The routing along the Great Inland Way worked really well with mostly quiet roads. Weather was kind for the most part though there were a few days of strongish headwinds and a couple of really wet days. Rest day in Wagga Wagga worked really well - it is a big thriving town and the Murrumbidgee River invited a few to swim. It is an impressive river when in good flow. From Wagga it was a steady climb to the next rest day at Dubbo, home of the Western Plains Zoo. First day over 160 kms between Dubbo and Coonamble went well with the help of a tail wind and fine weather. Quote for the day is "buy cheap; buy twice". I like that.
Some good riding through the rolling hills to the next rest day at St George and a fine caravan park there. From there it is farewell to NSW and welcome to QLD and into mining country. this is always a challenge with heavy vehicles on the roads and road surfaces torn up as a result. Thanks especially to the owners of Injune Caravan Park for donating the cost of the camping for the night - this is country Australia for you. and then ontot eh next big day of 175 kms into Rolleston - a big day made a bit tougher by heavy rain at the end.
Rest day at Emerald with excellent service from Pushbikes bike shop and an interview with Cycle Traveller Magazine. This was a key milestone for Rob O'Meara who has completed his personal circumnavigation of Australia. Rob is a type II diabetic and a classic example of an ordinary bloke doing the extraordinary. From Emerald the weather starts to get warmer making the long day from Clermont into Belyando Crossing at 177 kms a real stretch - the ever greening of the countryside made for a good change. The day after Belayando was first bush camp of the trip - as always this was a fine camp with John the master fire builder and Fliss the master damper make doing their bit. Well taught Roger on passing on the damper making skills to Fliss on the Rocky ride.
next resat day was at Charters Towers with a short ride in - good thing too as the prior two days had been huge. A small celebration needed here as Georg's first granddaughter was born. Welcome Clara. From Charters Towers is the run into the big smoke with a longish day into Townsville heralded by a stunning sunrise through the fog. This is the first sight of the mountains since leaving Melbourne - beautiful it was too. The road from Townsville to Cairns proved to be quite a challenge with some steep hills and roadworks though as often happens the stop-go controls make for quiet riding through the roadworks.
The riders all made it safely into Cairns after a fantastic trip. Riders Danny, Lew, Fliss and Jerry leave at this point and will be joined by 6 new riders for the leg to Darwin. Read about that leg here Cairns to Darwin