On the third weekend in May of each year, Mareeba Shire Council plays host to ‘The Great Wheelbarrow Race’.

This is an event where competitors push an empty wheelbarrow along the ‘Wheelbarrow Way’ between Mareeba and Chillagoe in three stages.

In 2017, the event attracted 42nominations with 500 competitors and 54 support vehicles across all categories. The race is a 140km fun run in three (3) stages.

  • Day 1 Chillagoe to Almaden (33km)
  • Day 2 Almaden to Dimbulah (65km)
  • Day 3 Dimbulah to Mareeba (42km)

The Great Wheelbarrow Race may test the endurance of many competitors, but it is largely about having fun and raising money for chosen charities in a team environment.

The race has three main competition categories; they are Solo, Duo and Teams that consist of a maximum of ten (10) competitors.

Within the main categories are eight (8) sub-categories.

  • Social
  • Mixed
  • School
  • Over 55’s
  • Over 35’s
  • Services
  • Ladies
  • Mens

Teams are allotted a time of departure each morning, beginning with the Solo and Duo competitors and ending with the Teams. Teams depart beginning with the slowest, established from the nominated speed they have presented.

After the first day the average speed is calculated for each team and they are released the next day as per that speed.

Teams are released at intervals as determined by the chief timekeeper; usually every two minutes, with the fastest team going out last.