Test your sporting stamina in Australia, where we host regular triathlons and our ironmen and ironwomen are household names. Competitors from around the world come here to run, swim, paddle and cycle against some spectacular scenery, from tropical beaches to stylish cities. Watch elite cyclists whizz around Adelaide, the Barossa Valley and Fleurieu Peninsula in the Tour Down Under. Flex your muscles in the Ironman Finals at Port Macquarie or tackle a triathlon in scenic locations such as Sydney Harbour, Port Douglas and Broome’s Cable Beach. You can also meet athletes from across the Asia-Pacific in Darwin’s biennial Arafura Games.
Some of the world’s best professional cyclists compete in the Tour Down Under in January. It’s the first event of the year in the globe-trotting UCI Pro Tour, with six days of races across Adelaide and South Australia. Catch the swift lycra-clad cyclists racing through the Adelaide Hills or along the picturesque country lanes of the Barossa Valley or Fleurieu Peninsula. Thousands of spectators turn out for the final race, a 90km loop through Adelaide. Squeeze in some city sightseeing before finding a spot on the sideline. Have breakfast at Adelaide Central Markets, visit the museums and galleries of North Terrace or take the tram to beachside Glenelg.
Ironman & Ironwoman Series, QLD & NSW
There are five events in this iconic Ironman series held across January and February. The first four happen over two separate weekends along the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, while the final is traditionally staged on Sydney’s Cronulla Beach. Don’t miss the chance to see 36 of Australia’s toughest surf life saving athletes prove their skills in surf ski, board paddle, ocean swims and beach sprints. Things get even more interesting at the Cronulla final, when two male and female wildcard entrants enter the elite competition. Follow the series south along the Pacific Coast Touring Route, stopping at Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour and Port Stephens along the way.
Dextro Energy Triathlon, NSW
Head to Sydney in April for the first leg of the ITU Triathlon World Championship Series. Elite triathletes from around the world compete in this event, staged against Sydney’s iconic Opera House and harbour. The course shares similar scenery with the unforgettable Olympic Games triathlon. Secure your position beneath the Sydney Opera House for the start of the race or around Circular Quay for the 1500-metre swim. Supporters also line historic Macquarie Street for the 40-kilometre bike leg and 10-kilometre run. Afterwards, wander the harbourside Botanic Gardens, weave through the cobblestone laneways of The Rocks or catch a performance at the Opera House.
Ironman & Ironwoman Australia, NSW
You’ll be awed by the stamina on show at Ironman and Ironwoman Australia, held in Port Macquarie in May. The race consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run, and competitors need both speed and technical skill to excel. See these sporting super-heroes display their diversity as they compete for one of 40 places at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. The event also embraces the Ironman 70.3 race, a qualifier for the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Thailand. Save some energy for exploring pretty Port Macquarie, halfway along the Pacific Coast Touring Route between Sydney and Brisbane.
Athletes from more than 30 countries compete in the Arafura Games, held in Darwin every second May. There’s a spirit of camaraderie at the week-long event, which is aimed at nurturing up-and-coming athletes from across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. See a new generation of sporting superstars prove themselves across almost 20 sports, including basketball, boxing, swimming, running, football, golf and even international life saving. You can also watch the world’s top paralympians compete in the Oceania Paralympic Championships. With its multicultural population and relaxed, tropical vibe, Darwin is the perfect backdrop to this inspirational international sporting convention.
Coral Coast Triathlon, QLD
Relaxed holidaymakers mingle with competitors doing stretches for this triathlon, held in Port Douglas in July. The event’s motto is “challenge yourself in paradise”. With an Olympic-length course along palm-fringed beaches and in warm tropical ocean, it lives up to expectations. Race along Four Mile Beach as an individual or part of a team or just offer you support from the sidelines. The event also has a sprint course of half the distance. Use Port Douglas as your base for exploring the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest surviving tropical rainforest.
Cable Beach Triathlon, WA
Broome’s balmy winter skies beam down on this friendly triathlon, held on fabled Cable Beach over a weekend in August. Competitors of all ages and experience are welcomed at the event, which has a dedicated children’s triathlon on the Saturday. The short course consists of a 300m swim, 10km bike ride and 2.5km run. The long course doubles each of those distances. With its relaxed family atmosphere and relatively easy course, the Cable Beach Triathlon is ideal for training or just having some healthy holiday fun. Afterwards you can explore exotic Broome, gateway to the Kimberley.
Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival, QLD
More than 8,000 national and international competitors head to Noosa for this diverse sporting festival in October. Around 5,600 of these enter the Noosa Triathlon, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest. Professional triathletes compete in their own category, but the 51.5km event also caters to experienced amateur athletes and the general public, from juniors and families to competitors older than 40. Other festival events include a breakfast fun run, celebrity and corporate golf days, a 1000m ocean swim, 5km road race and ‘Grand Prix’ cycling events for men and women. There are also tailored triathlons for established champions, children and people with special intellectual needs.
Ironman Western Australia, WA
The sleepy beach town of Busselton, close to the Margaret River region, is the backdrop for this tough triathlon in December. The race starts at dawn and includes a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run. Anyone can enter but the 1,400 places fill up quickly. Competitors can hang out in the bustling Ironman Village, warm-up with practice swims off Busselton Jetty and celebrate at the post-race party and awards ceremony. Afterwards the scenic Margaret River region awaits. Snorkel turquoise bays, surf from spotless beaches, trek through towering forests and indulge in divine food and wine.