Daily Archives: July 5, 2015

The Final Stretch in Australia – Kingscliff to Brisbane (145 km)

What a change crossing a state line can make! After what seemed like weeks of cycling, we got to put away the ragged New South Wales map and open the crisp new Southern Queensland map.

One of the last times we saw this NSW Cycleway sign.
One of the last times we saw this NSW Cycleway sign.

Kingscliff to Gold Coast (46 km)

Sailboats and paddle boarders filled this bay.
Sailboats and paddle boarders filled this bay.

After a leisurely morning wake-up cycle watching the graceful paddle boarders near Tweed Head, NSW, we were immediately thrust into the frenetic energy of Queensland cycling up to  a large Sunday morning surfing tournament just across the border. Loudspeakers blaring beach music and commentary about surfer stunts and wipeouts woke us from our reverie.

Our first sight in Queensland was a surfing tournament.
Our first sight in Queensland was a surfing tournament.

The cycle path was packed with sun worshipers and coffee drinkers. Looking out to sea were waves…lots of big waves…We couldn’t believe the change in less than one kilometer.

Captain Cook Memorial
Captain Cook Memorial near the southern coast of Queensland.

I couldn’t help but think that if Hollywood movies and television shows define American culture for Aussies, then the videos of surfers surfing huge waves, and surf life saving club competitions on long sandy beaches was my picture of  Australia.

Several of the larger towns on the Gold Coast.
We were headed to Surfer’s Paradise for a couple of days rest.

Seeing the Gold Coast vibe in person on a Sunday and during the Aussie winter school holiday where hundreds of families were enjoying their vacations made the bike ride even more entertaining.

Surfer's Paradise
Surfer’s Paradise

Plenty of sunshine, pristine beaches, cycle paths, ice cream and coffee shops,  tropical flowers and palm trees made the kilometers of this ride pass with little effort.

Even the rainy extra day we spent in Gold Coast did not dampen our spirits. We used the break from cycling to walk to the Australia Fair Mall where we watched the great movie “Inside Out” to pass the rainy afternoon.

Gold Coast to Garden City (77 km)

These blue V-1 signs were our guide into Brisbane.
These blue V-1 signs were our guide into Brisbane.

The goal of today’s ride was to stay on the V-1, the cycle route next to the M-1 motorway. There were lots of signs and most were helpful, leading us across traffic circles, under bridges, through parks, and along motorways.

Traffic circles like these can be tricky to navigate especially when the sign point the wrong way. Even a road worker agreed that the one sign was wrong.
Traffic circles like these can be tricky to navigate especially when the sign points the wrong way. Even a road worker agreed that the one sign was placed incorrectly.

We did very well navigating for the first 60 or so kilometers until near IKEA south of Brisbane. There we lost the V-1 and never found it again this day.

This is the last time we were on the right road...We got lost after this..
This is the last time we were on the right path…We got lost after this..

Luckily, just as my “witching hour” when I get grumpy and cold arrived (3:30 pm), we were found a nice, clean affordable motel located near the huge Westfield Shopping Center. After a burrito and a Pacifico beer, we called it a day.

Garden City to Brisbane 22 km

The final ride into the city was easy on cycle paths most of the way.

Found the blue bike sign less than 500 km from the hotel.
Found the blue bike sign less than 500 km from the hotel.
This bridge as three separate lanes - one for bicycles, one for buses, and one for pedestrians.
This bridge over the Brisbane River has three separate lanes – one for bicycles, one for buses, and one for pedestrians.
This green trail is a like highway for bicycles. The skyline of Brisbane is in the distance.
This green trail is a like highway for bicycles. The skyline of Brisbane is in the distance.

N.B. This ride from the Gold Coast to Brisbane could easily be done in one day. As a matter of fact, we crossed paths with another cycle tourist who rode the entire way from Byron Bay to Brisbane (around 200 km) in one day. But, I’ll bet he didn’t have time to stop for lots of coffees. 🙂