Outback Rail Road Ride - Qld

Our Outback Queensland Cycling is an iconic, epic ride.

Four stages of the ride cover a considerable distance – almost 4,000km altogether! You will have the opportunity to explore Outback Queensland on an ever-growing network of sealed roads, linking with the State’s Outback Rail Network. Riding between the rail heads of Moree NSW and Forsayth North Queensland, you will connect with with ALL of Queensland Rail’s iconic outback passenger services.
But if you’re not up for 4,000km, you can elect to ride one, two or three of the four stages. Each day, we’ll support your riding with refreshments at 40-60km. On days over 100km, we’ll do lunch at 80-120km. Also afternoon refreshments on longer days at 120-160km.
At night we will camp under the stars. Venues usually offer campground facilities, however several nights are spent at rest areas with basic facilities, including toilets and shelter. Each stage begins and ends in towns, at which time you may wish to book cabins, motels, pubs or other accommodation. We will assist you with this if you wish.
The 4 successive stages:
• DIG TREE DASH (TOUGH – 64-230km per day): Moree – Boomi – Nindigully Pub – Bollon – Cunnamulla – Eulo – Thargomindah – Noccundra Hotel – Coopers Creek Dig Tree – Eromangah – Quilpie – Charleville
• QANTAS 101 (MEDIUM – 85-123km per day): Charleville – Augathella – Tambo – Blackall – Isisford – Longreach
• MIN MIN LIGHTS (TOUGH – 146-196km per day): Longreach – Winton – Middleton – Boulia – Dajarra – Mt Isa
• GULF COUNTRY (MEDIUM – 75-155km per day): Mt Isa – Cloncurry – Burke & Wills Roadhouse – side trip on our bus to Adele’s Grove and Lawn Hill NP for 2 nights – Normanton – Karumba – Croydon – Georgetown (plus a short drive on to Forsayth for exit by train). Note this stage is timed so as to ride Mt Isa to Cloncurry on a Sunday to coincide with the train and when the road is quieter, Normanton to Croydon to coincide with the weekly Tuesday Gulflander train – and the weekly Savannahlander train departing Forsayth Friday for its 2 day run to Cairns.
TOUGH STAGES – Ride up to 200+ km on the longest days. Be prepared to ride at a crisp pace and many days are long. Riders need to be experienced at 160+ km days, able to ride safely in bunches and be self-sufficient for up to 3 hours at a time. NOTE – on the 230km day there is the option to ride in the bus.
MEDIUM STAGES – Typically 80-120 km per day, can be up to 150 km.
TRAIN RACES – There are opportunities to ‘pace’ yourself against two of the trains (or catch the train at your cost):
• Riding vs Inlander from Mt Isa to Cloncurry 120 km in 4 hours (on a Sunday afternoon when road is quieter)
• Riding vs Gulflander from Normanton to Croydon 150 km in 5 hours

Note that bookings for multiple stages will provide savings to you – please enquire for pricing.

Price: $2895.00

Duration: 16 days / 11 cycling days

Trek Ratings: Activity 4 / Conditions / Accommodation 4 / Training/Preparation 4

Best Season: May – July

Country Visited: Australia

Trip Start: Moree

Trip Ends: Charleville

Trip Route: Moree – Boomi – Ninddigully Pub – Bollon – Cunnamulla – Eulo – Thargomindah – Noccundra Hotel – Coopers Creek Dig Tree – Eromangah – Quilpie – Charleville

Trip Style: Guided road cycling, support vechicles for bikes and riders, camping

Activity: Distance cycling

Activity Per Day: TOUGH 64 – 230km per day

Price: $1345.00

Duration: 10 days / 5 cycling days

Trek Ratings: Activity 3 / Conditions / Accommodation 4 / Training/Preparation 4

Best Season: May – July

Country Visited: Australia

Trip Start: Charleville

Trip Ends: Longreach

Trip Route: Charleville – Augathella – Tambo – Blackall – Isisford – Longreach

Trip Style: Guided road cycling, support vechicles for bikes and riders, camping

Activity: Distance cycling

Activity Per Day: 535 kms , approx 85 – 119 kms per day

Price: $1495.00

Duration: 17 days / 5 cycling days

Trek Ratings: Activity 4 / Conditions 4 / Accommodation 4 / Training/Preparation 4

Best Season: May  – July

Country Visited: Australia

Trip Start: Longreach

Trip Ends: Mt Isa

Trip Route: Longreach – Winton – Middleton – Boulia – Dajarra – Mt Isa

Trip Style: Guided road cycling, support vehicles for bikes and riders, camping

Activity: Distance Cycling

Activity Per Day: 840 kms, approx 145 – 196 kms per day

Price: $1995.00

Duration: 11 days / 8 ride days

Trek Ratings: Activity 3 / Conditions 4 / Accommodation 4 / Training/Preparation 4

Best Season: May – July

Country Visited: Australia

Trip Start: Mt Isa

Trip Ends: Forsayth

Trip Route: Mt Isa – Cloncurry – Burke & Wills Roadhouse – side trip on our bus to Adele’s Grove and Lawn Hill NP for 2 nights – Normanton – Karumba – Croydon – Georgetown ( plus a short drive on to Forsayth for exit by train).

Trip Style: Guided road cycling, support vehicles for bikes and riders, camping

Activity: Distance cycling

Activity Per Day: 840 kms approx 75 – 155 km per day

Day 01 Arrive Moree & overnight
Day 02 Ride Moree to Boomi NSW 96 km
Day 03 Ride Boomi to Nindigully Pub 104 km
Day 04 Ride Nindigully Pub to Bollon 160 km
Day 05 Bollon rest day
Day 06 Ride Bollon to Cunnamulla 181 km
Day 07 Ride Cunnamulla to Eulo 64 km
Day 08 Ride Eulo to Thargomindah 129 km
Day 09 Ride Thargomindah to Noccundra Hotel 142 km
Day 10 Ride Noccundra Hotel to Dig Tree 230km or travel on the bus
Day 11 Drive Dig Tree back to Noccundra, rest time
Day 12 Ride Noccundra Hotel to Eromanga 159 km or 177 km
Day 13 Ride Eromanga to Quilpie 106 km
Day 14 Ride Quilpie to Charleville 210 km
Day 15 Rest Day, train departs Charleville
Day 16 Train arrives Brisbane

Day 01 Charleville at leisure
Day 02 Ride Charleville to Augathella 85 km
Day 03 Ride Augathella to Tambo 119 km
Day 04 Ride Tambo to Blackall 102 km
Day 05 Ride Blackall to Isisford 123 km
Day 06 Ride Isisford to Longreach 116 km
Day 07 Longreach rest day
Day 08 Longreach rest day
Day 09 Train departs Longreach
Day 10 Train arrives Brisbane

Day 01 Train departs Brisbane
Day 02 Sat train arrives Longreach from Brisbane
Day 03 Longreach rest day (#2 riding Isisford-Longreach)
Day 04 Longreach rest day
Day 05 Longreach rest day / Tue train arrives Longreach from Brisbane
Day 06 Longreach rest day (3rd rest day for continuing riders)
Day 07 Ride Longreach to Winton 177 km
Day 08 Winton rest day
Day 09 Ride Winton to Middleton 165 km
Day 10 Ride Middleton to Boulia 196 km
Day 11 Boulia rest day
Day 12 Ride Boulia to Dajarra 145 km
Day 13 Ride Dajarra to Mt Isa 152 km
Day 14 Mt Isa rest day
Day 15 Mt Isa rest day
Day 16 Mt Isa free morning. Train leaves for Townsville
Day 17 Train arrives Townsville

Day 01 Train departs Townsville
Day 02 Train arrives Mt Isa 0935 / #3 riders arrive from Dajarra
Day 03 Mt Isa rest day
Day 04 Mt Isa rest day
Day 05 Mt Isa free morning
Day 06 Take train or…Ride Mt Isa to Cloncurry 120 km
Day 07 Cloncurry rest morning
Day 08 Ride to Terry Smith Rest Area 80 km
Day 09 Terry Smith to BW Roadhouse 102 km
Day 10 Rest day
Day 11 Rest day
Day 12 Ride Burke and Wheels Roadhouse to Bang Bang Rest 84 km
Day 13 Bang Bang to Normanton 110 km
Day 14 Ride Normanton to Karumba 75 km
Day 15 Karumba rest day
Day 16 Drive back to Normanton, free time afternoon
Day 17 Take Gulflander train or… Ride Normanton to Croydon 155 km
Day 18 Ride Croydon to Georgetown 148 km Drive to Forsayth 66 km
Day 19 Train from Forsayth dep 0830, trains stops at Einasleigh Pub 1115-1215. Train arrives Mt Surprise for overnight stay 1415 (Bedrock Village)
Day 20 Train deps Mt Surprise 0800 via Kuranda and Barron Falls. Arrives Cairns 1830 approx

Day 01 Meet in Moree  Train arrives Moree from Sydney same day (runs daily)

Our bus arrives from SE Qld in time for you to enjoy the warm artesian waters if you feel so inclined. You may even consider coming a day or more earlier to soak and relax.

Day 02 Ride Moree to Boomi NSW  96 km

We set out on Carnarvon Hwy, cycling 51 km to a small town called Garah. Though only a population of around 300, Garah has a pub where we will have our first refreshment stop. After a break, we will turn onto Boonangar Rd, cycling 45 km to Boomi, another small town with artesian pools, campground and pub.

In Boomi we can enjoy a dip in the Hot Artesian Spa Pool. The powerful overhead and underwater jets are the perfect remedy for tired and aching muscles after our first day. The mineral-rich water flows, under natural pressure, from a depth of 1.25km and arrives at the surface at an astounding 53°C straight from the Great Artesian Basin. The water is then cooled to a comfortable 39°C for use in the Hot Spa. Still too hot? There’s also a 25m cool pool to splash in, picnic and BBQ areas, plus shower and toilet amenities.

The community owned caravan and camping facility also offers a not for profit shop and a new amenities block with power and water to each site, and landscaped gardens around the perimeter.

Day 3  Ride Boomi to Nindigully Pub  104 km

After our first 19kms, we will arrive at the state border on the McIntyre River, and cross into Queensland. Only a short distance further, another 17km, is North Talwood, where we will stop for our refreshment break. At 81 km is the locality of Weengallon, famous for its Pink Ladies charity events, and it is here we will have lunch and a break. Pink Ladies Day began in 2000 when the local ladies put on a lunch and fashion parade to raise money to buy cleaning products for their new once weekly mobile Kindy. The event has grown from then, and now every year around 600 women head to the middle of nowhere for a luscious day of shopping, lunch and laughter.

Refreshed, we travel another 24 km to Nindigully Pub, Queensland’s oldest hotel located in its original condition and position on the banks of the Moonie River. The license was issued in 1864 after operating as shearer’s accommodation for the Nindigully Station. From the late 1800s the Nindigilly Pub was a Cobb and Co coach change over station. Despite its population of only nine people, The Gully attracts a regular flow of locals (nearest eight kilometres) and tourists from all over Australia for a cold beer and some great pub grub.

Day 04  Ride Nindigully Pub to Bollon  160 km

Our first refreshment stop today is at St George after 46 km cycling. We will stop for lunch after 101km, before continuing to Bollon.

Bollon sits on the banks of peaceful Wallam Creek, a rural township where kangaroos laze in the backyard of the Post Office and sheep graze the paddocks adjoining the main street. We need to keep an eye out for koalas, echidnas and emus as we take a stroll into Bollon along the new 1.2 kilometre creek-side walkway. We also have the opportunity to appreciate some Aboriginal Dreamtime Artwork along the walkway. The caravan and camping area complete with showers and toilets is the perfect spot for our camp tonight

Day 05  Bollon rest day

A welcome day off to rest and recharge after our first three days of riding. Bollon is a quaint little town filled with history; the Heritage Centre is staffed by friendly volunteers who are keen to share the history of the area.

Nullawokka First Nations Gallery and Tours is located in Bollon’s 145 year old historic post office building on Main Street.

Owners Bill Speedy, a proud Gwamu elder from the area, and partner Judith Russell offer a range of First Nations artworks, focusing primarily on the works of emerging artists from the local area and further afield.  In addition, the Gallery offers a range of unique gifts and souvenirs. These include authentic yidakis (didgeridoos), painted emu eggs, returning boomerangs, handmade kangaroos, a range of bush herbs and the famous “Bollon Boulders”.

Workshops are available for the whole family. Try your hand at painting a boomerang, a goolburri (emu) egg or creating your own masterpiece to take home.

We have the option to join Bill’s cultural walking tours along the tranquil Wallam Creek. On tour be introduced to the First Nations history of the area and hear the stories behind the beautiful outdoor paintings. We’ll learn to track animals, discover traditional scar trees, and will also have the opportunity to try some bush tucker.

Day 06 Ride Bollon to Cunnamulla  181 km

This morning we wave goodbye to this pretty town and cycle 64km to Nebine for our refreshment stop. We continue on after a break 85km to Charlotte Plains Station, where we will stop for lunch.  Originally a property of approximately 155,920 hectares (385,280 acres), the Station was established in the 1860s. By 1914 there were more than 67,000 head of sheep on the property producing nearly 1500 bales of wool. The Station has been in the same family since 1923, now somewhat smaller, covering 29,000 hectares – still half the size of Singapore!

In the afternoon, we will cycle the remaining distance to Cunamulla, our home for the night. Perched on the banks of the Warrego River, Cunnamulla, was once where bullock teams passed through and shearers spilled from bar windows; but today the small town is known for its natural outback beauty and outback hospitality.

Day 07  Ride Cunnamulla to Euloa  64km

This morning we have the opportunity to visit the Cunnamulla Fella Art Gallery and Museum before heading out. We’ve got plenty of time to enjoy this, as today is an easy 64km. Our destination is Eulo, a small community with a population of 48.  Famous not only for the abundant local produce and product as well as opal and craft which can all be purchased in the town, but also for the infamous “Eulo Queen” and the hotel named after her.  Isabel Gray, a thrice-married pub owner, sly-grog dealer, storekeeper, gambler, courtesan and opal trader of a century ago was and still is, know as the Queen of Eulo.

Day 08  Ride Eulo to Thargomindah  129 km

A longer day today, but we will break it up as always, with our first refreshment stop at 55km. We will enjoy a rest at a shady forested creek crossing, before continuiing another 38km to Lake Bindegolly where we will stop for lunch.

Fueled up, we continue in the afternoon for our overnight stop, Thargomindah on the Bulloo River. Thargomindah lays claim as Australia’s first hydro-electricity scheme. The town’s artesian bore, was drilled in 1891 and by 1893, having drilled to a depth of 795 metres, the water came to the surface. Once the bore started delivering hot clean water, the town attempted a unique experiment. The pressure from the bore water was used drive a generator and this, in turn, was used to supply the town’s electricity.  In 1898 it was the first town in Australia to have street lighting run on hydro-electric power.

Depending on arrival time – and how energetic we feel! – we have the opportunity to explore this town and various buildings that point to its history. Leahy House, build in 1885 of locally made mud brick, was owned at one point by Sir Sydney Kidman, and in 1995 it was purchased by the Bulloo Shire Council and opened as a museum. The Post Office and Old Thargomindah Hospital were also built with mud bricks, a reminder of the scarcity of materials on the edge of the desert.

Day 09  Thargomindah to Noccundra Hotel  142 km

There are no towns enroute today, so our focus will be simply enjoying the landscape of this remote region. At 45km, we will arrive at a flood channel crossing, where we will stop for a refreshment break. Further along, at 87km, is our lunch stop on a hilltop where we may be lucky to have a cooling breeze!

Depending on which source we accept, Noccundra has a population anywhere between 3 and 11 – suffice to say it’s pretty small! To the west of here, Andrew Hume‘s ill-fated expedition to rescue long-term survivors of Leichhardt’s 1848 expedition, perished of thirst. The town was established in 1882 with the construction of the Noccundra Hotel, from sandstone mined from Mount Poole, New South Wales and brought to Noccundra by camel train. The Noccundra Hotel is all that survives of the town today, and was listed by the National Trust in 1977. It is an important link with the establishment of pastoral settlement in this area.

Day 10  Ride Noccundra Hotel to Dig Tree  230 km or travel on the bus

Today’s ‘dash’ is through remote country but will be well-supported by our vehicle/s. We will see gas and oil fields during our ride, before stopping for refreshments outside Jackson Oil Field at 63km. Another 68km will see us at the Gas Centre Road junction where we stop for lunch and a well earned break. As this is a long day, we will have another refreshment stop at 181km.

Note, approximately 30km of today is on a dirt road. We can shuttle bikes and riders for these legs, reducing the day’s distance is 200km. Following this lengthy ride, we will drive back to Noccundra, hence riders do have the option not to participate in this day. For those who do however, this is part of Australia’s history and will be something you won’t forget.

The Dig Tree is the site of the camp on Cooper Creek where William Brahé and his men waited for Burke and Wills to return from their attempt to cross the continent to the north and back. After waiting over four months, and well past the agreed time, Brahé finally left for Menindee on 21 April 1861, sure that Burke and Wills’ party had all perished. That evening, only 9 hours later, Robert Burke, William Wills and John King arrived at the abandoned Dig Tree camp. The fourth member of the expedition party, Charley Gray had died on the return journey from the Gulf.

A carving on the tree read DIG. Burke, Wills and King were in a severely weakened state and the supplies they found were basic, but sustained life. After resting at the Dig Tree, Burke, Wills and King decided to go to Mount Hopeless station, 150 miles (241 km) away. It was a gruelling few days staggering beside their dying camels. When eventually their camels died, Burke, Wills and King headed back to Cooper Creek, hoping to be rescued before they starved. Alas, only King lived long enough to be found by Alfred Howitt’s search party from Melbourne, which arrived in September 1861.

Day 11 Drive Dig Tree back to Noccundra, rest time

We have time to soak in the history in this area before the drive back to Noccundra. Although the expedition could not be considered a success, in that Burke, Wills and Gray all perished, Burke achieved the aim of the expedition in reaching the Gulf of Carpentaria. Indirectly, it led to further discoveries by relief parties, the main being led by Howitt, a highly intelligent and skilled bushman, who continued on with explorations. He and others were subsequently responsible for many discoveries of valuable pastoral lands.

Day 12 Ride Noccundra Hotel to Eromanga  159 or 177 km

A long day, but we will have fresh legs after yesterday’s rest day! Our first refreshment stop is 60km at the Woonanooka Road Junction, with lunch at 118km.

Eromanga has the claim to fame of being the ‘furthest town from the sea’ in Australia. Another exciting claim to fame relates to the significant paleontological discoveries of Australia’s largest dinosaur. Several dinosaurs have been discovered with this area being heralded by scientists as the most exciting and prolific dinosaur site in Australia.

Note: the first 18km is repeated from Thursday and we can shuttle riders and bikes.

Day 13 Ride Eromanga to Quilpie  106 km

We will arrange a visit to Eromanga Natural History Museum this morning, where we can view the bones and other exciting discoveries. After getting our paleontological fix, we commence our ride, travelling just over 50km before our lunch stop. Our afternoon cycle will take us into Quilpie, a decent sized town of 600 and terminus of the Western Railway.

Proclaimed a town in 1917 due to the arrival of the Railway Line from Charleville, Quilpie to this day is still the ‘End of the Line”. Outback Art in Quilpie is a real talking point with murals and sculptures in the main street. The “Eagle Gallery” is a visual delight exhibiting the paintings of gifted local artist Lyn Barnes. And if opals are your thing, you will love “The Jewel of the Outback”, Quilpie’s exquisite boulder opal.

Day 14 Ride Quilpie to Charleville  210 km

It’s a long day today, so we’ll break it up with several stops. We have refreshment breaks scheduled at Winbin ‘rail station’ at 43km and Cheepie ‘village’ at 83km. Lunch will be at 122km, at the ghost town Cooladdi, where the population of 4 run the Foxtrap Roadhouse. We’ll have an afternoon break also at 168km at Wanko rail-crossing.

Sitting pretty at the crossroads of the Warrego Way and the Matilda Way, Charleville is the major town of South-West Queensland with a population of 3300. First explored in 1847, the town was gazetted on 11 January 1865. The same year a hotel was built, and a town began to grow to service the region. It was situated near Gowrie’s Crossing, a permanent waterhole, now on the outskirts of the modern town. Gowrie Station had been established around the crossing along a natural stock route, for the grazing of sheep and cattle.

Cobb and Co, the legendary Australian stagecoach company, established a coach building business in the town in 1886, however, the railway arrived in 1888, beginning the long demise of coach transport in the area. Charleville railway station was established as part of a rail link to service Western Queensland. Heritage-listed structures at the station include the passenger station (opened in 1957) and the goods shed (the core of which was completed in 1888). These structures reflect the historic importance of Charleville as a western railway station.

Day 15 Rest day, Train departs Charleville 

There are many attractions here, including the Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre and beautiful parklands with an Outback Native Walk, Vortex Guns, Working Windmill, watercourse and an adventure playground. The Bilby Experience will teach us about the efforts to save these animals, and the Historic House and Museum offers some fascinating insights into the town’s history.

And if the stars are your thing, you’re in luck here with the Cosmos Centre offering a variety of activities; we can enjoy the night sky as our ancestors did and learn about objects that have plummeted from the skies to land here in the Outback Queensland

Late afternoon we will make our way to the Railway Station for our trip to Brisbane.

Day 16 – Brisbane arrival

Train arrives Brisbane 1125

Day 01 Westlander Train departs Brisbane 1915

Day 02 Train arrives Charleville 1145 – day at leisure

Check the descriptions in Days 14 & 15 for information about what to do in Charleville. There’s a great choice, but remember that tomorrow we’ll be starting our ride, so make sure you get a good night’s sleep!

Day 03 Ride Charleville to Augathella 85 km

A shorter and easier day to ease us into our ride; we head northward on the not so busy Mitchell Highway. These roads have good visibility and usually a reasonable shoulder. We stop at the Warrego River Crossing at 43km for our first refreshment break, and lunch at Augathella.

There are no villages between the overnight towns. Augathella has a population of 450, and – most importantly! – 2 pubs. Heard of Meat Ants? Us neither! Go to the Meat Ant Park in town to learn about the aggression and enormous distribution capacity of this most dominant species.  View the giant meat ant sculpture in the park; it is over a million times the size of an actual ant.

This is another outback town showcasing beautiful murals, and have also added wrought iron sculptures, created by locals to showcase their love of the region. A must see is the Boadicea Gallery and Cinema, where on exhibition is over 150 heritage photos

Day 04 Ride Augathella to Tambo 119km

Our route today on the Landsborough Highway will include a little more traffic, but riding as a group we will keep each other safe. Our first stop is at the 37km mark, at Nive Downs Rest Area. Another 36km will see us at a lovely river crossing for lunch, after which we continue our ride to Tambo, a town with a population of 350 – not including Tambo Teddies!

Tambo has a relaxed atmosphere with many historical buildings. Why not visit the Post and Telegraph buildings where you can try your hand at Morse code? The Grassland Art Gallery is well worth a visit, a contemporary art space showcasing artworks from local and regional artists, and no visit to Tambo is complete without a visit to the Tambo Teddies Workshop – Tambo is, after all, the Outback Teddy Bear Capital!

Day 05 Ride Tambo to Blackall  102 km

We head in a north westerly direction this morning, hoping for a south easterly breeze! After 60km we will stop at the Barcoo River Rest Area for a break, after which we literally head for the Black Stump! Blackall is the home of the Black Stump which was used for surveying purposes and permanently marks the original Astro Station established in 1887. Anything west of this point is said to be ‘beyond the black stump’.

Blackall was put on the map in 1892 when blade shearer Jack Howe set a world record at Alice Downs Station, by shearing 321 sheep in seven hours and 40 minutes. The record stood for 58 years, but many argue it still stands, as the better time was with machine shears. Jack Howe is memorialised in a bronze sculpture we will see if we take the Shamrock Stroll, a historical walk around the town.

Blackall has the reputation as the Arts Capital of the West, boasting an outdoor gallery of public artworks created by local and well renowned artists, which range from scrap metal sculptures, wool carvings and hand-painted murals to large bronze depictions of the town’s most famous. The first artesian bore in the outback was drilled in Blackall in 1885 and today visitors can rest, relax and revive in the natural artesian waters at the Blackall Aquatic Centre’s thermal spa and swimming pool.

 

Day 06 Ride Blackall to Isisford  123 km

A day off the highway today, as we find an alternative sealed route. We will enjoy some creek crossings during our ride, with our first refreshment break at 42km and lunch at 78km, both locations are creek crossings. Our afternoon ride takes us into the township of Isisford, sitting on the banks of the Barcoo River.

Isisford was developed, literally as the result of an accident! Traders William and James Whitman broke an axle attempting to cross the Barcoo, and decided that rather than press on, they would settle on the banks of the river. The brothers set about developing a village, erecting a hotel, butcher’s shop, store and saddlery among other businesses. Many of the original Whitman constructions are still standing, most are now museums – the old bakery, Café Arcadia and Whitman’s Memorial Museum. The Golden West Hotel, formerly the ‘Westward Hotel’ is the only one of the four hotels in existence in 1904 to remain open to this day.

Day 07 Ride to Isisford to Longreach  116 km

Our last cycling day takes us into Longreach – ‘the heart of the Outback’. Our first break is at Amor Downs at 45km, after which we ride another 45km to Ilfracombe, home of the Great Machinery Mile outdoor museum. This charming town was founded in 1891 as a transport hub for Wellshot Station, which at the time held the largest number of sheep on any station in the world.

This afternoon we have less than 30 km to go to reach Longreach, the key town of central western Queensland, rail-head for the Spirit of the Outback train (1300 km from Brisbane) and full of things to see and do.

Day 08 & 09  Longreach rest day

Longreach has a long history, and plenty to see and do.

Prior to European settlement, the area was occupied by the Iningai people. In 1846 the first European, Thomas Mitchell, explored the area, followed by Edward Kennedy, Nat Buchanan and William Landsborough, the latter acquiring a lease to approximately 2000 square miles (518,000 ha) of land in 1963. This area become known as Bowen Downs Station. By the early 1870s the Mount Cornish outstation had been established and Longreach grew up as a camp for teamsters who carried supplies to the property, officially gazetted as a town in 1887. By 1891, Longreach had three hotels, a police station and a Post Office, and in 1892 the railway from Barcaldine reached the town.

Longreach is famous as the birthplace of Qantas. Known at the time as the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd., the airline was set up on 16 November 1920 by Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness. The airline was initially funded by local graziers and in 1921 a hangar was built. In 1926 Qantas operations were expanded with a workshop where seven DH50 biplanes were constructed. The Qantas Founders Museum – privately funded – is a fantastic education into what has become Australia’s national airline.

Other must-see’s are the Stockmens’ Hall of Fame, Thompson River sunset cruises, McKinnon and Co stagecoach runs, and a tour of the School of Distance Education.

Day 10 Train departs Longreach 1000

Those leaving the tour here will transfer to the Railway Station for their train to Brisbane. Travelling by rail provides a real sense of the vast distances from Australia’s busy coastal strip and an appreciation of the huge challenges faced by Australia’s early pioneers.

Day 11 Train arrives Brisbane

Day 01 Train departs Brisbane 1355

Day 02 Saturday train arrives Longreach 1540

Day 03 Longreach rest day (Stage 2 riders arrive Longreach)

Day 04 Alternative arrival – Train departs Brisbane 1810

Day 05 Alternative arrival – Saturday train arrives Longreach 1920 (If arrived  on Day 2, Day 5 is a leisure day)

Day 06 Longreach rest day (3rd rest day for riders continuing from Stage 2)

Day 07 Ride Longreach to Winton 177 km

Our ride commences travelling north west up the Landsborough Highway. Our first refreshment stop is at 32km at Darr River and our second at Morella Rest Area at 77km, with lunch at Chorregon Rest Area at 112km. As this is our first cycling day, we expect riders will be looking for breaks, hence we will stop at the Crawford Creek Rest Area at 132km, and again at approximately 150km.

During today, we will be crossing the Thompson and Darr Rivers. There are no towns enroute, however as traffic is much lighter west of Longreach, we can relax and enjoy our surrounds. Winton is the Dinosaur Capital of Australia, home of Waltzing Matilda and Queensland’s Boulder Opal; abundant in nature, culture and heritage

Day 08 Winton rest day

“Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong…” Winton the very home of Banjo Patterson’s ‘Waltzing Matilda’, a poem reputedly inspired by a shearer’s suicide at the nearby Combo Waterhole in 1894. It was first performed in Winton’s North Gregory Hotel on 6th April 1895, you can learn all about Banjo and the adopted national anthem at the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton.

Winton is also dinosaur territory, home to the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede – the Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park. More than 95 million years old, there are 3,300 stampeding footprints immortalised in stone and protected 110km south-west of Winton. This is an iconic National Monument not to be missed. The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, 24km south-east of Winton, has the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils, displayed in the Collection Room and prepared in the Dinosaur Laboratory.

We have the opportunity to visit both on our rest day, in addition to the Waltzing Matilda Centre, historic open-air theatre, pubs and the art-deco North Gregory Hotel.

Day 09 Ride Winton to Middleton  165 km

A slightly shorter day than Day 7, but our legs will have recovered during our rest day! The Kennedy Development Road is quiet and allows us the opportunity to appreciate our surrounds as we meander through attractive scenery. Our first refreshment stop will be Lilleyvale Rest Area at 56km, and lunch will be Poddy Creek Rest Area at 90km. We will take an afternoon break at 132km.

Middleton’s history begins with the exploration of the area in 1862, when John McKinlay passed through the area in search of the lost expedition of Burke and Wills. They followed a creek that was, in 1862, named On April 10, 1862, in honour of W. Middleton, McKinlay’s second in charge. The Middleton Hotel was built during the Cobb & Co. era, and was a changing station, where tired horses were replaced with fresh horses, on the route between Winton and Boulia.

It formed one of the “Nine Pillars of Cobb & Co.” These Pillars represent the nine oldest and original Changing Stations for the coaches of the Winton to Boulia Route, which took four days each way to cover 240 miles (384 kilometres). There are Memorial Cairns along the Winton-Boulia Road, each one representing the other eight of the Nine Pillars of Cobb & Co. – Winton, Elderslie, Woodstock, Middleton, Makunda Hotel, Lucknow, Hamilton, Warenda Bore and Boulia.

Day 10 Ride Middleton to Boulia  196 km

We continue in a westerly direction along the Kennedy Development Road which becomes the Winton Road. This is another day in which we pass through no towns enroute. Our first break will be at 50km, lunch at Hamilton Channels Rest Area at 120km and afternoon refreshments at 160km. It’s a long day but remember there’s a rest day tomorrow!

Day 11 Boulia rest day

Over a hundred million years ago, Boulia lay on the western edge of a vast inland sea named the Eromanga Sea. Marine reptiles such as the longnecked Plesiosaur (looking very much like the Loch Ness monster), the Kronosaurus and the Icthyosaur were found here, and the Marine Reptile Fossil Display has a wonderful collection of world class fossils.

The Stonehouse is another place to visit, boasting an array of historical artifacts from early settlers, including machinery, saddlery and hospital instruments. Close by is the Diamantina National Park, home to abundant bird life including the rain bird, blackfaced cuckoo, lorikeets, brolgas and plain turkey/bustards.

Perhaps most interesting are the legends and bush yarns about the mysterious Min Min Light, eerie balls of unexplained light that follow the traveller to this remote part of Western Queensland.

To preserve the history and myths surrounding the Min Min Light, the Boulia Shire Council created The Min Min Encounter Centre has a 45-minute show introducing characters like Gunna and Bluey who have seen the light. Hear their stories about the lights and the possible explanations.

Day 12 Ride Boulia to Dajarra 145 km

We head off with fresh legs today, cycling north along the Boulia Mount Isa Highway for 66km before our first rest stop at Peak Creek Rest Area. Lunch will be approximately 110km, before our afternoon ride into Dajarra.

Dajarra was once the largest cattle trucking depot in the world, processing thousands of head of cattle from as far away as Western Australia. The ruins of the holding yards give a good idea of the magnitude of the cattle trucking industry in Dajarra’s heyday, when older locals remember the area trucking more cattle than Texas.

The town has a rich Aboriginal heritage and is home to Aboriginal tribes from around the Diamantina River, the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Northern Territory.

Day 13 Ride Dajarra to Mt Isa  152 km

Today we ride a king of half circle, heading north east and then north, to the copper mining city of Mt Isa. Our first stop is at 58km, and lunch will be at 96km. The afternoon ride is fairly lengthy, but this is our last day of cycling so we need to make the most of the scenery and the company of our group.

Mt Isa is known as one of the largest cities in the world by land mass, with an estimated urban population of around 19,000. The land around the present day city of Mount Isa was home to the Kalkadoon aboriginal tribe, who led a subsistence lifestyle on this land that the white settlers found unappealing with no real grazing potential and little in the way of mineral deposits. With the arrival of settlers and prospectors, the Kalkadoon tribe members waged one of Australia’s most successful fight for their lands, until they suffered terrible losses at Battle Mountain in 1884. Some historians have referred to their attack as a ‘rush of blood to the head’, as they underestimated the numbers of the settlers and suffered significant losses. From that time their ability to defend their land was weakened, and soon much of the land was lost.

A lone prospector, John Campbell Miles, stumbled upon one of the world’s richest deposits of copper, silver and zinc during his 1923. Miles had previously worked in a Broken Hill Mine, and he recognised yellow-black rocks he found in a nearby outcrop as ore found in the Broken Hill mine that he had once worked at. A sample sent away to the assayer in Cloncurry confirmed their value. Miles and four farmers staked out the first claims in the area.

 

Day 14 & 15 Mt Isa rest day

Today we have the option to do a number of things; and a Mt Isa Mines tour option might be right up your alley. We also have the option to ride to Lake Moondarra (40 kms return), check out the Underground Hospital built by off duty miners in 1942 as a wartime civilian hospital. The hospital was set up to treat those under the weather, underground, and safely away from the looming threat of aerial attacks by Japanese bombers. After years of being forgotten, this hospital was restored to its glory days with original furnishings and medical equipment based on photo memorabilia.

If you’re not done with dinosaurs yet, The Fossil Centre at Outback at Isa has you covered. Here you’ll learn how the fossils are extracted from the World Heritage-listed site. And what better way to finish the day than by venturing to the City Lookout for a 360-degree view of the city. Sunset is a magical time to be captivated by the dancing colours of the Outback sky, but even after sky descends into darkness and the silhouettes of the mine smelter stacks take over the sky, you will still be captivated.

Day 16 Mt Isa free morning

Train to Townsville departs 1330

After a morning at leisure, we will make our way to the Railway Station to connect with the Inlander, our train to Townsville. This historic journey takes us past Charters Towers and through the Great Dividing Range before arriving into the heart of Queensland.

Day 17 Train arrives Townsville 1010

Day 01 Train departs Townsville 1240

Day 02 Train arrives Mt Isa 0935 / #3 riders arrive from Dajarra

Day 03 Mt Isa rest day

Day 04 Mt Isa rest day

Day 05 Mt Isa to Cloncurry 120 km

We have several options today:

  • We can spend the morning at leisure before taking the train to Cloncurry
  • We can spend the morning at leisure before racing the train over a period of 4 hours. Please note that Peleton Experience will be required to participate in this ride, and one vehicle will follow
  • We can set off in the morning to ride the 120km distance at our own pace. Our refreshment/lunch stop will be at 60km at Fountain Springs Rest Area.

Whichever we decide to do, we will arrive in Cloncurry this afternoon.

Day 06 Cloncurry

A shorter ride today of 80km allows us to have a relaxed start to the day. This means we get to enjoy our stay in this friendly town, the most geologically rich in Outback Queensland. In 1867, Earnest Henry discovered copper 120km east of Mount Isa and decided to set up camp to continue his search. To this day, Cloncurry’s core industries remain copper and gold mining. It also has some seriously expensive livestock – indeed in 2017, a two year-old Brahman bull was sold to Cloncurry beef breeders for a whopping $325,000, nine times the price of the average sales at the auction. #nobull

We may choose to visit the John Flynn Place Museum or Cloncurry Unearthed. As a short day, we will have only one refreshment stop, at Quamby 46km.

Day 07 Terry Smith to BW Roadhouse 102 km

A longer day than yesterday, but still very achievable. Our first refreshment break is at 53km at the Gleeson Road turn off. Our next stop will be the BW Roadhouse, where we stop for lunch before starting the 3 hour drive to Lawn Hill, our home for the next 3 nights.

Day 08 & 09 Rest days

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is one of Queensland’s most scenic national parks featuring spectacular gorge country and sandstone ranges. The emerald waters and lush vegetation form a beautiful oasis in the outback, attracting abundant wildlife and offering exceptional views, walks, canoeing and cultural sites. The name ‘Boodjamulla’, meaning Rainbow Serpent Country in the local indigenous language, its windy, emerald water course.

Visit the Riversleigh World Heritage Site, where fossils dating back 15-25 million years provide evidence of feather-tailed possums, sharp-toothed kangaroos, and marsupial lions. Impressed? David Attenborough was – he labelled it one of the top four most important deposits in the world.

Day 10  Ride Burke and Wheels Roadhouse to Bang Bang Rest 84 km

The day begins with a 235 km drive back to Burke & Wills Roadhouse, so named after the route taken by the ill-fated explorers. This is the venue for an early lunch before resuming our ride. We’ll stop for an afternoon break at 58km before continuing to Bang Bang Rest Area, a camp spot that will be our home for the night.

Day 11 Bang Bang to Normanton 110 km

Our breaks today will be at 32km and 72km, at which point we will enjoy lunch and a rest. We continue on to Normanton, watching out for brolgas on the flood plains.

Normanton is a delightful town, with plenty of old world charm. Beginning life as a port for the Gulf of Carpentaria’s cattle industry, Normanton became more important with the discovery of gold at Croydon in 1885. Today it is primarily driven by tourism with the Purple Pub, the Albion Hotel, and a number of interesting historic buildings

As with many of the towns in this area, there is a connection with the Burke & Wills exploration.  Normanton was named by William Landsborough, one of the many explorers who went looking for Burke and Wills, discovered and named the Norman River after Commander W. H. Norman, captain of the Victoria which was searching the coastline for Burke and Wills.

Take a look around town, at the Purple Pub (famous only for being purple!), the Bank of New South Wales, now heritage listed, and the Albion Hotel, built in Croydon in the late 1800’s and transferred to Normanton in the early 20th century. Have your photo taken with the Big Crocodile, a model of an 8.63 metre crocodile, the largest ever shot.  Of significant interest is the restored Burns Philp Warehouse, built in 1884, and Heritage Listed as the oldest surviving store of the dominant company in shipping and mercantile trading in Australia and the South Pacific from the late 19th century to the late 20th century.

Day 12 Ride Normanton to Karunba 75 km

Today is the first and only contact we have with the coast, as we head out to the Gulf of Carpentaria. We will stop for a break at 30km before continuing into Karumba where we enjoy lunch and relax for the rest of the day.

Located on the banks of the Norman River, Karumba is a lovely town, popular with tourists and particularly anglers wanting to experience the fish-rich waters of the Gulf.   Prior to the arrival of Europeans the local Kuthant Aborigines lived and moved through the area.  By the 1870’s a telegraph station had been built on the site of the present town, which at that time was known as Norman Mouth.  In 1937 Karumba became a refuelling point for Qantas and BOAC flying boats travelling from Australia to London, and during World War II the town was an RAAF base for Catalinas flying into New Guinea, Timor and Indonesia.

Day 13 Karumba rest day

Take the opportunity to relax here, or perhaps join a river cruise, the Crab & Cros Tour, or visit Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre. You might want to take a fishing charter yourself! Whatever you decide to do, you won’t forget your stay here.

Day 14 Drive back to Normanton

Rather than backtrack on our ride, we will jump in the bus for an easy transfer back to Normanton. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 15 Normanton to Croydon 155 km

As with Day 4, we have the several options:

  • We can spend the morning at leisure before taking the quirky Gulflander train to Croydon
  • We can spend the morning at leisure before racing the train over a period of 5 hours. Please note that Peleton Experience will be required to participate in this ride, and one vehicle will follow
  • We can set off in the morning to ride the 155km distance at our own pace. Our first stop will be at 50km, with lunch at Blackbull Siding Rest Area 94km.

Though only a small town today with a population of 300, Croydon is the main town in a shire which covers 29,538 square kilometres. Once an important gold mining town, Croydon still offers a number of historic buildings providing a glimpse of life during the goldrush era.  “The Gulflander”, an historic train which still runs once a week, was built to transport gold and people from Croydon to the port at Normanton. At its peak it moved over 10,000 people each year.

Day 16 Ride Croydon to Georgetown 155 km

After a 66km drive to Forsayth we take to the road on our bikes, enjoying our final day of cycling, traversing low ranges. Our first stop is at 45km, with lunch at Gilbert River 74km. Our afternoon break will be at a lovely little creek at 113km, before completing the final section, and arriving into Georgetown. An opportunity to freshen up with showers and then we finish the day driving to Forsayth.

Much of the drive is sealed but the dirt sections can be rough and slow. Originally known as Finnegan’s Camp, then Charleston and finally Forsayth, this part of the Etheridge Goldfield was known as ‘Poor Man’s Goldfield’, as a prospector did not need expensive equipment to search for gold – nugget gold was literally found on the ground!  Forsayth is the end of the Etheridge Railway, and is now a part of the Savannahlander journey.

Day 17 Depart Forsayth

Our train will depart Forsayth at 0830, stopping at Einasleigh Pub around the middle of the day. From here, we continue to Mt Surprise, arriving at around 1415.  We will overnight here at Bedrock Village. NOTE:      Our bus will also offer a one day transfer to Cairns via Undarra Lava Tubes ($180 including bike)

Day 18 Depart Mt Surprise 0800

Our train continues via Kuranda and Barron Falls, arriving in Cairns at approximately 1830

Stage 1 – April 21 – May 7, 2021. First riding day 22 April, last riding day is 4 May

Stage 2 – May 6 – May 16, 2021 First day riding is 6 May, last day riding is 10 May ( joins Stage 1 at Charleville – day 15)

Stage 3 – May 12 – May 23, 2021 First day riding is 14 May, last day riding is 20 May ( joins Stage 2 at Longreach – day 3)

Stage 4 – May 20 – June 5 , 2021 First day riding is 23 May, last day riding is 3 June (joins Stage 3 at Mt Isa – day 2)

Rest days between are:

  • Wed 5 May in Charleville between sections 1 and 2
  • Tue-Wed-Thu 11-13 May in Longreach between sections 2 and 3
  • Fri-Sat 21-22 May in Mt Isa between sections 3 and 4

Cost Includes

Fully supported cycle trek tour
Getaway Trekking Leader
Vehicle support for rider fatigue and/or injury
Technical support for mechanical issues
Accommodation – tents (twin share or single on request)
Breakfast every day
Lunch on ride days
Luggage transported daily
refreshment stops on ride days
Public Liability Insurance

Cost Does not Include

International and Australian domestic flights
Airport transfers
Rail/air/bus transfers for the stage points:
• Moree (NSW Trainlink daily from Sydney – or our bus from SE Qld – or flights from SYD or BNE)
• Charleville (QR Westlander to/from Brisbane – or flight from BNE twice weekly)
• Longreach (QR Spirit of the Outback to/from Brisbane via Rockhampton or daily flights from BNE)
• Mt Isa (QR Inlander to/from Townsville or daily flights from BNE)
• Forsayth (QR Savannahlander to Cairns – or our bus to Cairns)
Travel insurance (Domestic Travel Insurance recommended
All items of a personal nature, including bike and camping equipment
Meals other than those specified on itinerary
Any others expenses which are not mentioned on ‘Price Includes’ section.

Recommended Equipment

Cycling

Bicycle – road, flat bar or mountain (please check with us regarding appropriate tyres depending on your bike type
LED flashing Tail light
Moirror & spare ( mounted on handlebar/helmet)
Seat/Frame bag (good for storing tyre repair kit)
Comfortable saddle (personal choice – not racing seat!)
Spare tyres and inner tubes
Tyre change tools
Water bottles & cages and/or Hydration Pack (i.e. Camelback)
electrolytes
Cycling Clothing

 Cycling tops (1 provided)
 Cycling pants (1 pair provided)
 Leg & Arm protection (optional)
 Comfortable synthetic underwear
 Cycling gloves
 Comfortable cycling shoes
 Spare cycling shoes OR at least a spare set of cleats
Socks, comfortable

Bad weather Cycling Clothing
Cycling top – long sleve
Cycling long-tights/Insulated windpants
Rain Jacket + pants (waterproof nylon/Gore-Tex)
Helmet liner or skull cap
 Waterproof Rain Booties/Gaiters
 Helmet cover

Headwear

 1 – Safety certified helmet
 1 – Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
 1 – Sunglasses

Footwear

 1 – Gym Shoes/sandals/thongs, to wear at night (optional)

Camp clothing
 Lightweight non cycling clothes. These are the clothes you will change into after the days ride.
 Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
 Bathers
 Polar fleece or one warm woolen jumper (not too bulky)
 Long pants (to protect against cold at night)

Camp Equipment

 Sleeping bag (note – night temperatures can get quite low in the outback)
 Sleeping bag liner (optional)
 Inflatable pillow (optional)
 Towel, lightweight, quickdry (optional)
 Camp plates, cup and cutlery
 Plastic bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate
 Headlamp with extra batteries

Soft bag ( sports type bag) for your overnight gear to be transferred in. NO SUITCASES MAX weight 15 kgs

Other

 Toiletries
 Prescriptions and basic first aid kit for blisters, bites etc.
• Band-Aids (assorted sizes & shapes)
• Antiseptic cream
• Adhesive First-Aid Tape
• Moleskin / Blister Bandages
• Alcohol Wipes
• Cotton Swabs
• Compress / Gauze Pads (med / large size)
• Ibroprophen & Paracetamol
• Anti-Chafing Balm (i.e. Vaseline —for saddle sores)
• Anti-Itch Cream (i.e. Hydrocortisone)
• Muscle Relief Cream (i.e. Dencorub )
• Foot Powder
• Anti-Diahearreal Tabs
• Antihistimine Tablets
• Sports Injury Cloth Bandage
• Neoprene Knee / Ankle Wrap

 Sunscreen
 Lip Balm
 Hand Sanitiser, Insect Reppellent
 Toilet Paper – incase of day requirements
 Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional) we provide snacks and biscuits.
 Camera, with extra batteries (optional)

Portable power pack

What sort of bike do I need and how do I transport it?

Bring a reasonably sturdy and comfortable bike as well as spare tubes and hard wearing tyres. We don’t recommend ultra-light fragile carbon racing bikes nor ultra-narrow tyres. The roads are sealed but the surfaces can be stony and wearing on tyres. Being comfortable is the #1 factor to achieving the longer distances.

You can use a road bike, flat bar hybrid or mountain bike. You should contact us to discuss appropriate tyres depending on the type of bike you are using. The most important thing for you is to be comfortable. For example, if you are using a road bike that is suitable for racing, that’s OK, but you should ensure your saddle is comfortable for long stretches, and your tyres are appropriate for the roads we will be on.

Bringing your own bike: When travelling on Queensland Rail we recommend compacting your bike into bike bags. QR has a limit of 2 unpacked bikes per train. Our operator can transport bikes with riders (1) from SE Qld to Moree and (2) from Forsayth to Cairns. Our operator will take care with unpacked bikes but can’t guarantee against nicks and scratches.

Bike hire: Limited availability at $20 per day. Presently our bikes are Giant and Gary Turner MTBs which for this will be fitted with 35-38mm tyres. If there is demand, we may be able to offer mid-range steel or alloy framed road bikes.

What level of fitness do I require?

Your experience is directly related to your level of fitness!!  It is very important to prepare yourself for the challenge ahead.  We have a recommended training schedule on our website, this is a guide only.

This is a trip for experienced cyclists and those who are very fir. A really solid preparation is required: some days are lengthy and the climate can be challenging.

Fatigue, overheating and dehydration are conditions that you need to avoid and be aware of on the trek. Lots of fluid with re‐hydration formulas such as Gastrolyte will help. You must train in the clothes that you intend to wear whilst cycling. It is also very Prior preparation is the key to a successful trip.

Getaway Trekking reserves the right to refuse participation or retire any trekker/s if they are deemed to be unfit or unprepared to complete the journey.

Do I need travel insurance for this trek?

Domestic Travel Insurance is a policy that provides cover for travel to Australian states, territories and islands within its maritime borders. It can provide cover for cancellation due to illness or injury, lost, stolen or damaged luggage, cancelled flights, rental vehicle insurance excess, personal liability and other unexpected circumstances.

Insurance does NOT cover any medical expenses when you are travelling within Australia. When you are in Australia, any medical costs would need to be covered by Medicare, your private health insurance or out of your own pocket.

It is actually legislated by the Australian Government that travel insurance companies are unable to provide cover for medical expenses within Australia for Australian residents and citizens, who are eligible for Australian Medicare. The intention is for any medical costs to remain under Medicare or Private Health.

Please note that ambulance services are state run services and Medicare does not necessarily cover you for ambulance trips.

Whilst a domestic travel insurance policy does not provide cover for medical expenses, it can provide cover for Cancellation due to a medical situation

Can I stay a little longer?

Of course! We do not provide a booking service, but will help you work through travel schedules if you decide to stay on after the end of your booked stage(s).

What is the accommodation like?

We camp in tents every night. The tents are supplied but you will need to provide sleeping gear and meal implements – i.e. cutlery and plates/bowls. In some towns there will be an opportunity for you to upgrade to a hotel if you feel like a night of luxury! This will be at your own expense.

When is the cycle trek briefing?

We will have a briefing prior to commencing each day, and a debrief at the end of each day.

How much money do I need for this cycle trek?

Breakfast is provided every day. Your accommodation fees and cycle support are covered also. You will be covering your own dinner each night, and lunch on rest days. On several rest-area nights we will do campsite dinners for $20 per person (paid on event). on several rest-area nights we will do campsite dinners for $20 per person (paid on event). Credit card facilities and ATM’s are not difficult to find.

Are there Communications on the cycle trek?

Mobile phone coverage will be intermittent. Your Getaway Trekking leader will carry a satellite phone in case of emergency. Please note this is not available for calls by cyclists – it is for emergency use only.

How can I be contacted if there is an emergency at home?

If an emergency requires your attention the following procedures should be followed. It must be understood that communications in these areas is not guaranteed due to weather and other environmental conditions.

  1. Your family member contacts our office (who will assess if it is a genuine emergency; a sick cat would not fit this criteria!) The sat phone is required for “on track” emergencies and battery life is limited.
  2. Our office will text a message to the satellite phone; when the trek leader initialises the phone at 6.00pm each night, he / she will receive the message and immediately contact the office for instructions.

What happens with food?

Breakfasts and lunches are prepared from a good choice of supplies that will satisfy most people (and we’ll be happy to consider requests). Lunch is often made in the morning and carried by cyclists – making lunch on the road can be problematic due to heat, flies and lack of infrastructure. Refreshments will be carried by vehicle to be consumed at breaks.

We will liaise with all dinner providers to ensure they have meals to suit the next day’s riding, particularly where we face a long day. More often than not, these will be pubs. We can cater to most dietary requirements, however you should advise us as soon as possible if you have limitations or requirements in that area. We will have a limited amount of catering equipment that participants with special needs may use.

 

Should I take electrolytes and how much water is enough?

It is essential you hydrate during this cycle trek, and in this environment. Your Trek Leader will advise the best places to fill up your water. It is essential that you take electrolytes/Gastrolyte/Hydrolyte etc with you.

Dehydration can become a major issue in all hot environments.  It is very important to keep drinking fluids. Because of the higher level of activity, temperature and humidity you will tend to sweat more. With the increased fluid intake and sweating you also tend to flush out of your system essential minerals, salts etc. This is why it is important to use electrolytes, salt replacements and Glucose type products.

Can non-riders come along?

Non-riders are welcome at 50% of rider rates. We ask non-riders to be light-duty helpers. Tasks can include assisting with camp tasks, breakfasts and tea stops.

Are there toilets and showers in camp at night?

Yes – each place we camp will provide an opportunity to shower and toilet

Are we supported on this cycle trek?

You will have a Getaway Trekking Leader to manage all GT cyclists. In addition we have vehicle support for fatigue / injury, and technical support for bikes. All luggage is transferred by vehicle every day. You do have the option to travel on our bus anytime instead of riding.

We carry a range of general bike tools, spare tubes, limited spare tyres – and a spare bike.

For 10-20 participants, our operator will provide two crew who will drive one Rosa bus with large trailer plus a second vehicle which depending on numbers could be either a 4wd or another bus and trailer. This is in addition to our Getaway Trekking Leader.