The Kimberley Dreamtime tour
 July 4th 2021.

We're excited to announce The Kimberley Dreamtime tour - a 10-day #womensonly tour departing July 4th 2021.

This escape will take you through the Kimberley and parts of the Northern Territory, showing you some of Australia's most beautiful outback areas. There will be lots of walking - bring your hiking shoes!

Find out more from our friends at Sisterhood Womens Travel, here:…/kimberley-dream…

To book, contact Colin Hood at
Cairns to Cooktown I & II
April 30 – May 10, June 26-July 6, 2021


The Topbike 2021 Cairns to Cooktown Tour will be 11 days (10 nights) fully supported, off the tourist route where possible, riding up to 130k a day (but not every day), starting and finishing in Cairns. 

We will take an inland route, over the Great Dividing Range, through rainforests, with visits to the coast where possible.  Including one four-night stop, and two one-nighters. Group size will be limited to 13, with 3 staff.  There are plenty of opportunities for extra riding, if the planned day’s ride may not be enough for you.

With a Cairns start and finish, we’ll be kicking off with a few days in Atherton, leading into an overnighter out at Chillagoe.  Moving north from Chillagoe we’ll be heading for the Daintree. After a rest day, we’ll pass through Cape Tribulation en route to two nights in the rainforest of Rossville, and a final one nighter in central Cooktown.     

Rides will average 80k, along with >1100m vertical, per day over 50/50 gravel and bitumen roads.
Your tour guide/host for this tour, David Olle, spent most of the 1980’s working out of Cairns in the Northern Prawn Fishery, covering the east coast, Torres Straits and Gulf of Carpentaria. 

In the early 2000’s he twice raced the Crocodile Trophy, traversing many of the roads we use in this tour.  David & Emma, through Topbike, have developed a strong bond with Atherton, as many of the locals have come along on tour to Europe over the past 15 years.  They’ve visited FNQ most every year since their first euro foray.  Topbike has also sponsored a junior development program in the local cycling club. 
Pick up:  11.00am, April 30, June 26, Cairns Hotel/other location, TBA
Drop off:  4.00pm, May 10, July 6, Cairns Hotel/other location, TBA

We recommend a gravel style bike to be the most suitable for this ride, a mountain bike, or an E-bike version of either. Hire bikes/Ebikes can be organized at an additional cost. 

Day 1, (April 30, June 26) Atherton – familiarisation ride (25k)
After pick-up in Cairns and transport up to Atherton we’ll set up our bikes and get out for a ride in our environs. There’s a lovely mix of gravel and bitumen close by that leads through the center of the mountain bike park which will be ideal for our afternoon orientation ride. 

Accommodation: Quality BnB above central Atherton.  Dinner:  Best Restaurant in Yungaburra
Day 2, (May 1, June 27) Atherton (<90k) 
Today we head out by bike, kicking off our Tour of Far North Queensland.  We’ll take the road north out of Atherton, as we start a clockwise lap of Lake Tinaroo.  Exiting town, we’ll be riding on gravel road straight away, noting that 50% of this loop is on unmade roads. 

Our path leads us past Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham, en route to Yungaburra.  We’ll be stopping for coffee, and a picnic at some stage, and a stop at the Yungaburra Hotel is a hard thing to pass up on the final leg. 

Transport home is available from here. Today’s ride will take us past The Cathedral Fig Tree, and a volcanic crater.  Once home, if the weather is conducive, we can have a dip in the pool before dinner. Don’t forget to pack your beach cossie.

Accommodation: Quality BnB above central Atherton.  Dinner:  Best Restaurant in Tolga
Ride: <90 ks, undulating <1500m asc, 50% gravel

Day 3, (May 2, June 28) Atherton (<100k)  gravel roads through farmlands
We’ve got a cruisy sight-seeing 100k loop to accomplish today, covering plenty of gravel.  Rocky Creek is our destination, and we’ll be circling around the western side of Lake Tinaroo.  Picnic for sure, coffee when we can.  Today’s ride will take us past the ‘Curtain Fig Tree’.  The afternoon sees us free to return to Atherton and get in an afternoon swim once more.  

Accommodation: Quality BnB above central Atherton.  Dinner:  Local Indian Restaurant
Ride: <100ks, undulating <1000m asc, 80% gravel
Day 4, (May 3, June 29) Atherton (130k)
A big loop south of Atherton through the towns of Millaa Millaa and Ravenshoe today. Ravenshoe is famous for having the highest pub in Queensland.  More bitumen than gravel today as we circle around, after about 65k, and visit the Millaa Millaa falls for our picnic lunch.  Over 2000m of climbing included, so make use of the backup vehicle if you need.  Back to Atherton for our last night there before tomorrow’s move west.

Accommodation: Quality BnB above central Atherton.  Dinner:  BBQ on a Farm

Ride:  <130k, meandering rural undulations >2000m asc, 90% bitumen

Day 5, (May 4, June 30) Ride Irvinebank to Chillagoe (110k)
Our route today takes us from Irvinebank to Chillagoe.  Both towns (along with Atherton, of course) have featured numerous times in the infamous and grueling ‘Crocodile Trophy’ event that has been held on these roads for the last 25 years. 

We’ll transport to Irvinebank where we’ll start our ride towards our most western town of this tour, Chillagoe. There’s a couple of ride variations available, both with more kilometers up to 160k, and vertical if you’re keen? The choice is yours. 

Chillagoe (pop 200, down from 10,000 at its peak) is a town and locality in the Shire of Mareeba, Queensland, Australia. It was once a thriving mining town for a range of minerals but is now reduced to a small zinc mine and some marble quarries. Just out of town is the Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park containing limestone caves. There is a 140k annual wheelbarrow race held between Chillagoe and Mareeba, usually in May. We’ll miss it of course, but you will get an idea of how grueling this event is.

Accommodation: Best Guesthouse in town.  Dinner:  Best restaurant in town.
Ride distance:  <110k, undulations with views <1000m asc, 50% gravel

Day 6, (May 5, July 1) Ride out of Chillagoe  (95k)
Riding out of Chillagoe we’ll be heading north. It won’t be long before we run out of bitumen, as most of today’s ride is on dirt.  We head off the main road after 30k and really get off the beaten track as we head for the Mitchell River. Then we’ll wrap up our ride with a picnic, before transporting into Daintree Village located on the Daintree river not far from the coast. 

The Daintree Rainforest is a region on the northeast coast of Queensland north of Mossman and Cairns. At around 1,200 square kilometers, the Daintree is a part of the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest on the Australian continent.

Accommodation: Best Daintree BnB Dinner: Excellent local restaurant
Ride distance: 95k, mostly flat – possibly our flattest ride day ever. 450m asc, 80% gravel

Day 7, (May 6, July 2) Rest day or Ride to Cow Bay & return (<60k)
Hump day, Rest day, soft ride day, cruise day, hiking day, long lunch day, your day.  Whatever you want to do, in this beautiful location, is possible.  And we’re here to help.  Whether you want to ride in the morning, or sleep in, or take a croc-spotting boat trip along the river, we’ll ensure it happens.  As much, or as little, as you like.  A ride to Cow Bay is planned if you need to ride.  However, some of the roads will be covered on Day 8, so if you do choose to have a complete rest, you won’t miss out on a lot.

Accommodation:  Best Daintree BnB Dinner: Excellent local restaurant
Ride: <60k mostly flat ride >600m asc, 100% gravel

Day 8, (May 7, July 3), Ride Daintree to Rossville (120k)
After breakfast we ride the coastal road north towards Cooktown. This is a relatively new road, built in the 1980’s, and is set in a stunning location, as it winds its way through the largest piece of tropical rainforest in Australia. We’ll be passing Cape Tribulation, stopping for a picnic where suitable, and coffee if possible. 

Our penultimate stop for the day will be the ‘Lion’s Den Hotel’ where you are most welcome to enjoy a beer, as there is a sign here stating, ‘Its un-Australian to ride past a country pub’ and this one is most deserving of at least a short stop.  Our destination is a further 12k of dirt beyond the Lion’s Den.

Accommodation:  Unique hotel, set deep in the rainforest
Ride: <120k, hills and undulations <2,400m asc 50% bitumen (to be ratified)

Day 9, (May 8, July 4) Ride Rossville to Roaring Meg Falls (60k)
Today we’re backtracking along yesterday’s route for almost 40k, before we turn off and negotiate the CREB track for about 16k. This old service track for the power lines that go through to Cooktown is almost infamous for motorcyclists and mountain bikers, and only open during the ‘dry’ season. 

We don’t get involved too deeply with it, as we are headed for ‘Roaring Meg Falls’ for a picnic. The falls are on the edge of where the steep stuff starts. Please note this is a sacred aboriginal site, no photography is allowed. Then, We’ll return to Rossville, passing the Lion’s Den Hotel again and be home for dinner, etc.

Accommodation:  Unique hotel, set deep in the rainforest
Ride: 56k of corners, hills and undulations 1,100m asc  50% bitumen (to be ratified)

Day 10, (May 9, July 5) Ride into Cooktown (45k)
The big push north. For our final night we head into Cooktown and enjoy an evening in a four-star hotel in the town center.  It’s not far, only 45k, with most of it on bitumen.  More of a ‘cool-down’ ride than anything else! 

There’s plenty to see, and do in Cooktown, including a visit to the top of Grassy Hill, where Cook stood, to plot the Endeavour’s route back out to sea, after his extended layover on the banks of the Endeavour River. 

Accommodation:  Four Star Hotel, centre of town.  Dinner: Inhouse Restaurant
Ride: <45k of corners, mainly flattish <600m asc, 85% bitumen

Day 11, (May 10, July 6) Ride Cooktown to Lakeland (optional ) then drop off in Cairns
After breakfast, it's time to pack up and head for Cairns. If you are really, really keen, you can make use of an early start, jump on your bike and head off towards Lakeland Downs.  It’s 80k with under 700m of vertical, and 100% bitumen.  We’ll need to sweep you before 11am, so as to get back to Cairns early afternoon.  Our official drop off point is Cairns railway station.  Please let us know if you need to be dropped off elsewhere.

Included in your tour is all transport from Cairns to Cairns for you, your bike and one bag, accommodation, all breakfasts and all dinners. You will also receive a full 5 piece Topbike kit. Also included are your experienced and knowledgeable guides, maps, training tips, coaching (if required) and mechanical back-up for your bike. Please also see our recommended list of things to bring (bring a couple of warm pieces of clothing, just in case). 

NB: The itinerary above is to be used as a guide only, as Topbike Tours are well known for making use of all (and creating some extra) opportunities, expect that variations from the above can happen at any time. Please note all distances are approximate and subject to change.


Australia is a big country with many diverse climates and regions. I can offer you various walking and cycling tours from the tropical areas around Darwin and Cairns to the dry centre around Alice Springs and Uluru and down to the cool climes of Tasmania. For those not used to walking or cycling I can organise more sedate trips. I have widely travelled over this vast land and can help you plan your trip 'Down Under'. Email me with dates and ideas and I will help you plan an itinerary. I charge $110 for advice and help and if you actually book your trip with me then this $110 comes off the end price.

Colin's Suggestions

1) Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) is Australia's most recognised natural wonder. This unique monolith is located in Australia's Northern Territory. Uluru stands at almost 350 metres high and has a circumference of over 9 kilometres. It is located 440km south-west of Alice Springs. Uluru is a unique and beautiful place, a World Heritage Area for both its cultural and natural values. Uluru is sacred and has great cultural significance to the Anangu traditional owners. Kata Tjuta (also known as The Olgas) is found 30 kilometres west of Uluru. It is a group of spectacular red domes (some over 500 metres high). Kata Tjuta is the Aboriginal name meaning 'many heads'.

From Alice Springs there are so many tours, some just one day and one way to Uluru and some 4 days/3nights return trip for about $795 per person.

2) Rising abruptly from the surrounding Western Plains, the Grampians (Gariwerd) is a series of rugged sandstone mountain ranges and forests rich in wildlife. One of Victoria’s most popular holiday destinations, the park is a great venue for camping, climbing, scenic drives, bushwalks and nature study. A network of walking tracks throughout the park allows you to explore cascading waterfalls, brilliant spring wildflower displays, and panoramic views from lookouts. Drive to Reeds and Boroka lookouts for spectacular views or visit the magnificent Fish Falls. The area has a rich Aboriginal heritage and a number of important rock art sites.

3) The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) stretches 2,300 kilometres along the Queensland coast and includes over 2,900 reefs, and around 940 islands and cays.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is 345,000 square kilometres in size, five times the size of Tasmania or larger that the United Kingdom and Ireland combined! The reef is immensely diverse. It is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 types of hard coral, one-third of the world’s soft corals, 134 species of sharks and rays, six of the world’s seven species of threatened marine turtles, and more than 30 species of marine mammals, including the vulnerable dugong.

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