Nine of the best triathlons to tick off in Queensland
Whether you’re an ambitious athlete or a fit first-timer, if you crave a challenge, it’s time to swim, spin and sprint your way into a triathlon.
From the Outback to the Tropics and everywhere in between, Queensland delivers a year-round calendar of gold-medal worthy triathlons.
We’ve saved you a spot on the starting line so get training for nine of the best triathlons in Queensland.
1. Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival
There are many reasons why the Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival is the largest Olympic distance (1.5km/40km/10km) triathlon in the world.
The course. The location. The history. The after-party.
Above all, it’s just a great time.
Which is the reason why so many athletes come back year-on-year to what has become triathlon’s version of Shangri La.
Try it once and chances are you’ll be booking your return tickets as soon as you break the finishing tape.
The triathlon is the main event but there’s also the Australian Open Criterium, Asics Bolt, Legends Triathlon and Run Swim Run events.
Even the little ones can have a go at the Superkidz tri in the morning.
Insiders tip: You’ll have to practice self-control running past the beautiful beaches, resorts and restaurants of Noosa because you might be inclined to stop mid-race.
2. E&E Waste Hell of the West Triathlon and GTH+ Super Saturday Weekend
As the name suggests, the E&E Waste Hell of the West Triathlon is the ultimate test of endurance and, well, guts.
Swim 2km through the Macintyre River, cycle 80km along the Baryon Highway and run the 20km circuit towards the western edge of Goondiwindi.
No matter where you place in this tri, you will emerge a champion.
Insiders Tip: Reward yourself after the big race with a holiday through Southern Queensland Country.
3. Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival
A tri that’s been going for over 25 years has got to be worth doing, right?
The Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival has become a Sunshine Coast and Australian icon and is an ITU Triathlon World Cup event that brings together the world’s best triathletes.
Set your own pace as you brush shoulders with the world’s best and track towards your own PB around this spectacular course.
Insiders Tip: Keep the fit-cation going with this fit traveller’s guide to the Sunshine Coast.
4. Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival
Make the pilgrimage to Outback Queensland and join the 3,000 spectators who flock to the small town of Julia Creek for the annual Dirt n Dust Festival.
This is the home of one of Australia’s toughest triathlons where swimmers wade through murky conditions, bikers cover corrugated dirt roads and runners race through the blistering desert heat.
This isn’t a course that does you any favours, and therein lies the challenge.
They breed them tough in the Outback and it’s only fitting that the events match the rugged landscape.
Insiders tip: Not only can you compete to be a tri-champion but you can also compete for Australia’s Best Bum. If derrieres in denim don’t grab your attention, the event is laden with opportunities to flex your outback muscle with the bike and bull events.
5. Straddie Salute
The Straddie Salute Triathlon Festival serves up epic tri-adventures over a jam-packed weekend, from the Straddie Stride Fun Run and StraddieKidz event, to the pride and joy of the festival… the Straddie Salute.
The original offroad event takes willing participants through a 750m ocean swim from Home Beach to Point Lookout, followed by an 18km cycle across both sealed roads and 4WD trails, and a 8.5km run featuring a mix of coastal trails.
Insiders tip: Make the most of a weekend on Brisbane’s best-kept secret with this guide to Straddie.
6. Ironman Cairns
This is the big one.
7. Townsville Triathlon Festival
When: TBC, normally August
Where: Townsville North Queensland
With an average of 320 days of sunshine per year, doing a tri at the Townsville Triathlon Festival is a no-brainer.
Aspiring and seasoned triathletes can swim, bike and run their way around The Strand and conquer every race under the sun (literally) over the three-day event as competitors can participate in as many races as their legs allow.
While the Triathlon Queensland Club Championships is what all the serious triathletes have in their sights, there’s something for everyone to get active in – from the 1300 Smiles Kids Try to the newly added 1km Ocean Swim.
Insiders tip: Get yourself an unlimited racing package which includes entry to all nine events and even ‘recover and rest’ perks. After the race, treat yourself to a couple of days on Magnetic Island.
8. Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast
You’d be forgiven for thinking Mooloolaba was just a laidback beachside town but when the IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast rolls around in August, beach bums transform into Sally Pearson-esque athletes.
While the location is pretty the course is pretty serious spanning 113km in length from Mooloolaba to Mount Coolum and Alexandra Headland. To crunch the numbers that’s a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21km run.
Insiders tip: Don’t let the size of the course throw you off. An 80-year-old legend participated in the triathlon last year so never say never!
9. Hamilton Island Triathlon
Pound the payment and swim the turquoise waters of one of the most beautiful islands in the Whitsundays… sounds like a challenge, right?
The Hamilton Island Triathlon is just one of four events in the Hamilton Island Endurance Series and, luckily for participants, the route is more scenic than a desktop screensaver.
We’re talking a 750m swim in Catseye Bay (the hues of blue are off the colour-chart), a 20km cycle around the southern island (aka paradise) and a 5km run around the marina and resorts.
Insiders Tip: After the big race, spend some time exploring the Whitsundays with our list of 100 things to do.