4 Nov 2022
Australians are famous for their love of sport. Look beyond our big city stadiums though, and you'll find some curious events you might not have heard of.
While many of the country’s marquee sporting events happen in the capitals - the Australian Open tennis and Boxing Day Test Match in Melbourne come to mind - there are plenty of awesome regional sporting events to consider.
From weird and wacky country races to more traditional favourites like the Bathurst 1000, many of the best sporting events in Australia happen outside the city. Check out this list of some of our favourites!
Australia's Favourite Regional Sports Events
1. The Herald Sun Tour - VIC
2. Bathurst 1000 - NSW
3. Tasmanian Christmas Carnival Series - TAS
4. Massive Murray Paddle - VIC
5. Alice Springs Masters Games - NT
6. Santos Tour Down Under - SA
The Herald Sun Tour is a professional bicycle race held around Melbourne and regional Victoria.
First held in 1952, the 'Sun Tour' is the oldest professional bike race in Australia and is usually held over five stages every February.
Although not classified a ‘World Tour’ event by the UCI, the Sun Tour is still a major international race that attracts some of the world’s best riders, and generates significant media exposure for the regional towns involved.
Nagambie, Mitchelton, Falls Creek, Bright and Mount Buller frequently provide the backdrop for the race, which often culminates in a sprint race around the streets of Melbourne.
Love the V8s?
If so, there’s a good chance Bathurst is your favourite sporting event of the year.
Held at the famous Mount Panorama circuit since 1963, the Bathurst 1000 is a 1,000km race for V8 production cars held every October.
Widely regarded as the most important motorsport event in Australia, the Bathurst 1000 remains one of the best regional sporting events in Australia and brings thousands of visitors to this otherwise sleepy regional town.
If you’re planning a Tassie Christmas, why wouldn’t you get involved in the Tasmanian Christmas Carnival Series?
The Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals are a unique series of sporting carnivals that combine the unlikely combination of scratch running, velodrome cycling and woodchopping held in regional towns in Northern Tasmania.
Held since the 1880s, the carnivals begin right after Christmas Day. The first carnival is at Rosebery on Tasmania’s West Coast, and the series wraps up in St Helens on Tasmania’s East Coast.
The Massive Murray Paddle is one of the best sporting events in regional Australia. Formerly known as the Red Cross Murray Marathon, the event began in 1969 when ten friends decided to raise money for the Australian Red Cross.
The 5-day 404km flatwater race starts in Yarrawonga and finishes in Swan Hill.There are a number of lead-up events such as the Clarence 100, Hawkesbury Canoe Classic, Echuca Mini, Barwon Mini and the Riverland Paddling Marathon.
If you’re planning a trip to Alice Springs in 2023, consider being there in October for the Alice Springs Masters Games, one of the best regional sporting events in the Northern Territory!
Established in 1986, the Alice Springs Masters Games is the longest-running Masters Games in Australia. Featuring athletes from around Australia, competitions in all age groups include, athletics, BMX, road cycling, swimming, triathlon, and duathlon.
If you’re planning a trip to South Australia in summer, then come see some the Santos Tour Down Under.
The Santos Tour Down Under is the southern hemisphere’s largest UCI World Tour bike race the occurs in Adlaide every January. The race starts and finishes in Adelaide but takes both the men's and women's race through some of the most iconic regions in South Australia.