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