More than cricket: Queensland’s Season of Sport is a jolly time of the year
Did you know Queensland has its very own silly season? Forget the Christmas cheer, we’re talking cheering on our sporting champions! From international and home-grown heroes to our local have-a-goers, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.
Get yourself to a stadium, sideline, or sports bar for this line-up of sporting events over summer.
Let’s get the party started with some pre-season drinks. Gatorade, anyone?
It all kicks off November 17 when the Caltex Socceroos take on soccer powerhouse Korea Republic at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. This rematch is unmissable after a dramatic final in 2015 led to the Socceroos being named champions of Asia!
A little further south but the same day, Gillette T20 cricket gets into full swing on the Gold Coast. Australia takes on South Africa at Metricon Stadium November 17, before padding up at The Gabba against India a few days later on November 21.
Late November is tee-off time. Professional golfers and wannabes will converge on the Gold Coast for the Australian PGA Championships, November 29 to December 2 at RACV Royal Pines Resort. Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith are both ready to take the #AusPGA podium once they’ve conquered the recently redesigned championship course. Un-leish your inner Tiger!
Or should that be hornet? Because this pre-season is also the time to witness history in the biggest all-Australian fight of all time. Former world champions Jeff “the Hornet” Horn v Anthony “The Man” Mundine take to the ring at Suncorp Stadium on November 30. The ‘River City Rumble‘ will be Mundine’s final fight and wants to go out with a bang.
Follow the Christmas stars
Saint Nicholas move over, we’ve got Nick Kyrgios at the Brisbane International, taking on Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and John Millman, December 30 to January 6 at Queensland Tennis Centre.
The women’s tournament has one of the strongest fields on offer as well with Samantha Stosur, Petra Kvitová, Sloane Stephens and reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka (after beating Serena in THAT final) all confirmed to play.
Kyrgios might bring the heat, but our Australian Youth Water Polo champions are cool in the pool. The country’s biggest water polo festival (with over 3000 competitors) will be held across five venues in Brisbane, January 12-24. And when the last yellow ball has hit the net, it’s time to take the pink one for a spin.
Australia has Sri Lanka in its sights at the Brisbane Domain Day-Night Cricket Test, January 24-28 at The Gabba, Brisbane. This is the only day-night test being played in Queensland this season, so make sure you’re there to catch the next-level excitement only an international match-up can bring.
February 1-3, The Bundaberg Cup Touch Football competition will showcase some serious agility skills as well as provide one of the best-looking practice backyards in the world. The region is the gateway to the Southern Barrier Reef so swap your footy boots for snorkelling fins after the final whistle.
Inspired to Tri Season
Need to shift the extra Christmas kilos? Shift some gears instead: we’ve got just the swim-cycle-run motivation for you to tri!
Head west for the E&E Waste Hell of the West Triathlon at Goondiwindi, February 9-10. It’s a long-course triathlon including 2km freshwater swim, 80km flat cycle and 20km riverside run. Hell yes! There’s also charity fun runs and kids mini triathlon if you’re still in your training wheels.
Or if you’re ready to roll, sign up for Bundaberg’s Auswide Bank Cycle Fest International, February 10-17 with everything from street to velodrome challenges. Or be at the centre of the cycle-universe March 26 to April 14 for the Brisbane Cycling Festival including Tour de Brisbane. It’s le tour, Queenslander style!
Ready to tick Noosa off your bucket list? The Noosa Summer Swim Festival is on February 2-3, providing short to long course options in one of the world’s top sheltered-water locations plus a social swim, junior course and even beach yoga. Everyone’s a swimmer winner, baby.
You really haven’t tried until you’ve Mooloolaba Tri-ed. The Mooloolaba Triathalon runs March 15-17 and is a highlight of the sport’s national event calendar. You can get involved at any level at this multisport festival, or cheer on some of the biggest names as well as the up-and-coming ones to watch. Read our beginner’s tips here if you are taking the plunge.
Cool off by the water
Ready, set… for an adrenalin hit without the sweat? Head to the GC: the Gold Coast SuperFoiler GrandPrix is exhilarating and extreme water-based racing (date TBA).
With a name like grand prix, it really is as thrilling as it sounds, matched only by the passion of the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships at Burleigh Heads, March 30 to April 14. Nicknamed ‘The Aussies’ there’s no more Aussie place to be than this annual event where more than 300 lifesaving clubs go head to (lycra-capped) head.