Every year, hundreds of cyclists from around Australia and overseas are drawn to the city of Cairns in tropical Far North Queensland to saddle up for the Cardiac Challenge.
And every year, the fundraising bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown gains momentum: 2021’s riders raised an amazing $529,000 and $465,000 in 2022 – an incredible achievement given the economic circumstances during and after the pandemic. This event was launched in 2007 by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation which has raised more than $5 million for cardiac services in that time. The three-day, 333km ride attracts people from all walks of life: teenagers, new mums and retirees, cabinet makers, accountants, doctors, nurses, dentists, farmers, pharmacists, pilots, school principals, lawyers, bus drivers, police and builders.
- Day 1: Cairns – Mt Carbine (127km)
- Day 2: Mt Carbine – Lakeland (113km)
- Day 3: Lakeland – Cooktown (79km)
At a personal level, many Cardiac Challenge participants describe the event as a “life-changing experience”: inspiring them to achieve new levels of fitness, step outside their comfort zone and take on fresh challenges, while also enjoying the camaraderie and support of the other riders.
Overseas and interstate participants also appreciate the opportunity to experience the dramatically varying terrain of Far North Queensland in a very “up close and personal” way: from the leafy, sun-dappled Kuranda Range road, winding upwards through lush rainforest to the Atherton Tableland, across rolling golden savannah lands and on to the shores of the sparkling Coral Sea at Cooktown.