It's a solid day, but very rewarding. 3 major climbs, a few cheery little towns & local landmarks like Mt Warning and Natural Bridge. By the time you hit Nerang you're gonna be ready for that froffy.
EQUIPMENTWe each rode our Giant TCX cyclocross race bikes, with slightly more favourable gearing - 38t x 11-36. We weren't fully loaded, but did have a couple of backpacks and one Revelate Designs saddle bag - however these were mainly for our camera gear, plus additional food & water.
Eating & drinkingLots of places to stop & refuel with the first two thirds of the route. Both little towns Uki & Tyalgum will have you covered for food & drink - but carry enough to make it to Nerang after lunch, as you won't have much until you reach the outer suburbs of The Goldie.
SleepingWe stayed in Nerang at The Hinterland Hotel. Cheap beds, and attached to an RSL style hotel – so beers & food are right there waiting for you.
The real beauty of the second day comes in the climb up to O'Reilly's in the Lamington National Park. With the fun following immediately on the hair raising descent of Duck Creek Road. Top it all off with one of the best pub meals in Aus at The Rathdowney Hotel.
Eating & drinkingStock up in the morning as you leave Nerang, with intentions to make it to The Outpost Cafe in Canungra for lunch. Leave Canungra with full belly & bags, the next stop is Rathdowney when reaching the pub.
SleepingThere is one option in Rathdowney, and it's a good one - The Rathy Pub. Food, beers & beds (make sure you're in before 7ish, as their kitchen closes at 8pm)
Word of WARNINGDuck Creek Road is good fun, but pretty rugged. If you're on an MTB it's gonna be easy as... but should you be on a loaded CX bike you may find yourself being bounced around - so just keep your wits about you.
A very very long day, with an endless 25km dirt climb up into the Border Ranges National Park. This is the direction to be going in however, as the fast descent would be truely horrible if you had to climb it. A massive refuel in Nimbin before making tracks for the Big Prawn.
Eating & drinkingStock up in Rathdowney before rolling out. Go nuts! There's a lot of climbing and dirt KM's before you reach Nimbin, so it's essential to have enough food and water. Once in Nimbim, stock up again, with intentions to get to Ballina without needing another stop.
Word of WARNINGIt's 90km to Nimbin, and that's mostly dirt. It may seem like half way, but it's in that half that all the hard riding is done – so no joke on having enough water & food.
The descent out of the Border Ranges National Park is fast, swapping from time to time back to bitumen in the steepest sections. Stay sharp, and be aware of brake fade for any of the heavier riders out there.