Or from Townsville, go down, if you are coming from Cairns, and take the Flinders Highway which passes through some superb cities which are typically Australian, without all the tourist market catering to visitors.
The charming Charters Towers, the historic Hughenden, Julia Creek, Cloncurry, Mount Isa.
The second road offers the best conditions for bike travel, but count on traffic including camping cars.
A trail that resembles a trail in Africa, easily negotiable for a 4-wheel drive vehicle, but on mountain bike, the way is a struggle, rutted and the ruts filled with red sand where the wind has blown to allow the tarred road to appear, which is obviously easier to roll over. I happily allow myself to follow this much easier tarred road, and follow itís black ribbon along.
The distances here are long, so think about bringing food, water, and energy bars, like the excellent "PowerBars TM".