Triumph the trifecta: 10 of the best tris to tick off in Queensland

Whether you’re an ambitious athlete or a fit first-timer, if you crave a different kind of 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 gold-medal worthy tris fit for an Olympian.

Here are 10 of the best triathlons that will have you running quicker than you can say, “on your marks, get set, go”!

1. Townsville Triathlon Festival

Townsville Triathlon Festival | Best triathlons in QueenslandWhen: 17-19 August 2018
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 sweet serving of gelato from Juliette’s Gelateria. You’ve earned it.

2. Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast

Ironman703 | Best triathlons in Queensland
When: 26 August 2018
Mooloolaba, 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!

3. ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final and Age Group World

Emma Moffatt ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final and Age Group World Gold Coast | Best triathlons in Queensland
When: 12-16 September 2018
Broadwater, Gold Coast

What do 5000 of the world’s best elite triathletes and the Gold Coast have in common? If you answered the ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final, you would be correct.

This year, the Itu World Series started in Abu Dhabi and has journeyed across the globe before the grand finale set to take place on the Gold Coast. Here, the world’s fastest triathletes will compete head-to-head for a chance to be crowned World Champion.

Insiders tip: While a select-few actually qualify as a ‘world’s fastest triathlete’ to compete, being a spectator is just as exhilarating. Head to Broadwater Parklands, the same course used during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, to catch all the action and watch history be made.

4. Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival

Noosa Triathlon 2017 | Best triathlons in QueenslandWhen: 31 October – 4 November 2018
 Noosa, Sunshine Coast 

Swap leisurely walks along the beach for slightly faster ones (read: really bloody fast) during the Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival.

This ain’t no ordinary tri either. It just happens to be the oldest triathlon in Australia and the largest multi-sports festival in the Southern Hemisphere. Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

Smash a personal best at the Subaru Noosa Australian Open Criterium and Asics Noosa 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 because you might be inclined to stop mid-race.

5. Hamilton Island Triathlon

Hamilton Island Triathlon | Best triathlons in Queensland

Photo by Hamilton Island via FB

When: 17 November 2018
Hamilton IslandThe Whitsundays

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 Hamilton Island with this handy 48-hour itinerary.

6. E&E Waste Hell of the West

E&E Hell of the West 2016 | Best triathlons in QueenslandWhen: February 2019
GoondiwindiSouthern Queensland Country

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 an impressive 80km along the Baryon Highway and run the 20km circuit towards the western edge of Goondiwindi (which was recently voted Queensland’s best country town).

No matter where you place in this tri, you will emerge a champion.

Insiders Tip: Reward yourself after the big race with the ultimate Southern Queensland Country pub crawl.

7. Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival

P3110488 Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival 2017 | Best triathlons in QueenslandWhen: March 2019 
 Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast   

A tri that’s been going for over 25 years has gotta be worth doing, right?

The Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival has become a Sunshine Coast 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.

8. Gold Coast Triathlon – Luke Harrop Memorial

Gold Coast TRI Luke Harrop Memorial | Best triathlons in Queensland
When: 7 April 2019
Broadwater, Gold Coast

The pinnacle of triathlon running comes in the form of the Luke Harrop Memorial as part of the Gold Coast Marathon.

All ages can get their race on in the Superkids, Enticer, and big-mama Jewel Gold Coast Triathlon, which sees serious contenders tackle a cool 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.

Insiders Tip: Get the lowdown on the marathon before you compete with this handy training guide.

9. Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival

Triathlon-Julia-Creek-Dirt-n-Dust-Festival | Best triathlons in Queensland
When: April 2019
Julia CreekOutback Queensland

Make the pilgrimage to Outback Queensland and join the 3000 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 bikes cover corrugated dirt roads, swimmers wade through near bog conditions and runners race through the blistering desert heat.

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.

10. Straddie Salute

Straddie Salute 2017 | Best triathlons in QueenslandWhen: 18 May 2019
North Stradbroke IslandBrisbane

The Straddie Salute Triathlon Festival serves up epic tri-adventures over a jam-packed weekend, from the Straddie Stride Fun Run and Garmin StraddieKidz, 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 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.

Have you done a triathlon in Queensland? If so, which one?