Brisbane or Cairns Motorcycle Rental
Hiring a motorcycle to explore the beautiful state of Queensland on the east coast of Australia offers some truly fantastic motorbike riding experiences.
Queensland in the northeast of Australia is a visitors heaven and offers some of the most incredible destinations in Australia. The best-known attraction is the Great Barrier Reef which stretches some 2300 kilometers and is able to be seen from space. Dwarfing human achievement, the Great Barrier Reef is the World’s biggest structure created by living organisms and is home to more than 1500 fish species, 30 species of whales, dolphins and porpoise, turtles, sea snakes and other mammal and aquatic species.
Further north are ancient tropical rainforests that contain 12 of the 19 ancient flowering plant families of the world and vast biodiversity.
Stunning beaches exist all the way from the top of Cape York Peninsula all the way down past Port Douglas, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton the Whitsundays, and through to Brisbane and the Gold Coast, which is located just above the New South Wales border. It’s hard to find a better area to ride a motorcycle than the beautiful coastline of Queensland and there is no shortage of places to stop and visit along the way.
Away from the coast the hinterland offers a chance to explore rolling hills and the Great Dividing Range which is home to some great motorbike adventures and further inland lies the vast Queensland Outback with its stations, wide gravel and dirt roads and access to the wild, dry interior of this huge country.
Brisbane/Cairns Motorcycle Rental Collection points
With Compass Expeditions our Suzuki and BMW Motorcycles can be rented from locations in central Brisbane or Cairns when booked in advance.
Brisbane and Cairns Motorcycle rentals typically will begin or end at one of our partner locations such as a motorcycle shop which is centrally located and easy to access from a hotel or airport. Brisbane or Cairns are available as start or end points for a one-way fee and a popular rental option is to do something like a Melbourne to Cairns motorbike journey or perhaps Brisbane to Perth. If you are thinking about beginning or ending your motorbike adventure in Cairns or Brisbane then please contact us in advance because we may already have bikes located in the area at the time you are interested in.
Weather in Queensland
The far north of Queensland is truly tropical with wet summers, thunderstorms and high humidity during the months of November to April. In the dry season (May to October) expect warm days and sometimes cool nights and this is generally regarded as the best time to do motorcycle riding whether that be a ride from Brisbane up to Cairns or a motorcycle rental that takes you around Australia. Temperatures during the dry season months are still generally in the high 20s Celcius (around 78 – 80 F) during the day but cooler at night.
Further South in Brisbane the same general pattern applies although temperatures are slightly lower. Expect high average temperatures in the low 20s (+ 69 F) for the dryer months and in the low 30s (+ 90 F) in the summer months.
Where to ride during your Brisbane/Cairns/Queensland motorcycle Rental
Starting from Brisbane there are many options for motorcycle touring. Brisbane itself is the third most popular city in Australia behind Sydney and Melbourne and the city has something for everyone. It’s a warm and vivacious city with plenty of restaurants, cafes, nightlife as well as offering easy access to attractions nearby. Brisbane is a great starting point for a Brisbane to Melbourne motorcycle ride or a motorbike adventure around Australia.
To the south of Brisbane is the Gold Coast which is famous for its beaches, nightlife, surfing and is especially popular during public holidays with New Zealand and Australian families enjoying the warm weather, white sand beaches, restaurants and theme parks such as Warner Brothers Movie World, Zoos, Museums, Aquariums, etc. While it is nice for a day or two after arrival into Australia we’d suggest that getting out on the motorcycle into the Hinterland or further away up the coast should be the focus and there is plenty to see.
Just north of the Sunshine Coast is beautiful Fraser Island which is considered to be the largest sand island in the world. The sand of Fraser Island has been accumulating over some 750,000 years from sediment from rivers located further to the south. The island is covered in rainforest, dunes, swamps, marshes, mangrove and small fresh water lakes. The clear waters and shallow white sand beaches make Fraser Island a very popular stop for backpackers, adventurers or those who like the idea of an un-spoilt and stunningly beautiful location. 4WD Tours are available to explore the location and 4wd vehicles can be hired in Hervey Bay to go across by ferry and explore the island. It is an area popular for its whale and turtle visitors at certain times of the year, shipwrecks and beautiful sunrises abound and it’s a great area to kick back and escape the world for a day or two.
Further to the north of Mackay lies the beautiful paradise of the Whitsunday Islands made up of some 74 islands. This is at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef zone so it is extremely popular as a boating and diving start point from Airlie Beach and the islands where the resorts are based. Some of the best beaches in Australia are located here and if you’ve seen an Australia Tourism advert with a white and turquoise vista of sand and crystal clear water with green tree covered islands, then chances are this is where it was filmed. Accommodation is more expensive but it is a stunning area that is well worth a stay.
1700 km north of Brisbane in the Tropical north part of Queensland lies Cairns. Famous as being one of the main gateways for visits to the Great Barrier Reef, which stretches down the eastern coast, Cairns is a city that experiences monsoon rain from November to May and relatively dry weather from June until October. The rain during the summer reaches epic proportions so it is important to plan when you’ll be heading up this way.
This is a popular destination with overseas visitors who use it as a jump off point for boat trips out to the reef to snorkel, dive and to immerse themselves in this amazing marine reserve.
It can be costly to take part in a boat trip but the experience is worth it and there are trips of varying duration and several operators have tours which focus on different areas of the reef.
Aside from the gateway to the GBR and as a flight arrival point we’d probably recommend that you are better off climbing aboard the motorcycle and venturing up the coast to places like Port Douglas.
Just an hour north of Cairns lies the small town of Port Douglas and this is a small jewel on the coast nestled between the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean and the ancient Daintree Rainforest and National Park. The winding road up the coast is fantastic on a motorcycle and the town itself is laid back and full of restaurants, cafes, bars and great accommodation options. You feel yourself slow down up here and just enjoy the natural pace of things. Marine adventures to the Great barrier Reef also depart from Port Douglas for those wishing to get out and under it while there are also plenty of adventures waiting in the hills and rainforests around Port Douglas for those who prefer to get out and about.
The Daintree is the oldest living rainforest on earth and at an estimated 140 million years old this means that there is plenty to see and do. There are 4×4 tracks as well as main roads to explore by motorcycle and you can pick up a map of the area from local info centers. The Daintree National Park encompasses the entire area within 900,000 hectares of protected land that stretches right down the edge of the Pacific Ocean. There are also many walking tracks, waterfalls, gorges and mountains to visit. Many types of exotic birds also call this area home and this is also the home of the Cassowary. They are fairly shy but with it being the 3rd largest bird in height you may be lucky and spot one out in the depths of the forest!
Stunningly beautiful and located 1 hour 45 minutes north of Port Douglas along the winding coastline is Cape Tribulation which is well worth a visit and a great motorcycle road up the coast. Watch out for tight corners as you make your way along the road beside white sand beaches with the chirping tropical forest to your left. The sealed road ends in Cape Tribulation and there are camping and accommodation options to take advantage of there.
The above covers the coastline but if you want to delve into the heart of Australia away from the big blue waves then Queensland has some stunning rides through Outback Australia.
One of the most famous drives in Australia is the Savannah Way which stretches in one form or another from Cairns on the north-eastern coast of Queensland all the way through to Broome on the North-western coast of Western Australia. It is marketed as being one of the best Adventure Motorcycle rides in Australia and covers some 3700 km of incredible scenery through the north of Outback Australia. 15 National Parks are linked through this impressive piece of cultural history and while most of it is tarmac these days there are still sections which are dirt or soft dusty sand. There are some large river crossings in the wet season so it is important to plan when you will be travelling through this region and know what to expect before heading out. It is important to check with local authorities prior to beginning to check what state the road is in as wet weather can quickly make sections of the Savannah Way impassable on a motorcycle.
There are alternative routes to be explored if you like the idea riding a motorcycle by the dirt route such as via the Gibb River Road in Western Australia, via Top Springs in the Northern Territory and north of Normanton in Queensland.
Whichever route you decide to ride during your motorcycle rental you’ll find remote cattle stations, deep gorges and chasms, wide riverbeds, natural springs, camping spots, beautiful mountains, and some incredible outback scenery. Just make sure you plan in advance, take one of our outback kits (available for rent and containing a tent, gas cooker, sleeping mattress, pots, pans, cutlery and cooking implements, mug, camp chair all included in a waterproof bag) if you are okay with the idea of camping, carry plenty of water, GPS and satellite phone and make sure that you plan your route carefully via fuel stops along the way.
Banner: Motorcycle crossing river – Compass Expeditions, Cassowary, Cairns – Maxime Coquard, Tourism Australia
Queensland Map – Compass Expeditions
Diving Photo – Compass Expeditions; Whitsunday Islands – Tourism Australia; Tropical North Queensland – Tourism Australia
Cape Tribulation – Maxime Coquard, Tourism Australia
Savannah Way – Compass Expeditionsby