling in the state. The route leads down to the base of the Great Dividing Range where you'll stay for the night. If you arrive earlier than expected there's the additional draw of the 'Promised Land' circuit to ride, which takes you along a beautiful single track country lane past some pristine crystal clear streams. Just the ticket for a refreshing swim on a hot afternoon!
The following day along the main length of the Waterfall Way isn't a long one on the bike, but there's so much to see it'll take all the time you're willing to give it! You’ll stay in Armidale which is famed for its deciduous trees in Autumn. It’s an unusually seasonal area of Australia due to its elevation and actually experiences four distinct seasons, unlike most of Australia.
If you time your visit right, the display offered up as the leaves switch to their more Autumnal hues is a sight worthy of retelling by the greatest poets. A good range of restaurants and a country town atmosphere mean Armidale is a pleasant town to spend the evening in before riding on to the Hunter Valley the following day.
Another incredibly scenic and winding back road takes you through to the Hunter Valley, the grape crushing heart of Australia's wine production. There are countless vineyards, top class restaurants and many open cellar doors where you can taste the local produce. The overnight accommodation is a brief taxi ride from some of the most famous restaurants and wineries in the region, so there are plenty of opportunities to sample the local produce. Arrive early and go on a wine tasting tour or savour the culture in a relaxed evening out amongst the vines!
Ride along sweeping minor roads, past the viewpoints, fast flowing rivers and gorges of the Wollemi National Park [Australia's second largest] on the way to the Hawkesbury River and Blue Mountains.
Named after the coloured tinge the mountains take on when viewed from a distance, the Blue Mountains is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site and a motorcycle rider approved top quality area of Australia! Astounding scenery dominates the region at every turn with thundering waterfalls, the second largest canyon on earth, nerve jangling cable car rides, the steepest funicular railway in the world and some lovely walking tracks.
Check out the Three Sisters, Wentworth Falls and a plethora of other scenic lookouts on a circular route around the region. You'll then descend from the heights of the Blue Mountains heading for that most famous of cities, Sydney.
There's so much to see and do in this fantastic city that words can't begin to describe the place. That won't stop us trying of course! There's the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, Manly and Circular Quay. That merely scratches the surface of what Sydney has to offer. One of the finest cities in the world and the perfect place to wind down after a fantastic motorcycle tour. There’s no better way to end than a dinner in 'The Rocks' historical area at a restaurant overlooking the Opera House and Harbour Bridge!
If you fancy taking advantage of some of what Sydney has to offer, why not let us organise a few extra nights accommodation after your tour at a centrally located city hotel? You don’t need the bike in the city as public transport is excellent. Just ask!
The largest sand island in the world, World Heritage Site and unspoilt gem of the east coast. Best experienced by fantastic 4x4 tour, there aren't many options other than 4x4 really as the closest thing to a road, is in fact the beach!
Pristine tropical islands, turquoise oceans, relaxed atmosphere and a huge range of wildlife just waiting to be discovered. Snorkel around the islands, enjoy a boat trip and relax on the incredible white sands of Whitehaven Beach.
The world's largest coral reef, incredibly diverse World Heritage Site and "must see before you pop your clogs" natural wonder. Enough said.
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