Whether it’s a triathlon, an ocean swim, an extreme sporting event or a marathon, Queensland is considered a world-leader in fitness tourism, attracting more than 60,000 interstate and international visitors for events in 2017. The Gold Coast is always popular for short breaks and escapes.
A report by Tourism and Events Queensland found 99 per cent of those surveyed claimed the State’s environment is a standout, with favourable weather and competition conditions contributing to personal bests.
The fun doesn’t stop there, competing in a bucket list destination fitness event is an endurance competitor’s dream, with 97 per cent of participants claimed the Sunshine State was a standout location for their sporting events and post-event holidays.
Caravanning Queensland says a quintessential Queensland road trip is the ultimate way to experience the great state.
Here’s a great way to experience some of the biggest events in Queensland in 2018 with some great post-event activities and holiday options to follow that the whole family can enjoy.
JULIA CREEK DIRT AND DUST FESTIVAL
Mud, sweat, music and beers are awaiting you at the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival. Bog snorkeling, horse races, bull rides, live music and Australia's toughest sprint triathlon are on offer for those who take an unforgettable trip to North West Queensland. The festival is on from April 13-15 and boasts family fun with some of Queensland’s dirtiest endurance races to compete in.
If you decide to stay in Julia Creek after the festival the Julia Creek Caravan Park has an infamous Bush Dinner where locals and travellers come together to hear live music and eat amazing food. The Park also has four brand new bath houses where you can treat yourself to some recovery and soak away the lactic acid.
Punchbowl Waterhole is 45km north east of Julia Creek and an ideal half day trip where you can enjoy a picnic, some fantastic fishing and even better swimming. If you’re looking for a full-day trip, visit the Sedan Dip and learn how to catch a yabby.
The Spartan race takes place in Brisbane and the Gold Coast on April 28 and with races ranging from kids (1-2km) right up to the toughest athletes (42+ km and 60+ obstacles), a well-earned family holiday after the race is a must!
Just a few hours south-west from Brisbane you’ll find yourself in the heart of Queensland’s Granite Belt. Not only will you find incredible fresh produce and delicious food, the area is famous for some of the best wines in the country. Spend a few hours exploring the Giraween National Park, clambering over huge boulders and soaking in the iconic Queensland landscape, then refuel at a local restaurant with an exceptional meal and pitch your tent or set up your van at Sommerville Valley Tourist Park.
If the Gold Coast race is your game, Caravanning Queensland suggests soaking up lush rainforest afterwards and enjoying the peacefulness of nature in the Gold Coast Hinterland at the Advancetown Caravan Park or the Tamborine Mountain Caravan & Camping Park. Draped with lush rainforest, the hinterland is an ideal place to sneaker up (if you’ve got any energy left) and take a walk to see where the green meets the gold.
Both Lamington and Springbrook National Parks offer ample opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with nature, with the latter home to the Natural Bridge.
Wind your way up Lamington National Park Road for waterfall spotting and tree-top strolling. You can also relax at the base of the mount at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards, where you can pair a free wine tasting with a gourmet homestead picnic – tartan rug included!
REEF TO REEF
Reef to Reef is Australia’s newest mountain bike stage race taking place over four days in the heart of Tropical North Queensland from August 9-12.
Starting on the reef fringed Coral Sea coast it quickly heads inland across a network of trails through The Tablelands, hinterland, farm lands, mountain bike parks, and tropical rainforest before finishing back at the coast four days and 195 km later. After the peddling is done, head to the BIG4 Port Douglas Glengarry Holiday Park for a convenient finishing location only a 10-minute drive from the site of the marathon to your bed.
If a day trip is on the agenda, just a short way away from this park is the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and the Wildlife Habitat where the whole family can enjoy a day soaking in the sun with Australian natives.
If you’re more water inclined you can swim, snorkel, dive, jump, fly and sail the world heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, stretching 2,000kms along Queensland coastland.
TROPICAL JOURNEYS GREAT BARRIER REEF MARATHON FESTIVAL
On October 28 the Tropical Journey’s Great Barrier Reef Marathon festival will be testing the endurance of locals and inter-state competitors. Held at the Esplanade Port Douglas, this festival offers a Junior Challenge of 2km and advances up to 42km for the more enduring runners.
After you have enjoyed the stunning views of the Great Barrier Reef and some of North Queensland’s best beaches, why not travel half a day to see another national heritage listed site, the Daintree Rainforest. It’s only a 20 minute drive from the Pinnacle Village Holiday Park where you can be between the beautiful forests to the west and the stunning beaches to the east.
The region is an area of ancient tropical rainforest containing one of the most complex ecosystems on Earth. Spanning 120,000 hectares, the Daintree Rainforest is the largest portion of tropical rainforest in Australia. Be sure to discover the natural beauties such as the Mossman Gorge where you can take in its pristine rainforest, cool streams, towering mountains and the dramatic Gorge as well as receive the warm welcome of the local Kuku Yalanji people.
HAMILTON ISLAND WHITEHAVEN BEACH OCEAN SWIM
Hamilton Island is best known as a place to relax, but it is also the perfect place to push yourself in paradise come November 18.
The Hamilton Island Endurance series spans four endurance events including the Stamford Financial Hamilton Hilly Half Marathon, Great Whitehaven Beach Run, Hamilton Island Triathlon and Hamilton Island Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim aimed to test athletes on every level. Do them all or just do one. Race Hard. Recover Harder.
Sit back, breathe in the sea air, sip a wine or beer and travel back to Whitehaven Beach. The crystal clear aqua waters and pristine white silica sands stretch for over seven kilometres along Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsunday Coast. It is Mother Nature at her best - the most photographed beach in Australia and named 'Queensland's Most Beautiful Beach'.
Head back to the mainland and stay at the Flame Tree Tourist Village. While here, visit Airlie Beach's secret sandy bays where only locals know to go. Drive beside rugged coastal ranges until you reach the turn to Hydeaway Bay. It's an all-tide sandy beach that looks north along the Queensland coast to Bowen and across to uninhabited Gloucester Island. A lot of the local eateries have deliciously fresh seafood and live music on weekends – all metres from the Coral Sea, a perfect introduction to the region.
With some of the world’s best endurance sports in Queensland and some of the most stunning locations in Australia not far away, make the most of the State and take a post-event holiday.
About Caravanning Queensland
Caravanning Queensland is the peak industry body for caravan dealers, manufacturers, camping suppliers, service providers and caravan park operators through two related associations. These are the Caravan Trade & Industries Association of Queensland and the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland Inc.