Does a kayak leg with platypuses rock your boat? Always wanted to lap marine turtles during an ocean swim? How about leaving emus – and flies – in your dust on an Outback sprint?
Already reaching for your lycra? Then, Queensland has your (race bib) number, where adventure is a 'state of being' and Mother Nature herself throws down the gauntlet, inspiring some of the world's most awe-inspiring finishing lines on land and sea.
Think idyllic multi-sport challenges across World Heritage-listed icons like the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest; sun-kissed beaches; sand dunes; and majestic Outback plains. Mark your diary for these 18 endurance trials in 2018 (marathons, triathlons and other sweat-worthy events).
Lycra (and a race bib) is always optional.
Introducing Mother Nature's Tri
As thousands of active travellers flock to Noosa, on the Sunshine Coast, for the world's biggest triathlon this Sunday (5 November), another bucket-list endurance encounter awaits.
The aptly entitled Nature Tri.
Click here to download video (Credit Jen Dainer/Tourism and Events Queensland)
Launched this year as Mother Nature's answer to the Noosa Triathlon, it promises a winning and unexpected trifecta: kayak (with platypuses), mountain bike and hike – in the lush, rolling countryside of the Mary Valley.
The year-round activity is the brain-child of adventure guide, Ian Harling, from Ride On Mary… Kayak & Bike Bush Adventures, around 45 minutes' drive inland from beach-chic Noosa.
For nature lovers who've searched for platypuses in far-flung locations, it's nothing short of mind blowing; to paddle alongside the most peculiar of all Aussie icons, famously prompting funny man Robin Williams to suggest God must have been tripping.
Indeed, to the notoriously shy platypus, a kayak could be a floating log, causing no alarm.
“They swim with their eyes closed and can sometimes swim under the kayak,” says Ian, who started the tourism venture in the township of Imbil in 2009.
“I've had people from America, Singapore, the UK, Europe, New Zealand and South Africa come out on the kayaks and they're always blown away when they see platypuses.
“Rock wallabies also come down to the creek occasionally for a drink and, on one tour, we saw an echidna on the bank as well as platypuses in the water! Sometimes you even see dingoes. I still get so excited every time I go out on the water.”
While platypuses can be spotted all year round, including over Christmas when Yabba Creek is busy with locals, Ian says winter (July – September) is the best time to spot the little monotremes. Why? It's their season to find a mate.
Did you know? According to recent research, live events – whether music festivals or sporting spectacles – are must do's for boosting your chances of finding true love. So, forget Tinder and find out why Queensland leads the field for loved-up events.
Set your heart racing! Cheer on more than 8,500 competitors as the Noosa Triathlon – the world's biggest Olympic distance triathlon – celebrates its 35th birthday during the five-day Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival (1-5 November). Just one of more than 100 of Australia's best live events in the best destinations, as showcased on the It's Live! in Queensland calendar: www.queensland.com/events
Click here to download video of Mother Nature's triathlon (Credit Jen Dainer and Tourism and Events Queensland).