21 March 2016
The last month of autumn is a great opportunity to enjoy the mild weather and beckoning outdoors of NSW. Here are just a few events to get you out and about this May.
Come and watch hundreds of ultra-fit men and women compete in one of the world’s toughest athletic events. Competitors will aim to complete a 3.8km swimming course, a 180km cycling course, and a gruelling 42.2km marathon—all within 17 hours. With the swimming component taking place in the Hastings River, the cycling course cruising south along the Pacific Ocean, and the final running event sampling Port Macquarie’s waterfront views, NSW boasts one of the most scenic Ironman courses in the world. Held on the same day, the Ironman 70.3 triathlon is half the distance of a full-length Ironman course.
Head to Broadmeadow in early May for a surprising display of agility, speed and skill from players who have stayed in their prime for longer than most. The World Grand Masters Hockey Association (WGMA) was formed in 2002 to promote the growth of field hockey among men and women in the 60+ age group. Fourteen years later, the 2016 WGMA World Cup is expected to draw about 800 players, 25 umpires, 25 officials, 30 medical personnel, 43 managers, 700 partners and thousands of international fans to the Newcastle International Hockey Centre.
Newcastle will host an international rugby league match for the first time in five years when Australian and New Zealand players meet for the 2016 ANZAC Test in May. Since its inception in 1997, this annual rugby match has been played to commemorate servicemen and women from Australia and New Zealand. With an unquestionable record of 14–2, the Kangaroos would appear to have the upper hand. However, with such a huge year of rugby ahead, Australian and New Zealand supporters alike will line the stands of Hunter Stadium on May 6th.
Ultra-trail is a long-distance running event which makes use of natural terrain such as forests, plains, bushland and mountains. As part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour (UTWT) series, Ultra-Trail Australia attracts runners from all over the globe competing to win UTWT points. Marked trails will guide ambitious runners through the Blue Mountains National Park for distances of 22km, 50km, and an astonishing 100km. This five-day running festival will also include kids’ events, a film festival, athlete forums and a brand new stair-climbing challenge.
For six days in May, the best Senior League baseball teams from around the country will go head to head at Albert Park in Lismore. This six-day tournament will see lightning fast pitches and ultra-solid striking as the country’s best senior division players compete for the nation’s number one baseball title.
Batlow, the small town in the Snowy Mountains famous for its apple orchards, is also the proud home of CiderFest. This wonderful festival takes place in autumn each year, at the end of the apple harvest. This is the perfect time for local residents, apple growers, cider producers and visitors to gather in Batlow and share a glass or two of delicious apple cider. CiderFest also features live entertainment, a street theatre, buskers, and approximately 80 market stalls offering gourmet foods, local produce and homemade treats. Venture to the edge of the Great Dividing Range in May to sample some of Batlow’s crisp apple cider, fresh mountain air and amazing autumnal atmosphere.
Every year, the Eurobodalla River of Art is made possible through the collaborative effort of local businesses, community organisations and a team of dedicated volunteers. This ten-day festival is both a celebration and exhibition of talented artists living in the Eurobodalla region, all the way from Milton to the Victorian border. This isn’t any old art exhibition, either; the festival will visit a range of locations throughout the Eurobodalla shire, showcasing the region’s top visual arts, live music, film and theatre productions and creative workshops.
The Port to Port MTB is fast becoming one of Australia’s premier mountain biking events. This four-day event will see competitors cycle past some of the state’s most scenic regions. Day one of the race will acquaint riders with Nelson Bay Marina, within Port Stephens, while day two will lead competitors through the picturesque hillsides of the Hunter region. On day three, riders will face a 66km tour of the Lake Macquarie area, including a fiendish encounter with Mount Faulk. The final day will see competitors arrive in Newcastle and reach the finish line with a final sprint along its iconic surf breaks.
The NCHA Futurity is a thrilling display of athleticism, finesse, and of the partnership between a horse and its rider. This annual competition offers over $700,000 in prize money and attracts thousands of competitors and spectators—both Australian and international—to Tamworth’s Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre. It also features live country music, bull riding and rodeo events, on-site restaurants and bars, Aussie horseman demonstrations and the popular Stockman’s Challenge. The NCHA Futurity includes both free and ticketed events.