Bigger than the Brownlow: 13 blockbuster sporting events not to miss

Eat. Sleep. Sport. Repeat. Eat. Sleep. Sport. Repeat.

Nothing beats the emotional rollercoaster of watching live sport! Seriously, if you’ve never passionately yelled at the referee (from your seat in the crowd) in disagreement with their calls, are you even a sports fan?

So, pull out your supporter jerseys, plaster on your war paint and assemble your comrades because your team needs you behind them.

From cricket to polocrosse, rafting to water polo, catch all the athletic superstars in Queensland at one of these blockbuster sporting events. Get your tickets early!

Brisbane International | Brisbane


WHEN: 30 December 2018 – 6 January 2019

Summer in Brisbane = tennis! And this year, the Brisbane International will be serving up a little extra heat. With previous champs like Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and recently crowned USA Open Champ Naomi Osaka on the list, it’s the summer event not to be missed.

From December 30, tennis fans from around the world will tune in for eight glorious days of heart-stopping action. But, the spectators watching live in Brisbane will feel the tension, cheer with the crowd and see their favourite players hit aces right in front of their eyes.

Australian Youth Water Polo Championships | Brisbane

Water Polo Youth Championships | Sporting events

Photo by @waterpoloaus

WHEN: 12-24 January 2019 

Held across five venues around Brisbane, the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships are bound to be splash-tacular. Watch 190 teams compete in the biggest water polo event in Australia.

Keep an eye out for the Aussie Stingers (bronze medalists at the 2018 World Cup) and Sharks (silver medalists at the 2018 World Cup) players who will be playing in international test matches as part of the festival.

Tip: The championships are split into two weeks by age group. 14&U and 18&U teams compete between the 12-17 January and the 12&U and 16&U teams compete between the 19-24 January.

Day-Night Test: Australia v Sri Lanka | Brisbane


WHEN: 24-28 January 2019 

Head to The Gabba for the second ever day-night test to be held in Brisbane where Australia will face Sri Lanka in a two-test series.

The atmosphere at the cricket is often infectious and giddy, so you’ll want to get involved with the shenanigans during the game. Get dressed up in your best costume (spandex optional) and flaunt what you’ve got.

Tip: It gets hot in Brisbane. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen, hat and polarised sunnies.

Australian Surf Life Saving Championships | Gold Coast

Australian Surf Life Saving Championships | Sporting events

Photo by @slsaustralia

WHEN: 30 March – 7 April 2019

Returning to the Gold Coast in 2019, the Aussies will pit members from 311 clubs around Australia in over 450 individual events in the ultimate battle against sun, surf and chaff.

The Youth Championships will run from 30-31 March at North Burleigh SLSC. Broadbeach SLSC will host the Opens and Masters Championships starting on the 1 April and running until 7 April. This event is guaranteed to be more fun that filling your budgie smugglers with sand.

Gold Coast Men’s and Women’s Pro | Gold Coast


WHEN: 3-13 Apil 2019

The Gold Coast does a great job at maintaining its reputation of a surfer’s sweet dream. And, surfers flock from across the globe to ride the coastline. But, when the World Surf League’s Men’s and Women’s Pro arrives on the Gold Coast, the mass of daily surfers take a comfy seat on the sand to watch the pros battle it out for the title.

With Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning retiring in 2018 the event will bring a fresh new crowd of talented surfers to the sand bottom barrels at Snapper Rocks and Kirra, but can they knock off the 2018 champion, Julian Wilson? Take note, because the best surfers in the world will have you in watching in awe and wondering “how the [beep] did they do that?”

UCI Gran Fondo World Series | Gold Coast

Gran Fondo | Sporting events

Photo by Tour de Brisbane via FB

WHEN: 12-14 April 2019

The UCI Gran Fondo might sound like a delicious gelato flavour but it actually translates to big ride in Italian, 110 km in fact. As known as the Tour de Brisbane this is both a competitive and recreational cycling event.

For those who compete (organised by age groups) in the UCI Gran Fondo there is the chance to book a spot in the World Championships in Poland. For the weekend warriors you can still get off the couch and join in the action with fun (?) rides over 110, 45 and 8km distances, as part the Amy Gillet Foundation fundraising rides.

Adina Polocrosse World Cup | Southern Queensland Country

WHEN: 22-28 April 2019

South Africa reigned supreme in 2018, however, the 7 other nations including Australia will take it to the champions in the Adina Polocrosse World Cup held in Warwick.

Polocrosse combines horsemanship skills with extreme hand-eye coordination for a fast-paced, actioned-packed game. It’s neck and neck at two trophies each for South Africa and Australia so lend some local support to help break the tie.

NRL Brisbane Magic Round | Brisbane

NRL Magic Round | sporting events

Photo by @nrl

WHEN: 10-12 May 2019

How many games of rugby league can you fit into one stadium in a single weekend? Eight, according to the NRL who for the first time ever have scheduled a magic round of rugby to be hosted in Brisbane. Suncorp Stadium will see two games on Friday and then three a piece for both Saturday and Sunday. I repeat – that’s all the games in a single round at one stadium.

It’s heaven in a weekend for the die-hard tragic and a chance to review the form of the rest of the field so you come out on top in the office tipping comp come September.

IRF World Rafting Championship | Tropical North Queensland

IRF World Championships | sporting eventsWHEN: 13-20 May 2019

This is one comp where you don’t want to be stuck up a river without a paddle, as you would probably come last. The men’s and women’s World Rafting Championships descend on Tully in May and is open to 4 divisions (from U19 to Masters). It’s the first time the championships have come to Australia and they are taking on the iconic Tully River.

With teams from over 50 countries blowing up the raft and taking to the water this is truly an international event to mark in your calendar.

Great Barrier Reef Masters Games | Tropical North Queensland

GBR Masters | sporting events

Photo by @gbrmasters

WHEN: 23-26 May 2019

Proof that the spirit of competition never dies is the Great Barrier Reef Masters Games. These athletes have still got it and share the camaraderie of sport with competitors across the wider Asia Pacific region.

Held biennially in Cairns, the event is back in 2019 bigger and better, with over 20 sports featuring across four days of competition.

Cairns Airport Adventure Festival | Tropical North Queensland

Cairns IRONMAN | sporting eventsWHEN: 5-10 June May 2019

If you are going to take on an IRONMAN,  a picturesque location is sure to help ease the burn in the thighs. Jump on your bike and peddle flat out to the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival.

It’s seven days of fast-paced sports action and with the Quicksilver Reef Swim, a night run and the IRONKIDS event, there is an event for everyone in the family.

Gold Coast Marathon | Gold Coast

Gold Coast Marathon | sporting event

WHEN: 6-7 July 2019

Set yourself a challenge in January 2019 to be marathon ready by July so that you can compete in the 41st edition of the Gold Coast Marathon.

It’s the world’s flattest, fastest and most scenic course so you don’t need to be a hardcore athlete to give it a go. In fact, 60% of participants achieve their personal best times every year!

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week | The Whitsundays

Sailing,Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2014

WHEN: 17-24 August 2019

Yachties from around the world arrive in masses to compete and celebrate the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. With a long line-up of on and offshore activities, you’re bound to have a ripper of a week.

Plus, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded folks all gathering to celebrate the beauty of sailing in the Whitsundays.