The BNT was originally designed to be ridden North to South, from Cooktown to Healesville. One of the ideas behind this was that if trekkers began in May, after the hot, wet summer, there would be pleasant enough weather and sufficient surface water to get through Queensland. Thereafter, upon arrival in New South Wales sometime in spring, theoretically there should be plenty of lush feed and water about, which leaves you with late summer and early Autumn to ride through the cooler Victorian section.
Many trekkers travelling the opposite direction have made it work for them by timing their departure from Healesville in late spring or early summer. This means that by winter, you should have arrived in sunny Queensland, and should be pulling into Cooktown sometime around November.
So which way is better- north or south?
After researching our options and baulking at the idea of paying $8000 to get our bubs to Cooktown from WA, I decided to travel north instead, arriving in Cooktown late in the year. What I didn’t take fully into account however, was just how hot north Queensland would be in November or December. You need to be one tough cookie to handle those kind of conditions. After travelling through the NSW Southern Tablelands in the summer, I dont really want a repeat of the heat. Neither Z nor I do well in it, not to mention the adverse affects it has on the bubs, especially Fly.
So we have rather a dilemma. Do we just keep going and deal with the heat as it comes? Come October, do we pull up somewhere and wait for the next season before setting off again? Over the last few weeks, as winter solstice has come and gone and the days are slowly growing longer I have given it a bit of thought and come up with the following options….
a. Toughen up and just keep going – waking up before dawn, digging for water, and begging for hay if we have to
b. Decide that we’ve seen enough of the BNT for now and go home to retire on the couch and eat Tim Tams
c. Do the Northern chunk of the trail on a bicycle built for two
d. Get a teaching gig in remote Queensland for 6 months and recommence the trail in May 2017
What do you think??