The Rides

Check out the timetable of great rides and activities planned below, with links to maps of all rides.   Ride courses are currently provisional, and will be confirmed closer to the event.

Day ride registrations – see the Audax calendar.

Friday 30 August 2018 

Arrive in Cairns and stay at the Holiday Inn or your choice of accommodation.

4.00pm – 6.30pm  Registration and evening meal at the Salt House Restaurant – Cairns Pier on Cairns Esplanade (southern end).

Check in at the Pier on Cairns Esplanade and collect your ride information and gear, including Brevets.  Lighting checks will be conducted for all riders.  Food will be provided and a cash bar is available from the Salt House restaurant.

All gear and bike boxes that are not being taken on the ride can be brought to the registration area for tagging and transfer to the storage sheds on Friday evening, or left at the Holiday Inn for collection.

Saturday 1 September 2018 – Cairns to Mossman

100km – Ride from Cairns Pier along the Esplanade to the northern beaches of Cairns.  Take a quick diversion through Palm Cove and Yorkey’s Knob, before heading north on the Cook Highway along the oceanfront to the halfway point at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. 100km riders can opt to continue to from Hartley’s to Mossman via Port Douglas, or take the 50/50 option.  Break your Audax day into two 50km brevets, and spend a few hours checking out the crocodiles at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, before continuing the journey north to Port Douglas and Mossman.  Discounted entry to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures has been organised for Audax riders .

The 200km course heads south for some along quiet ocean-front riding along the southern edge of Trinity Inlet before turning north back through Cairns and to Port Douglas and Mossman.  It’s a flat, easy and scenic start to a big week of FNQ riding.

Riders can purchase their own lunch along the way at Ellis Beach, Port Douglas or Mossman on arrival.

5.45am – Rider check-in opens at the Cairns Pier (Cairns Esplanade)

6.15am – Ride briefing

6.30am – Ride starts Cairns to Mossman

8.30am – Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures opens

Evening – Overnight at Mossman Motel Holiday Villas.  Join us for dinner in Mossman, then head to bed early to prepare for a big day on the bike tomorrow.

Sunday 2 September 2018 – Mossman to Daintree return

This is the big one !!  Day 2 starts with some serious sight-seeing on a tour through the beaches and rainforest of the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest.

 200km riders start with a quick loop out to Mossman Gorge, before heading north to Daintree Village.  They then join the 100km route for a trip across the Daintree River by ferry, before tackling the leg-stretching climb across Mt Alexandra and down through the Daintree to Cape Tribulation.  Spot some cassowaries and Ulysses butterflies during a day’s riding through the rainforest.

100km riders can enjoy a little trip across the river, before returning to Daintree Village and Mossman.  Or take the 50/50 option with a break in Daintree Village.  Enjoy a few hours on a river cruise (at a discounted price for Audax riders), or sample the delights of this special area of rainforest before returning south.

5.30am – Breakfast at Mossman

6.00am – Check-in

6.15am – Ride briefing

6.30am – Ride start

Evening – Join us for an evening meal in Mossman, and enjoy the atmosphere of this small coastal farming town.



Monday 3 September 2018 – Mossman to Mareeba

It’s time to head up the hills, as the 6 Pack makes its way from the coast to the northern end of the Tablelands.  Head up the Rex Range, pausing for views across the Far North coastline.

The 100km takes a stopover at Mt Molloy pub, before having a small taste of the Quaid Road with its views across the Quaid Dam to the west.  Continue to Mareeba, with a little detour past the Golden Drop Winery with its famous Mango wines.

From Mt Molloy, the 200km ride heads northwest along the Mulligan Highway through Mt Carbine.  The turnaround point is at the Desailly Range lookout.  It’s a stiff little climb, but the amazing views are well worth the effort before starting the return journey to Mt Molloy and on to Mareeba.

5.30am –Breakfast at Mossman

6.00am – Check-in

6.15am – Ride briefing

6.30am – Ride start – Mossman to Mareeba.

Evening –  Overnight at Jackaroo Motel, Mareeba.  Pizza night !!

Tuesday 4 September 2018 – Mareeba to Atherton

Start the day with something different.  After a few kilometres of leg warming, test yourself with some laps of the professional racing circuit of the Mako Track near Mareeba, before continuing on your way.  Take your laps as fast or slow as you please, and enjoy the chicanes, hot-dog turns and hot-mix surface of this closed circuit raceway.

The 100km ride then heads up to the greener scenery of the southern Atherton Tablelands, past the new windfarm at Mt Emerald and through the Kairi farming country, before arriving in Atherton – our base for the next few days.  Take the 50/50 option, and have a break at Mt Uncle Rum distillery – if you dare.

The 200km takes a loop out to the farming country of Dimbulah, then heads north to Lake Tinaroo and Yungaburra before arriving in Atherton.

5.30am – Breakfast at Mareeba

6.00am – Check-in

6.15am – Ride briefing

6.30am – Ride start – Mareeba to Atherton

7.15am – 8.15am – Cut some laps at the Mako track

Afternoon and Evening –  Check in to your base at Woodlands Holiday Park for the next few days in Atherton, then spend some time relaxing in the pool or visiting the local coffee shops.  Join us for an evening presentation on the Mt Emerald Wind Farms.  Dine out in Atherton or self-cater in the camp kitchen.

Wednesday 5 September 2018 – Atherton Tablelands

The 6 Pack riders head out for a day of sightseeing on the 200km or the 100km Tour of the Tablelands.  Visit Tolga, Kairi, Yungaburra, Peeramon and Malanda, with plenty of stops for coffee and photos.  Check in at the Nerada Tea Plantation, where you have a great chance of spotting a tree kangaroo.

50/50 riders can break their journey at the tea plantation visitors centre, with plenty of time to visit the factory and sample the local tea and scones before returning to Atherton.

It’s a leg tester for the 200km, with a visit to Watsonville and Herberton, then a stop-over at Nerada Tea Plantation for some quick tree kangaroo sighting.  Enjoy some little side-trips around (or up-and-down) the backroads of Topaz Range for the best views of Mt Bartle Frere and Mt Bellenden Ker – Queensland’s two highest mountains.  Have a great ride, then enjoy a finishing meal together and 6 Pack medal presentation at Woodlands Holiday Park in Atherton.

5.30am – Breakfast at Woodlands Holiday Park in Atherton

6.00am – Check-in

6.15am – Ride briefing

6.30am – Ride start

Evening – Enjoy a dinner together to celebrate the last night of the 6 Pack in Atherton.


Thursday 6 September 2018 – Atherton to Cairns

It’s the final day of the 6 Pack, and the rides take different routes for the trip back to Cairns.

The 200km riders travel south for a scenic trip via Malanda, Lake Eacham, and the Cathederal Fig tree before heading down the Gillies Range.  Ride up the Goldsborough Valley before heading out onto the coast.  Cruise north through quiet back roads between cane paddocks, hopefully aided by the southeasterly breeze.

The 100km ride heads down the Gillies Highway, and takes the back roads into Cairns.  Both rides finish at the Holiday Inn on the Esplanade.   Enjoy a meal on arrival, then lounge around on the deck and share a drink and stories of your adventure as other 6 Pack riders arrive.

Riders staying on for the 600km have the option of a 100km or 200km route on the Tablelands and returning to Atherton.

5.30am – Breakfast at Woodlands Holiday Park in Atherton

6.00am – Check-in

6.15am – Ride briefing

6.30am – Ride Start

12noon onwards – Lunch on arrival at the Holiday Inn on Cairns Esplanade.


Friday 7 September 2018 – Atherton to Cairns 600km

The Half Carton is a cracker.  It takes in the best of the Tablelands High Country, before heading through Ravenshoe and Millaa Millaa. Ride down the Palmerston Range to Mena Creek and enjoy a loop around beautiful Mission Beach to Tully.  You can then choose to take a stop at this 267km point, or head out for a 90km legspin up and down the Tully Gorge Road before returning to Tully for some shut-eye.  Day 2 starts with a trip north along back roads to El Arish and Silkwood, before a little leg tester into Etty Bay.  Enjoy brunch on the beach, then head home to Cairns with (hopefully) tailwinds all the way.

4.30am – Breakfast at Woodlands Holiday Park in Atherton

5.00am – Rider check-in (600km Atherton to Cairns 40 hours)

5.15am – Ride briefing

5.30am – Ride start

Overnight – Tully

Saturday 8 September 2018

After a scenic and mostly flat run into Cairns, the ride finishes at the Holiday Inn on the Cairns Esplanade.  A meal is provided on arrival.  Overnight accommodation at the Holiday Inn on the Esplanade is available as an optional extra.

Sunday 9 September 2018

Celebrate the end of the 6 Pack and Half Carton with a breakfast at the Salt House on Cairns Pier (Cairns Esplanade).

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