Your guide to the 5 of the most fun and challenging obstacle courses in Australia.
According to the Heart Foundation, over 65% of Australians are sedentary or have low levels of exercise, but the obstacle course industry is looking to change that by creating entertaining and gratifying events for Aussies of all ages and fitness levels. With more than 20 companies in Australia running events from mud runs to wine runs, there is truly an obstacle course for everyone.
If you are looking to have a fun and unique workout and become part of a supportive community, you should check out some of the most popular obstacle courses in Australia below.
Top obstacle courses for 2018
Tick the compare boxes in the table below to compare each obstacle course in further detail.
What to look for in an obstacle course
If you are interested in signing up for an obstacle course, consider the following important factors:
- Fitness level. Are you looking for a fun and relaxed way to get off the couch or a heart-pounding challenge that will push you to your limits? Do you want to train in preparation or just show up on the day ready to go?
- Difficulty of obstacles. Obstacles range from mud crawls to vertical walls that require teamwork to overcome them. Some courses don’t have obstacles at all. What level of difficulty are you interested in?
- Teamwork. Most courses pride themselves on building camaraderie and community, but it’s up to you if you want participate in a solo race or try a course that requires teamwork.
- Charity. Some courses partner with charities and use their events as fundraisers.
- Family friendly. Do you want to bring the whole family along? There are a few companies that offer races for kids and teens.
Fun factor. Obstacle courses pride themselves on being fun and addictive. If pushing your mental and physical limits isn’t your idea of a good time, you could always try a mud run, wine run or family-friendly course.
Free goodies. Some races include t-shirts, headbands and even beer in the registration cost.
- Location. If you live near a major city, it should be easy to find an obstacle course near you. If not, you might have to travel a bit to get to the finish line.
Top 5 obstacle courses compared
While you’re having fun and working on your fitness, you can raise money for a good cause. The company partners with two charities, Legacy and Commando Welfare Trust, and aims to support wounded veterans and families of those wounded or killed in action.
True Grit offers 10-12km events with 30-plus obstacles, aiming to integrate obstacles with the natural terrain of the course to create a unique experience.
For Aussies looking for the challenge of a lifetime, True Grit also offers Enduro Race, Australia’s first 24-hour obstacle course.
Locations: Sydney NSW, Brisbane QLD, Adelaide SA, Perth WA
- Supports wounded veterans and their families
- Only one or two events in each location per year
With obstacles like the 9-foot vertical Berlin walls and electro-shock therapy – where challengers must run through dangling 10,000 volt wires – Tough Mudder is not for the faint of heart, though they do have a heart.
Tough Mudder has raised $10 million for charity with the help of 2.5 million participants in over 200 events worldwide. Its official charity partner is beyondblue, which provides support to people living with anxiety or depression.
Tough Mudder’s shortest race is the 9km Tough Mudder Half for ages 14 and over, and has no electricity-based obstacles. The next level is the Tough Mudder full – 16-20km of obstacles for those aged 16 and over. Headband, t-shirt, beer (age depending) and insurance are included in the entry fee. If Tough Mudder sounds too tame, you can enter Australia’s Toughest Mudder, an 8-hour overnight challenge.
Not convinced yet? Tough Mudder is so beloved that over 10,000 people have gotten Tough Mudder tattoos, which incidentally gives you free entry to your next Tough Mudder event. You too can get one, if you can make it across the Tough Mudder finish line.
Prices start at $115 and volunteers get a discounted or free entry. Season passes are also available for serious racers, giving you three Tough Mudder events for a discounted $299.
Locations: Sydney NSW, Melbourne VIC, Woodford QLD
- Not timed
- Extensive teamwork required
Though Spartan is designed to be challenging, it’s also supposed to be fun. Spartan is all about transformation and being part of a community and you can look forward to free beer and a free t-shirt at the finish line.
If you want to bring the whole family along, there is a 2km kids race for those under 13. You can compete in a team or solo in three different types of competition:
- Open Wave: Ideal for rookies and first-time Spartans. The race is timed, but not subject to competitive rules.
Prices start at $99 for the Sprint race, but make sure to get in early as the prices increase as the race begins to fill up. You can also volunteer for free or discounted entry.
Locations: Brisbane QLD, Gold Coast QLD, Western Sydney NSW, Bright VIC
- Races for all levels and ages
- If you cannot complete an obstacle, you must do 30 burpees before continuing
This Australian-owned and operated obstacle course aims to help kids get active in a fun, safe and supportive environment. Your child can run solo or join a team – either way they are sure to make friends at this highly social event.
Participants run unlimited laps in 45 minutes and every participant gets a medallion. Prices range from $15-29 and vary depending on location. Though free goodies, aside from the medallion, are not included in the ticket price, t-shirts, hats and drink bottles are available for purchase at the events.
Keep in mind, guardian supervision is required so be prepared to stick around and cheer on your kid while they have the time of their lives.
Locations: Hunter Valley NSW, Central Coast NSW, Sydney NSW, Wollongong NSW, Brisbane QLD, Melbourne VIC
- Non-competitive race for kids
- Only in NSW, Brisbane and Melbourne
Grapest 5K Run
If you’re torn between going to the gym and going out for a glass of wine, you’re in luck: the Grapest 5K is the perfect combination of both. The 4.5-hour event includes a sunset run at a vineyard, followed by a wine waddle and live music.
During the wine waddle you can carry your glass of wine on a lanyard around your neck, keeping your hands free for snacks or a second glass of wine.
According to the organiser, Centaur Outdoor Events – which runs a variety of obstacle courses including Suck it Up Buttercup and Mini Muddies – you can expect an off-road terrain course that, depending on the vineyard, may even include running/walking through the vines. Finish the night with 8 wine tastings and a two-hour live band.
Free goodies include a finisher’s medal, headband, wine stopper, wine cup, lanyard and current issue of Wine Selectors magazine. The day starts at $62 for the 5K and wine waddle, or $25 if you just want to enjoy the live music.
Locations: Hunter Valley NSW, Brisbane/Gold Coast QLD, Pipers Brook TAS, Geelong VIC, Lenswood SA, Waroona WA
- 8 wine tastings included with ticket
- Not as adrenaline filled as other courses
With courses for every age, fitness level and aspiration, it’s easy to see why obstacle courses have become so popular. Whether you’re looking for a fun way to spend some time outdoors or embark on the biggest challenge of your life, there’s a course for you.
Try one out and you might just find yourself addicted like millions of others around the globe. If you’re looking for more information on obstacle courses near you, check out our comprehensive guide on obstacle courses.