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10 Must-Run Australian Trail Events in 2024

10 Must-Run Australian Trail Events in 2024

Get ready to chart new trails and embrace the exhilarating spirit of Australian trail running in 2024!

As the running community eagerly anticipates the upcoming year, a plethora of captivating trail events beckon, promising an extraordinary fusion of adrenaline, scenic wonders, and unwavering camaraderie.

In this guide, we unveil the Must-Run Australian Trail Events of 2024, each offering a unique blend of challenging terrains and awe-inspiring landscapes.

Whether you're a seasoned trailblazer seeking the next epic challenge or a novice adventurer ready to take the first step, these events are set to redefine your running experience.

If you've participated in a trail event before, you already know the feeling.

That feeling of pre-race nerves, the grit and determination you have to take that next hill, the pain that hurts so much, but somehow feels so right and of course that feeling of crossing the finish line. The sense of accomplishment is unparalleled and to do it amongst other friendly runners is an experience every runner should take part in.

Join me as I delve into the untamed beauty of Australia and discover the must-run trail events that promise an unforgettable journey for every trail enthusiast in the year ahead.

1. Two Bays Trail Run (Dromana, VIC)

Sunday, 14 January 2024

Two Bays Trail Run 2024: A Peninsula Ultramarathon Adventure

On the 14th of January 2024, Dromana, Melbourne, will resonate with the holiday cheer and the rhythmic footfalls of runners taking on the Two Bays Trail Run. Offering both a 28km challenge and a daring 56km ultramarathon, this event promises an unforgettable journey across the picturesque Mornington Peninsula.

Scenic Odyssey Across the Peninsula:

For those eager to explore the multifaceted beauty of the Mornington Peninsula, the Two Bays Trail Run is the ultimate escapade. The 28km course takes participants from Dromana on the Port Phillip Bay side to Cape Schanck on the Bass Strait side, offering a taste of both coastal tranquility and rural splendour. For the more daring souls, the 56km double crossing provides an extended adventure through some of the region's most breathtaking landscapes.

Not Your Average Peninsula Traverse:

This isn't your ordinary Peninsula traverse, and it certainly isn't at the skinny bit! Brace yourself for the challenge of ascending and descending Arthur's Seat, treating your eyes to panoramic views of the rural expanse and coastal wonders. As you weave through Greens Bush, the largest piece of remnant native bushland on the Peninsula, and traverse the cliff tops of Bass Strait, you'll be greeted by the distant silhouette of the lighthouse, marking your approach to Cape Schanck.

Distances and Events:

The Two Bays Trail Run offers two distinct challenges:

  1. 28K: A scenic and challenging 28-kilometre run, perfect for those seeking a substantial trail running experience.

  2. 56K: Double the adventure with a 56-kilometre ultramarathon, taking runners on an extended journey through the Peninsula's diverse terrains.

Starting Point and Turnaround:

The 28km runners kick off their adventure at the Dromana Visitors Information Centre, an ideal starting point that sets the stage for the captivating journey ahead. For those tackling the 56km ultramarathon, this location serves as the halfway turnaround point, offering a brief respite before conquering the return leg of their extraordinary trail odyssey.

Get Ready to Register:

For those ready to lace up their running shoes and embrace the challenge, the event website provides all the necessary details for registration and participation. Don't miss the chance to be part of the Two Bays Trail Run 2024, where every stride is a step into the heart of the Mornington Peninsula's natural wonders and the thrill of ultramarathon achievement. See you at the starting line!

2. Tamborine Mountain Relays & Marathon (Tamborine Mountain, QLD)

Friday, 26 January 2024

On the 26th of January 2024, Tamborine Mountain in Queensland will host a marathon experience like no other - the Tamborine Mountain Relays & Marathon. Designed to be inclusive, fun, and set against the backdrop of the beautiful Queensland environment, this event invites all individuals to conquer the marathon distance.

Versatile Course for Every Runner:

This annual event, taking place at the Tamborine Mountain Sports Centre, offers a versatile course suitable for runners of all levels. Whether you prefer running solo or as part of a relay team of 2, 3, or 6, the 42km course unfolds as a scenic 7km loop. The route starts and finishes at the Tamborine Mountain Sports Centre, encompassing varied terrains such as grassed trails, concrete pavements, bitumen roads, and minor rainforest trails.

A Fun and Inclusive Marathon Experience:

More than just a marathon, the Tamborine Mountain Relays & Marathon promises a day filled with camaraderie and achievement. Participants have the option to choose their preferred running style - solo or as part of a team, allowing for a shared sense of accomplishment. The emphasis is not only on reaching the marathon distance but doing so in an environment that celebrates the joy of running and the diverse landscapes of Queensland.

Distances and Events:

  • 42K - Solo/Relay: Whether you're taking on the marathon challenge solo or sharing the experience with a relay team, this event caters to diverse preferences and running goals.

Starting Point and Relay Dynamics:

Commencing and concluding at the Tamborine Mountain Sports Centre, the event's 7km loop offers runners a chance to experience a range of surfaces. From grassy trails to rainforest paths, every step brings a new dimension to this marathon journey. As a relay participant, the handover zones become moments of camaraderie, where each team member contributes to the collective achievement.

Register for the Adventure:

For those eager to embrace the Tamborine Mountain Relays & Marathon experience, registration details and additional information can be found on the event website. Join fellow runners on the 26th of January 2024 for a day of running, camaraderie, and the thrill of conquering the diverse terrains of Tamborine Mountain. Lace up your running shoes, Queensland awaits!

3. Maribyrnong Valley Park Backyard Ultra (Brimbank, VIC)

Friday, 2 February 2024 to Monday, 5 February 2024

I had to include this event as its my old stomping ground.

Prepare for the ultimate test of endurance as the Maribyrnong Valley Park Backyard Ultra returns to Urban Melbourne from the 2nd to the 5th of February 2024. Organised by TrailsPlus, this event is not just a race; it's a mental and physical challenge designed to push participants to their limits.

Loop-Based Challenge:

Spanning four days, the Maribyrnong Valley Backyard Ultra unfolds on a loop-based course of 6.707km. The catch? Participants must complete this loop within an hour, and then repeat it, hour after hour. It's a relentless test of endurance and mental fortitude. Regardless of whether you aspire to achieve a half marathon, marathon, 100km, 100 miles, or beyond, everyone starts on equal ground, and the clock resets every hour.

Last One Standing:

The question echoes: Are you in for the fun and challenge? Will you be the Last One Standing? The Maribyrnong Valley Backyard Ultra operates in a unique format where participants continue until they can't. The last person standing is crowned the ultimate champion of this gruelling endurance event.

Equal Ground, Every Hour:

The beauty of this Backyard Ultra lies in its fairness. Whether you're a seasoned ultra-runner or attempting your first long-distance challenge, everyone faces the same loop, the same clock, and the same mental hurdles. The playing field is reset every hour, offering a chance for redemption or an opportunity to test the limits once more.

Register for the Ultimate Challenge:

For those ready to embrace the challenge, registration details and additional information can be found through the TrailsPlus organisation. If you're seeking an unparalleled test of endurance and a chance to push your mental and physical boundaries, mark your calendars for the Maribyrnong Valley Park Backyard Ultra from the 2nd to the 5th of February 2024. Will you be the Last One Standing? The challenge awaits in Maribyrnong Valley, VIC.

4. Cradle Mountain Run (Cynthia Bay, TAS).

STOP IT! At the top of this article I spoke about showcasing Australia's untamed beauty. Look no further. Astonishing landscape and 360 degree beauty.

A treat for your feet in every step, as well as your senses.

Embark on the Wilderness Odyssey: Cradle Mountain Run 2024

On the 3rd of February 2024, Tasmania's renowned Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair Overland track comes alive with the Cradle Mountain Run—an epic one-day traverse through the wild alpine areas of Cradle Mt Lake St Clair National Park and World Heritage Area. This isn't just a trail run; it's an immersive journey into the heart of Tasmania's pristine wilderness.

A Scenic Traverse:

Spanning approximately 80km, this non-race event is a testament to the rugged beauty of Tasmania's Cradle Mountain. Limited to 60 runners, the Cradle Mountain Run offers a challenging yet awe-inspiring experience. The course winds through steep hills, muddy terrains that can challenge even the sturdiest shoes, and a path dotted with roots and stones, making every step a calculated move, especially for those less nimble-footed.

A Run, Not a Race:

Mutual help is a cornerstone of the Cradle Mountain Run. Participants share in the camaraderie of this wilderness adventure, emphasizing cooperation over competition. The event is not just about reaching the finish line; it's about the collective journey, the challenges faced, and the bond forged amidst the untamed beauty of Tassie.

From Waldheim to Cynthia Bay:

The journey begins at Waldheim and culminates at Cynthia Bay, just shy of the Visitors Centre. As runners traverse this remarkable stretch of Tasmania, they'll be surrounded by the pristine landscapes that define the Cradle Mt Lake St Clair National Park. It's not just a run; it's an exploration of one of Australia's most iconic and untouched terrains.

Entry Closed - A Limited Opportunity:

With only 60 coveted spots, the Cradle Mountain Run is an exclusive adventure, and entry for this exceptional event has already closed. For those lucky enough to secure a spot, prepare for a day of challenges, triumphs, and a profound connection with Tasmania's wilderness.

Ready for the Wilderness Challenge:

While entries for this year may be closed, enthusiasts can keep an eye on future editions and similar events. For those gearing up for the Cradle Mountain Run in 2024, lace up your trail shoes, embrace the spirit of mutual help, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the untamed beauty of Tasmania's Cradle Mountain.

5. Trail Run Australia Snowy Mountains Ultra (Crackenback, NSW)

Saturday, 24 February 2024

Conquer the Snowy Mountains: Trail Run Australia Snowy Mountains Ultra 2024

Gear up for a trail-running extravaganza amidst the stunning Snowy Mountains at the Trail Run Australia Snowy Mountains Ultra on the 24th of February 2024. Hosted in conjunction with the TreX Cross Triathlon Series at Lake Crackenback, NSW, this event promises a range of distances and challenges for trail runners of all ages and abilities.

Diverse Distances and Scenic Routes:

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Snowy Mountains, participants can choose from a variety of distances to suit their preferences and abilities. Options include a 50km Ultra, 30km, 21km half marathon, 11km, and a 5km run. Additionally, there's a free Kids' Mud Rats Run, ensuring a delightful experience for the whole family.

Scenic Starting Points:

The 50km and 30km trail runs commence from Claypits Park, Jindabyne, while the 21km starts from Thredbo River Picnic Ground, Jindabyne. Athletes have the convenience of booking a bus to transport them from Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa to their respective starting points, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable race day experience.

A Family-Friendly Adventure:

Whether you're a hardcore trail runner, a weekend warrior, a nature enthusiast, or a family looking for an active outing, the Trail Run Australia Snowy Mountains Ultra caters to everyone. The event not only offers a thrilling challenge for seasoned trail runners but also provides a welcoming atmosphere for families and kids to participate in the excitement.

Hosted by In2Adventure:

Organised by In2Adventure, renowned for creating dynamic and inclusive adventure events, the Trail Run Australia Snowy Mountains Ultra is part of the Trail Run Australia series, offering participants a chance to explore some of Australia's most scenic and challenging terrains.

Register Now for an Unforgettable Experience:

For those ready to embrace the challenge and beauty of the Snowy Mountains, registration details and additional information are available on the event website. Lace up your trail shoes, gather the family, and get ready for an unforgettable trail-running experience at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa on the 24th of February 2024. The Snowy Mountains await your footsteps!

6. Buffalo Stampede Festival (Bright, VIC)

Friday, 22 March 2024 to Sunday, 24 March 2024

Conquer the Peaks: Buffalo Stampede Festival 2024

I have to say this has been on my list for a while. I have a strong affinity with Bright, spent many summers in that beautiful town and let me tell you, this would be an incredible run.

Gear up for an extraordinary trail-running experience at the Buffalo Stampede Festival from the 22nd to the 24th of March 2024 in Bright, VIC. As part of the globally acclaimed SkyRunning brand, this event attracts top athletes to the pinnacle where earth and sky meet. With various distances and multi-day stage races, the Buffalo Stampede Festival is a trail-running celebration like no other.

Distances to Challenge Every Runner:

The Buffalo Stampede Festival offers a range of distances in 2024, catering to runners of all levels and preferences:

  • Friday:

    • 10K Twilight SkySprint
  • Saturday:

    • 2K Junior Trail Run
    • 5K Family Trail Run
    • 20K SkyRun
    • 100K Bright Ultra (Solo and Team Relay)
  • Sunday:

    • 42K SkyMarathon

Special 3-Day Stage Races:

For those seeking an extended challenge, the Buffalo Stampede Festival introduces two unique 3-day stage race options:

  • Stampede Grand Slam: 10K (Fri) + 20K (Sat) + 42K (Sun)
  • Ultra Grand Slam: 10K (Fri) + 100K (Sat) + 42K (Sun)

Heartwarming Community Support:

What makes the Buffalo Stampede truly special is the overwhelming support from the local community. Spectators from the township come out to cheer on runners as they conquer the surrounding hills and mountains. Nowhere else in trail running does a community embrace the runners quite like this. The sound of cowbells serves as a symphony, guiding runners towards summits and aid stations.

Start / Finish at Bright Brewery Paddock:

The festival's hub, Start/Finish, and HQ are located at Bright Brewery Paddock, 121 Great Alpine Road, next to Bright Brewery. The course maps are available on the event website for participants to familiarise themselves with the terrain and challenges that await.

Organised by SingleTrack Events:

SingleTrack Events, known for orchestrating exceptional trail-running experiences, takes the helm as the organiser of the Buffalo Stampede Festival. Their commitment to creating memorable and challenging events is evident in the Buffalo Stampede's prestigious status within the trail-running community.

Register Now for an Epic Adventure:

For those ready to tackle the heights and immerse themselves in the Buffalo Stampede Festival, registration details and additional information can be found on the event website. Lace up your trail shoes, embrace the challenge, and get ready for an unforgettable trail-running experience in the picturesque landscape of Bright, VIC, from the 22nd to the 24th of March 2024. The peaks await your conquering strides!

7. Margaret River Ultra Marathon (Wilyabrup, WA)

Saturday, 11 May 2024


Conquer the Cape to Cape Beauty: Margaret River Ultra Marathon 2024

On the 11th of May 2024, the Margaret River Ultra Marathon returns, inviting runners to embark on an extraordinary journey along the stunning Cape to Cape coastline in South West WA. From the pristine shores of Hamelin Bay to the picturesque finish at Howard Park Winery in Wilyabrup, this event is a testament to the region's natural beauty.

A Trail of Diverse Landscapes:

This incredible 80km point-to-point course showcases the rich diversity of Western Australia's landscapes. Runners traverse awe-inspiring Karri tree forests, cliff-top trails with sweeping coastal vistas, renowned surf breaks, iconic wineries, and charming coastal villages. The 42km Trail Marathon, starting at Yallingup and ending at Howard Park Winery, offers a condensed yet equally breathtaking course.

Solo or Relay: Your Choice:

Participants can tackle the challenge as a solo competitor, taking on the full 80km course, or team up with friends in a relay format accommodating teams of up to five people. Each team member covers one or more legs, ensuring an inclusive and collaborative race experience.

Race Amidst Coastal Magic:

The Margaret River Ultra Marathon isn't just a race; it's a magical journey encapsulating the charm and beauty of the Margaret River region. As runners pass through captivating landscapes, from forests to bluffs, the course unravels like a story, inviting participants to immerse themselves in the natural wonder that defines the Cape to Cape coastline.

Organised by Rapid Ascent:

Rapid Ascent, known for crafting exceptional adventure events, takes the reins as the event organiser. With their commitment to delivering challenging yet awe-inspiring race experiences, the Margaret River Ultra Marathon promises an unforgettable adventure for participants.

Register Now for a Cape Escape:

While the 80K solo and relay categories might be on a waitlist, the 42K Trail Marathon awaits those eager to conquer the Cape to Cape coastline. Registration details and additional information are available on the event website. Lace up your shoes, embrace the coastal magic, and get ready for an unforgettable trail-running escapade in South West WA on the 11th of May 2024. The beauty of the Cape to Cape awaits your footprints!

8. Raffertys Coastal Run (Lake Macquarie, NSW)

Saturday, 13 July 2024


Embrace Coastal Beauty: Raffertys Coastal Run 2024

Set against the serene shores of Lake Macquarie in New South Wales, the Raffertys Coastal Run returns on the 13th of July 2024, hosted from the picturesque Raffertys Resort. Nestled amidst the tranquillity of Cams Wharf, this self-catering resort offers 38 acres of pure relaxation and rejuvenation, merely 90 minutes north of Sydney, creating the perfect setting for a weekend of running and family activities.

A Variety of Distances for All:

Designed to accommodate participants of varying abilities, the Raffertys Coastal Run presents three course distances: 12km, 22km, and 36km. Starting and finishing at Raffertys Resort, the trail winds through the scenic Wallarah National Park, offering panoramic views of beautiful Lake Macquarie and the historic coastline of Catherine Hill Bay and the Munmorah State Conservation Area.

Terrain that Thrills:

The trail terrain is as varied as it is exhilarating, featuring bushland single tracks, fire trails, coastal tracks, rock platforms, and beach running. This diverse terrain promises to challenge and excite even the most discerning trail runners, providing a dynamic and engaging race experience.

A Family Affair:

Adding to the excitement, the event caters to families with a Kids' 1K run, ensuring an inclusive and enjoyable experience for the little ones.

Hosted by Maximum Adventure:

Maximum Adventure takes charge as the organiser of the Raffertys Coastal Run. Renowned for their expertise in crafting engaging adventure events, Maximum Adventure promises a seamless and thrilling experience for participants amidst the natural beauty of Lake Macquarie.

Mark Your Calendar: Entry Opens 5th Feb:

Entry for this spectacular coastal run opens on the 5th of February. Keep an eye on the event website for registration details and additional information. Lace up your shoes, gather the family, and get ready to embrace the beauty of the New South Wales coastline at Raffertys Resort on the 13th of July 2024. The trails await your footsteps!

9. Red Centre Wringer Backyard Ultra (Alice Springs, NT)

Saturday, 3 August 2024


Endurance Challenge: Red Centre Wringer Backyard Ultra 2024

Prepare for an unparalleled test of endurance at the Red Centre Wringer Backyard Ultra on the 3rd of August 2024, organized by the Alice Springs Running and Walking Club. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Telegraph Station Historical Reserve in Alice Springs, this last-person-standing event is an ultimate showcase of grit and perseverance.

The Backyard Ultra Format:

This unique ultramarathon format requires competitors to complete a 6.7km course within an hour continually. After finishing each lap, runners use the remaining time within the hour to rest and refuel before the next lap begins. The challenge continues until one runner completes one more lap than any other competitor, making them the last person standing.

Trail Terrain and Self-Support:

Taking place on the Arrwe/Stuart/East loop, the trail promises varied terrain and primarily consists of single tracks, ensuring a dynamic and challenging race course. Participants must be self-supported, responsible for their food and fluid requirements throughout the event, adding an additional layer of challenge to the test of endurance.

Telegraph Station Historical Reserve:

The historical significance of the Telegraph Station Reserve serves as a remarkable backdrop for this intense ultramarathon. The serene surroundings and historic trails provide a unique setting for participants to push their limits and embrace the spirit of endurance running.

Hosted by Alice Springs Running and Walking Club:

Organized by the Alice Springs Running and Walking Club, known for promoting fitness and running events in the region, this Backyard Ultra promises a gruelling yet rewarding experience for participants seeking to challenge their limits in the heart of the Australian outback.

Stay Updated for More Information:

As details may evolve leading up to the event, stay tuned to the event website and communication channels for updated information. The Red Centre Wringer Backyard Ultra in Alice Springs is not just a race; it's a testament to the endurance and determination of each participant against the striking backdrop of the Northern Territory. Prepare to test your limits in this ultimate display of stamina!

10. Mt Macedon Trail Runs (Mount Macedon, VIC)

Sunday, 6 October 2024

Scale the Heights: Mt Macedon Trail Runs 2024

Prepare for a trail-running adventure amidst the captivating beauty of Mount Macedon at the Macedon Ranges Trail Runs on the 6th of October 2024, part of the Trailsplus Mountain Trail Series in Victoria. Situated approximately 70km north-east of Melbourne, Mount Macedon stands tall as one of the highest peaks in the picturesque Macedon Ranges, offering a breathtaking backdrop for this exhilarating event.

A Mountainous Playground:

The drive along the Calder Freeway from Melbourne takes just under an hour, transporting participants to the scenic state park adorned with winding walking tracks amid mountain forests. At the summit awaits the iconic memorial cross, boasting spectacular views that stretch back towards Melbourne, creating an ideal setting for a family picnic with BBQ facilities available.

TrailsPlus Mountain Trail Series:

As part of the Trailsplus Mountain Trail Series, this event promises an array of distances to cater to diverse skill levels and aspirations, including a 10K, Half Marathon, 30K, Marathon, and a challenging 50K Ultra Marathon.

Harbison Picnic Ground Hub:

The event will be based from the Harbison Picnic Ground, serving as the central hub for participants, where the spirit of camaraderie and the shared love for trail running converge amidst the stunning natural surroundings.

Organised by TrailsPlus:

TrailsPlus, renowned for curating engaging and challenging trail events, takes charge as the event organiser, ensuring a seamless and rewarding experience for participants amidst the tranquil yet invigorating trails of Mount Macedon.

Stay Updated for Event Information:

As event details may evolve leading up to the day, keep an eye on the event website, emails from the organiser, and their social media channels for updated information. Lace up your trail shoes and get ready to explore the trails, conquer the peaks, and immerse yourself in the natural splendour of Mount Macedon at the Macedon Ranges Trail Runs on the 6th of October 2024. The adventure awaits amidst the breathtaking beauty of Victoria's mountain trails!

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