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Is IRONMAN Cairns the most beautiful triathlon on the planet?

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It’s the world’s toughest race in one of its most beautiful destinations. Held every June, IRONMAN Cairns consists of a gruelling 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and a 42.2km run, all without a break. And if the race doesn’t take your breath away, the backdrop surely will.

A sunrise swim at Palm Cove kicks off the day before triathletes race up the Captain Cook Highway towards Port Douglas, one of the most stunning stretches of road in Australia. Then onto the run, and competitors are finally cheered across the line by thousands of supporters who fill the streets of Cairns to celebrate.

It’s just one in a calendar of sporting events that make up the annual Cairns Airport Adventure Festival. The Quicksilver Reef Swim offers competitors a chance to swim in the sparkling waters off Green Island while the Rural, Rainforest & Reef Mountain Bike Challenge sees riders race through the diverse terrain of Tropical North Queensland.

Here are some of the highlights from the 2015 Cairns Airport Adventure Festival:

Courtney Acko

Photo by Roman Pace/@courtney_akco via Twitter

Courtney Atkinson taking on the Rural, Rainforest & Reef (RRR) Mountain Bike Challenge.

Photo by @mycolourfulworld_

Photo by @mycolourfulworld_ via IG

It’s not just the surroundings that make the event so coveted for triathletes. Cairns is the only IRONMAN in Australia that has both the full distance and half (Ironman 70.3) on the same day.

koruptvision

Photo by @koruptvision via Ironman IG

Little champions in the water for the McDonalds IRONKIDS Cairns.

Photo by @koruptvision via IG

Photo by @koruptvision via IG

Stunning sunrise over Palm Cove ahead of the Cairns Airport IRONMAN Cairns swim leg.

Path to paradise! Spectators ready to cheer on competitors at the finish of the Cairns Airport IRONMAN Cairns swim leg in Palm Cove.

Photo by @ajeynes70 via IG

Photo by @ajeynes70 via IG

Beachfront viewing – the best place to watch the Cairns Airport IRONMAN Cairns swim leg.

Photo by @nikkianderson via IG

Photo by @nikkianderson via IG

Palm trees, sunshine and bikes at the ready!

Photo by @koruptvision

Photo by @koruptvision via IG

Annabel Luxford (@brissybella) riding along the Captain Cook Highway during the Flight Centre Active Travel IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns.

Photo by @treknorth via IG

Photo by @treknorth via IG

2015 IRONMAN champion Luke McKenzie cheered on by the crowd at the Cairns finish line.

Discover more events like Cairns Airport Adventure Festival to add to your bucket list at It’s Live In Queensland.