Cairns to Karumba across Cape York

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This tour is no longer on our regular schedule, however, it is still offered as a private tour. Please Contact Us so we can help find dates that suit you.


$500.00 incl. GST per person

Cross the Cape for a great escape

Daily Overview

  • Day 1: Cairns to Yungaburra - 46km
  • Day 2: Yungaburra to Ravenshoe - 75km
  • Day 3: Ravenshoe towards Mt Surprise - 80km approx
  • Day 4: Mt Surprise via the Savannah Way - 88km approx
  • Day 5: Visit Undara Volcanic National Park
  • Day 6: Mt Surprise to Georgetown - 95km
  • Day 7: Georgetown to Croydon - until approx 3:30pm (75-110km)
  • Day 8: Croydon
  • Day 9: Croydon to Normanton - Gulflander Train
  • Day 10: Normanton to Karumba Point - 70km

About This Tour

Embark on a memorable cycling journey through an incredibly diverse range of landscapes, starting on the beautiful tropical coast, then taking in rainforest, savannah and winding rivers as you cross Australia’s iconic Cape York.

Leave winter behind and escape to the warm embrace of Tropical North Queensland. With its wealth of rainforest and unique wildlife, clean fresh air, endless blue skies and rainbow sunsets, this is an Australian cycling holiday you’ll never forget.

This 10 day tour is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to accomplish something most people only dream of – crossing the northern most tip of Australia - with each leg carefully planned to be achievable for the average cyclist.

Small groups, delicious food and wine, fascinating tours, comfy beds and a focus on safety (not on beating the clock!) means a smooth ride with Mulga Bicycle Tours.

Read what Bike South Australia's Cycle! magazine wrote about this tour ...

What Is Included

  • Accommodation in 3 or 4 star properties
  • All meals (except lunch and dinner on Day 8 in Croydon)
  • End of tour dinner
  • Guided tour of Undara Lava Tubes
  • Gulflander train trip from Croydon to Normanton
  • Hot/cold drinks and snacks from the support vehicle
  • Support vehicles provided every day - ride as much or as little as you please
  • Custom built support trailer for careful and safe carriage of your bike and luggage
  • Luggage transfer between your accommodation
  • UHF radio link between yourself and the support vehicle
  • Mechanical assistance and support (limited spares)
  • Tour guides - the owners of Mulga Bicycle Tours are with you every day

Payment Methods:

Payments can be made via Visa, MasterCard or electronic funds transfer.


Move through a vast variety of environments and landscapes, taking in diverse flora and fauna. Ride the famous Gulflander train and experience the incredible Undara Lava Tubes. Taste delicious fresh seafood from the Gulf of Carpentaria and watch the sun set over the sea.

Start/finish locations:

Cairns, Qld; Karumba, Qld

Tour Grade:

Days 1 and 2: Grade 3 – (Includes long hill climbs with steady gradient)
Day 3 to tour conclusion: Grade 2

Find out how we grade our tours

Total distance:

560km cycling, plus 152km Gulflander train trip

Daily distances:

Average 70km.
Ranges from 46km to 95km per day with 3 non-riding days


Use these links from the Bureau of Meteorology to gain an understanding of the weather at this time of the year.

Day 1 - Cairns
Day 2 - Atherton
Day 7 - Georgetown
Day 10 - Normanton

E-Bike and Bike Hire:

If you do not wish to bring your own bike, you can hire a standard pedal bike from us for $550 or an E-bike (limited numbers) for $900. Please select your desired "Bike Hire" option when completing the booking form. For more information on our hire bikes click here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Answers to our most commonly asked questions can be found here - Multi day tours - FAQ


Accommodation; all meals except lunch and dinner on Day 8 (Croydon); continental breakfast on Day 2, 3, 4, 8, 9 & 10 cooked breakfast on other days; drinks and snacks from the tour support vehicle, tour guides, daily maps and itineraries; use of support vehicles as required; tour of the Undara Lava Tubes, Gulflander train trip from Croydon to Normanton.


All drinks at dinner and alcoholic drinks at lunch; alcoholic drinks, food, beverages, and other personal items you purchase; room service and mini bar charges; telephone calls made from the telephone provided in your accommodation (see note on credit card pre-authorisation in Important Information); laundry costs; parts required to repair your personal bicycle and repairs to your personal bicycle undertaken by Mulga Bicycle Tours or in a third party’s bicycle shop.


Guests are responsible for transfers to and from the tour.

Transfer options from Karumba to Cairns are listed under Karumba Point in the itinerary.

Bike Boxes:

Due to limited space we are unable to carry bike boxes of any kind. If you are bringing your own bike please ensure that you have arrangements in place with your pre or post tour accommodation provider for the bike boxes storage whilst you are on tour.

Optional Extra

Return Transfer to Cairns with Mulga Bicycle Tours

Includes an extra night in Karumba (accommodation and breakfast), two-day drive to Cairns with overnight stop in Mt Surprise with dinner and breakfast. Departs Karumba on Sunday (day 12) arriving in Cairns on Monday between 5 and 6 pm. Cost: $359.50 per person twin share; $540.00 single. Select "Stay an extra day with transfer back to Cairns" when booking.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Cairns to Yungaburra - Cycling Distance 46km

Today we leave Cairns behind and head west, up the iconic ‘Gillies’ climb that will take you to the Atherton Tablelands, famous for its gorgeous crater lakes, orchards, and tea and coffee plantations.

Gillies’ smooth bitumen winds through dense, ancient rainforest for 17 kilometres, but maintains a steady gradient and provides plenty of stunning views before emerging on the plateau. Yungaburra is a quaint old dairy town with lovely shops to browse and plenty of great places for coffee.

Note: As the highway leading out of Cairns is getting busier each year, we will start our ride from Gordonvale - a rural centre on the outskirts of the Cairns metropolitan area. Transport from our meeting point in Cairns will be provided.


Day 2: Yungaburra to Ravenshoe - Cycling Distance 75km

This day is possibly the most challenging on the tour, with a tough climb over the range between Atherton and Herberton, prior to a well-deserved lunch stop and the chance to explore this historic mining village.

The road then winds through the rich pasture and orchards of the Tablelands (including a few hills!) before we arrive at Ravenshoe, Queensland’s highest town at 920 metres elevation.

Day 3: Ravenshoe towards Mt Surprise - Cycling Distance approx 80km

While we will be returning to Ravenshoe tonight, we’ll complete about half of the journey towards Mt Surprise today, then return to where we left off tomorrow. You’ll cycle past Innot Hot Springs, where water was once hauled by mule to Townsville for bottling and export to Europe, and Mt Garnet on the edge of the Tablelands.

Day 4: Mt Surprise via the Savannah Way - Cycling Distance approx 88km

We’ll return to where we left off yesterday, on the Savannah Way. One of Australia’s best-known and most popular outback drives, the road links Cairns to Broome and crosses 15 National Parks and five World Heritage areas.

Today we’ll ride through the heart of cattle country, the sprawling savannah grasslands that support Queensland’s vital grazing industry. Here the bush opens up into fascinating patterns of red earth, rolling grasslands, and with those famous wide blue skies as our welcome cycling companion.


Day 5: Undara Volcanic National Park - Cycling Free Day

Today we’ll take a break from the bike and tour the Undara Volcanic National Park. We’ll learn all about the area’s volcanic history and visit the famous Undara Lava Tubes. We’ll then return to the historic rail town of Mount Surprise for lunch and a free afternoon.


Day 6: Mt Surprise to Georgetown - Cycling Distance 95km

Today we’ll experience the spectacular scenery of the Newcastle Range, with its red earth, sparse gums, ancient hills and abundant birdlife, and enjoy the sensation of having it all to ourselves.

We’ll stop regularly under shady trees before arriving at the peaceful Etheridge River and the adjacent village of Georgetown. If time permits, we’ll explore one of Georgetown’s most fascinating attractions, the Ted Elliot Mineral Collection.


Day 7: Georgetown to Croydon - until approx 3:30pm (75-110km)

There are 150 kilometres between Georgetown and Croydon, and we’ll be planning to cycle between 75km and 110km before uplifting the group in the support vehicles around 3:30pm to complete the journey into Croydon.

You’ll enjoy outback views, incredible birdlife, and that glorious blue sky. We’ll aim to cycle at least as far as the Gilbert River, about 75 kilometres, whose flow can vary from a tiny trickling stream in the dry season, to a vast raging torrent in the wet.


Day 8: Croydon - Cycling Free Day

Today we will take a break from cycling and explore the Croydon Heritage Precinct.

Croydon has preserved its incredible mining heritage and the area is overflowing with fascinating artefacts from the gold rush days, including the steam machinery that once powered the mines.


Day 9 : Croydon to Normanton on the Gulflander Train (152km)

Otherwise known as the ‘Tin Hare’, the Gulflander is a heritage-listed rail line and one of the world’s ‘must-do’ rail trips.

Part transport, part tourism experience, the 152km trip takes just over five hours, with the train driver delivering fascinating commentary along the way. Our support vehicles will then meet you in Normanton for lunch at one of the iconic local pubs.


Day 10: Normanton to Karumba Point - Cycling Distance 70km

The final leg of our tour takes us from Normanton to Karumba. At our morning tea stop at Walker Creek you might start to notice the smell of salt air as we near the coast and the conclusion of the cycle tour.

Crossing through open grasslands (Brolga habitat) for the last 30km, we’ll finish with an undulating run into Karumba Point. Karumba Point is known for its unforgettable sunsets, which can be suitably admired from our superb beach front accommodation.


Day 11: Karumba Point

Today your tour ends at checkout.

There are a few options for your return to Cairns:

  • With Mulga Bicycle Tours: Includes an extra night in Karumba (accommodation and breakfast), two-day drive to Cairns with overnight stop in Mt Surprise with accommodation, dinner and breakfast. Departs Karumba on Sunday, Day 12, arriving Cairns on Monday between 5 and 6 pm. Cost: $359.50 per person twin share; $540.00 single. Select "Stay an extra day with transfer back to Cairns" when booking.
  • Trans North Bus & Coach Service has coach services from Karumba to Cairns. Please check their website for current timetables.

If you choose to return to Cairns with Mulga Bicycle Tours you can use the extra day in Karumba to explore and enjoy the many local attractions, such as the 3.5km walking track from Karumba Point into Karumba, sightseeing, bird-watching and fishing tours, all of which take in gorgeous natural surrounds and make the most of Karumba’s unique Gulf environment.

If guests are unable to transport bikes back to Cairns via Rex or Trans North, Mulga can return bikes to Cairns via their two-day service. The bike transfer fee is $45.00 per bike.

For the perfect mid-winter escape, and an unforgettable experience to boot, what better adventure than to cross Cape York by bike. Book your spot on this tour now.