23 Aug 2021
Trail running is one of the best ways to combine physical fitness with the great outdoors. And, once you've got yourself a decent pair of shoes and a hydration pack, hitting the trails is free!
Trail Running events are a great way to stay motivated, become part of a community and build up your trophy cabinet. They’re also perfect for discovering Australia’s amazing national parks, forests and coastlines.
Check out this state-by-state list of some of Australia’s best trail running events this Spring. Australia’s trail running season is about to hit its peak!
READ ALSO: 13 National Parks To Get Lost in this Spring
September 2, Gordonvale QLD
The MSF Sugar Great Pyramid Race is an extremely tough event that takes place outside Cairns every year. Essentially a race up Walsh’s Pyramid, the whole thing began with a wager between two cane farmers over who could run up the 922m peak the fastest. The full distance is only 12km end to end but the terrain and elevation make this a challenge for even experienced runners.
September 18, Nerang QLD
This is a multi-sport event held in combination with former pro-cylist Robbie McEwen’s Grand Fondo cycling event which runs over the Saturday and Sunday around Nerang National Park. A great community weekend and a beautiful network of trail to discover not far from the beaches of Queensland’s world-famous Gold Coast.
October 3, Kurunda QLD
Taking you through native rainforest, open eucalyptus forest, pine plantations and over picturesque creeks of the Mowbray National Park, this famous race can be performed solo or in a team and includes the pyramid-shaped Black Mountain.There is also a 17km Bump to Beach option.
November 28, White Rock Conservation Estate QLD
If you’re looking for a friendly introduction to the sport, this event is for all levels. Held inside the White Rock Conservation Estate by the White Rock Warriors Running Club there are three distances to choose from and medals for all entrants!
September 5, Cobblers Creek Recreation Park, SA
A new event on the Trail Running SA schedule for 2021, Cobbler Creek offers three distances (25k, 16k and 10k) along single track that includes plenty of fast, easy sections and moderate elevation. Watch for ‘roos as you climb Porosa Hill and enjoy views to the coast on the way back down past the old Teake ruins. A great way to explore Cobbler Creek National Park.
September 26, Belair Railway Station, SA
This is a well-known event among the SA trail community. Never more than 12km from Adelaide’s CBD, the entire run offers stunning views, amazing gorges, waterfalls and loads of wildlife. Check out experienced international runner David Byrne's review of the event here.
October 10, Mount Crawford SA
The Mt Crawford Trail Challenge has four distances on broad tracks through the native woodlands and pine plantations of Mt. Crawford Forest. Featuring magnificent scenery, beautifully designed trails, kangaroos, koalas and birds, the longer courses have expansive views from Mt. Pleasant summit, and the extra-long course visits Mt. Crawford summit.
October 23, Rocky Creek SA
This has quickly become an iconic trail running event that traverses a 115km section of the 1200km-long Heysen Trail. Runners can experience the best of trail running conditions across distances from 11km up to the full 115km. Multiple national parks form the course with abundant wildlife and wide open spaces making this a truly Australian experience.
November 7, Prospect Hill MTB Trail Head, Kuitpo
Run through an amazing mix of scenic pine plantations and native bush that make up Kuipto Forest. Enjoy single track that meanders through the forest and lookout for kangaroos and wallabies resting in the shade. Kyeema Conservation Park is also a spectacular slice of native reserve.
September 3 - 5 - Flinders Island, TAS
Flinders Island is a special place to run. Beyond rolling farmland hills there’s a world of natural wonders to explore, from pristine coastline to the rugged mountain ranges of Strzelecki National Park. With four different runs to choose from, this is a real community weekend that also coincides with Father’s Day, making it the perfect excuse to spend some quality time in nature.
October 24, Bridport TAS
This is an annual fun run held on the Bridport Walking Track in Tasmania. Circumnavigating the Village by the Sea, competitors can run, walk or jog through the river-forest track, along the Wildflower Reserve and finally over the stunning foreshore of Bridport. A great family day out!
November 14, Near Sheffield TAS
Not an event for the faint-hearted, this 19.7 km course takes on the three Tasmanian peaks Mt Claude, Mt Van Dyke and Mt Roland before finishing at Claude Road Hall. With over 1,100m of elevation, and almost 1,000m descent over the final 5km, runners will need to conserve their energy for the end!
September 11, Anglesea Vic
This is an iconic ultra-marathon event that takes place annually along Victoria’s most famous stretch of coastline and through a diverse range of incredible landscapes. With distances up to 100km available, runners can perform individually or as a team. Entries are currently open for this magnificent event but please check their website for updates in the lead up to the run.
September 26, Macedon Range VIC
Part of Victoria’s Trailsplus Mountain Trail Series, Mt. Macedon is one of the highest peaks in the beautiful Macedon Ranges, which are about 70km northeast of Melbourne. Distances range up to the 50k ultra marathon and runners can expect to run through a blanket of fog and experience beautifully scenic mountain trails.
October 16, Cumberland River VIC
Set in the majestic mountains behind the seaside town of Lorne on the Great Ocean Road, this run offers scenic mountain trails with challenging single trails that pass multiple waterfalls on the longer distances.
November 12 -14, Harrietville VIC
This 100 mile endurance run is like no other in the southern hemisphere. Taking runners on a journey through the rugged and picturesque mountains of the Victorian Alps. Three distances of 28km, 50 and 100 miles are on offer for solo and team competitors.
November 21, Bendigo VIC
Part of the TreX Cross Triathlon Series, this is an action packed weekend of off road events for the entire family. Based in the heart of Victoria's Gold Rush Country, these courses challenge runners with a diverse array of terrain, from the natural beauty of Crusoe Reservoir to the challenge of Big Hill inside Bendigo Regional Park.
September 26, Port Macquarie NSW
The Beach to Brother Running Festival offers competitors the chance to compete in the full marathon, a half-Marathon, a 10km dash, a 5km fun run, or a team relay marathon finishing at the peak of North Brother Mountain in Dooragan National Park.
November 20, Patonga NSW
The Great North Walk is a 250km walking track that runs between Sydney and Newcastle. Organized by the Terrigal Trotters Running Club since 2005, the Great North Walk Ultras consists of five separate categories from 25km to the 100km ultra.
September 11, Lake George Winery, ACT
Combining fitness and fun, this is a 5k or 10k run/jog/walk that takes you through some of the best winery estates in Australia and ends in a ‘wine waddle’ cooldown and tasting session. After that there’s live entertainment and prizes for the ‘grapest’ outfits! Who doesn't love a dress up?
October 19, Canberra ACT
Part of a series held on the third Tuesday of every month, this 2.6km run or walk starts from Clunies Ross Streetin Canberra to the summit of Black Mountain. The event is free, and is organised by the Australian Mountain Running Association.
September 18, Dwellingup WA
Explore some of Western Australia’s finest trails through the forests of Dwellingup between Bunbury and Mandurrah. Held in combination with the Dwellingup 100, WA’s premier 1-day 100km MTB event, there are 3 distances to choose from including a 6km doggie dash!
September 26, Ocean Beach WA
Starting and finishing at Lights Beach, three distances including a 2km kids fun run take on the challenging but spectacular WOW and Mundabiddi trails. Expect plenty of hills and views of the south coast. Free for members of the Denmark Running Club.
November 6, Mundaring WA
Run among the beautiful trails of the Bibbulmun Track in the Perth Hills there are distances to suit all levels - solo and in teams. Including the fantastic Darling Range jarrah forest and some of the area's local orchards, each 25km lap includes about 500 meters of elevation.
November 13-14, Namburg National Park WA
Featuring two days of running including the Turquoise Coast Half Marathon along the coast on the Saturday, the Pinnacles Desert Run has something to suit all levels. Distances range from the half-marathon distance of 21.1 km down to 5km through Namburg National Park.
For more Australian trail running events near you, check out Running Calendar and remember to ensure that any event complies with the latest health advice.