The Aussie Challenge

September 8, 2024
  • Half Marathon
  • Marathon

If you have questions regarding Marathon Tours & Travel’s Aussie Challenge Package please: EMAIL OUR TRIP DESIGNER or CALL 617-242-7845 

Join us for the 2024 Aussie Challenge and combine Sydney with Kangaroo Island. These two races, only a week apart, are the perfect combination for those looking to get the most out of their Australian experience. Seven Continents Club® members will get the opportunity to check off both their Half and Full Oceania Marathons in one journey. The flight to Australia can be a long one, so make the most out of it with two unique races in one exciting adventure.  

The Sydney Marathon is the first Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) Candidate race to successfully pass Stage One of AbbottWMM assessment of the evaluation process. It is one of the most spectacular courses in the world, taking in all of Sydney’s iconic landmarks and providing runners with the unique opportunity of crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge traffic free. The 2023 Sydney Marathon was the largest marathon in Australian history and with your help the 23rd running event in 2024 will be even bigger. Join us in making history! 

The Kangaroo Island Marathon is one of the most beautiful marathon courses anywhere in the world, providing once-in-a-lifetime views, a challenging course and an opportunity to see some incredible wildlife. Perfect for adventure runners, thrill-seekers or runners looking to vary the type of course they run on, the 2024 Kangaroo Island Marathon promises to be a superb event, filled with fun and incredible achievements! Join us in 2024 for their 10-year anniversary!  

The Aussie Challenge combines these two iconic races so you can experience the vibrant bustling city of Sydney and the natural beauty and wildlife of Kangaroo Island all in one package.   

Meals Included

Meals Included

Meals as outlined on the itinerary



Adelaide to Kangaroo Island, race day transfers to start/finish area, one-way airfare from Adelaide to Sydney and airport transfer to InterContinental Sydney

Trip Extension

Trip Extension

Post-Race extension to the Great Barrier Reef



Eleven nights’ accommodation



Guaranteed race entry for the Sydney Marathon and either the Kangaroo Island Marathon or Half-marathon

Celebration Party

Celebration Party

Post-Race Celebration and Exclusive Marathon Tours & Travel VIP Tent at Sydney Marathon Finish



Kangaroo Island day excursion and Sydney sightseeing opportunities & cocktail cruise

A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand

Hosted on-site by Marathon Tours & Travel

Medal Bling

Medal Bling

Finishers will receive a special Aussie Challenge Medal and Finisher Shirt

Travel Package Information

  • Itinerary

    • The Aussie Challenge/11 Nights/September 5 – 16, 2024

      Thursday, September 5
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      Arrive in Adelaide (ADL) and transfer on your own to the Hotel Indigo Adelaide MarketsThis afternoon we will explore the Adelaide Markets with our local guide to learn the history of the markets while enjoying food tastings from some of the local vendorsTonight, there will be a welcome reception hosted at the hotel’s rooftop bar.

      Friday, September 6
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      After breakfast we make our way to the ferry terminal at Cape Jervis (approx. 90 min)Upon arrival to Kangaroo Island, we will visit Dudley Wines for a wine tasting and pizza lunch, whilst enjoying stunning views back onto the mainlandAfter lunch we will make our way to the Ozone HotelThis evening, we will enjoy a two-course dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

      Saturday, September 7
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      Today we will get the chance to explore some of Kangaroo Island’s iconic sights, Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and visit the Kangaroo Island Wildlife ParkPart of the tour will provide you with a chance to see Sunday’s race route through Flinders Chase National ParkTonight, join us for our pre-race dinner at the hotel(Breakfast and Dinner included) 

      Sunday, September 8
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      Race Day! This morning you will be transferred to the starting line of the Kangaroo Island Marathon in Flinders Chase National Park (approx. 80 minutes)Return transfers will be provided at the conclusion of the race.  This evening the group will gather for a post-race reception to celebrate your accomplishments! (Breakfast included) 

      Monday, September 9
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      We will say goodbye to Kangaroo Island and head back to AdelaideOn our way we will stop to enjoy a private wine tasting and lunch at a local winery in McLaren ValeUpon arrival in Adelaide, you will have the evening at your leisure. (Breakfast and Lunch included) 

      Tuesday, September 10
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      The Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s top wine regions that is known for its shiraz and grenache vinesToday we will taste our way through some of the region’s local vineyards and enjoy lunch at one of the wineriesThis evening, we will say goodbye at our Farewell Dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included) 

      Wednesday, September 11
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      We will have an early morning flight from Adelaide to Sydney.  Upon arrival you will be transferred to the InterContinental Sydney. 

      This afternoon is free to explore the local neighborhoods in Sydney and enjoy the views of Sydney Harbour. (Breakfast/Brunch included) 

      Thursday, September 12
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      After breakfast, the group will depart on an unforgettable panoramic Sydney half-day sightseeing tour. During the tour we will visit the historic Rocks area, enjoy magnificent views of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and visit Bondi Beach. At the conclusion of the tour, you will be dropped off at the Sydney Marathon Expo to collect your race kits. The rest of the day is free to enjoy at your leisure. 

      Mid-afternoon, join us for the optional Sydney BridgeClimb, one of the most iconic things to do while in Sydney.  We highly recommend it and have tentatively booked space for up to 40 people to experience the Twilight Climb (3:35 PM – 4:05 PM).  At a leisurely pace, the BridgeClimb takes three (3) hours and you will be finished between 6:35 PM – 7:05 PM.  The cost is $305 USD per person. (Breakfast and Lunch included) 

      If you are interested in an alternate date and time you can scan and email the completed form (available here) back to: 

      Friday, September 13
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      Choose between a full-day tour to the Blue Mountains or explore Sydney on your own. 

      Tour Options: 

      Blue Mountains with Self-Guided Hike | $215​ per person | 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM 

      The Blue Mountains National Park is one of the seven national parks that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. These wonderful sandstone outcrops, deep ravines and hazy blue eucalypt forests boast luxury retreats and stunning views.  Your guide will take you off the beaten track to visit remote lookout locations and discuss the history, flora, and fauna of this magnificent region.  A highlight today will be a 1 ½ to 2-hour hike along the top of the Grouse Valley – it provides an exhilarating walk while seeing wildlife such as the elusive Lyre Bird.  We’ll stop and enjoy a picnic style lunch while looking over one of the world class views this walk provides. (Lunch included) 

      Highlights Include:​ 

      • Wildlife immersion 
      • Early entry to the Blue Mountains World Heritage Park 
      • Lunch 
      • Complete circle loop of the Blue Mountains 
      • Visit to remote regions with stunning views 
      • Historic Hartley Vale 


      Explore Sydney on your own. 

      This evening, Marathon Tours & Travel will host a Sydney Harbour Cocktail Cruise. There is no other Sydney venue more desired, no views more captivating than the spectacular Sydney Harbour. Join runners from all over for this exclusive event. Includes canapes and one (1) drink per person. (Breakfast included) 

      Saturday, September 14
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      Today you can enjoy the sights of Sydney at your leisure. Relax at one of the famous beaches, visit the Taronga Zoo to see the koalas, or head to the Sydney Running Show for last minute race gear purchases. Tonight, join us for our pre-race dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast and Dinner included) 

      Sunday, September 15
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      Race Day! This morning, a representative from Marathon Tours & Travel will escort you to the starting line. After you finish, stop by and recharge at the Marathon Tours & Travel post-race celebration area. Enjoy some light refreshments before walking back to the hotel on your own. Your hotel is located 800 meters from the finish line. This evening, the group will gather for a post-race reception to celebrate your accomplishment at a nearby restaurant! (Breakfast included) 

      Monday, September 16
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      Enjoy the day at your leisure before transferring on your own to the airport for your flight home. (Breakfast included) 

  • Extensions

    • Post-Race Extension to the Great Barrier Reef | 4 Nights: September 16 – 20, 2024 

      Monday, September 16 

      Transfer from the InterContinental Sydney to Sydney International Airport for your flight to Cairns. Upon arrival you will be transferred to the Shangri-La Cairns. You will have the remainder of the day at your leisure to relax at the hotel or go into town to explore Cairns. 

      Tuesday, September 17 

      Today you will walk from the hotel to the port for your full day Great Barrier Reef Cruise. You will explore three different sites from an amazing selection of exclusive locations at the stunning Agincourt Ribbon Reefs. Enjoy over 5 hours at the reef with unlimited snorkeling and up to three certified dives and introductory diving (diving is at an additional cost). At the conclusion of the cruise, you will return to the hotel. (Breakfast and lunch included.) 

      Wednesday, September 18 

      After breakfast, you will meet your guide for a full day tour to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest. The day will begin with a visit to the Daintree River Cruise Center for a one-hour cruise through the Daintree Rainforest.  The tour will then continue to Alexandra Lookout for a spectacular view of the Daintree River Estuary, Snapper Island and beyond to the Coral Sea.  Lunch will be included at the Daintree Heritage Lodge then you will continue on to Cape Tribulation, where the Rainforest meets the Reef. Upon arrival to the Shangri-La Cairns you will have the evening at your leisure. (Breakfast and lunch included) 

      Thursday, September 19 

      Today is a free day to explore Cairns on your own or book another day out on the Great Barrier Reef. This evening, join us for our farewell reception at the hotel (or local restaurant). (Breakfast included.) 

      Friday, September 20 

      After breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to Cairns airport for your flight home or onward to your next destination. Please be sure to book your flight home from Cairns (CNS) as we will not be returning to Sydney. (Breakfast included) 

  • Packages & Rates

    • The Aussie Challenge Tour | Eleven-Night Package: September 5 – 16, 2024  

       Adelaide Features:  

      • Three nights’ accommodation at the Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets  
      • Breakfast daily  
      • Welcome Reception (Thursday, September 5)  
      • Adelaide Markets Walking Tour  
      • Barossa Valley Full Day Wine Tour  
      • Farewell Dinner (Tuesday, September 10)  

       Kangaroo Island Features:  

      • Three nights’ accommodation at the Aurora Ozone Hotel  
      • Breakfast daily  
      • Roundtrip transportation to the Cape Jervis ferry terminal  
      • Roundtrip SeaLink Ferry to Kangaroo Island  
      • Meals as outlined on the itinerary  
      • Full Day Kangaroo Island Sightseeing Tour with picnic lunch  
      • Visit to McLaren Vale wine region for a tasting and lunch  
      • Guaranteed Entry into the Kangaroo Island Marathon or Half-Marathon (in addition to the package price)  

      Sydney Features: 

      • Five night’s accommodations at the InterContinental Sydney  
      • Breakfast daily at the hotel 
      • Complimentary Wi-Fi in room
      • Welcome breakfast reception upon arrival (Wednesday, September 11) 
      • Half-day guided sightseeing tour of Sydney ending at the Expo 
      • Sydney Harbour Cocktail Cruise 
      • Pre-race dinner 
      • Exclusive Marathon Tours & Travel VIP Tent at the Finish 
      • Post-race celebration reception 
      • Hosted on-site by Marathon Tours & Travel 
      • All taxes included 
      • Discounted Guaranteed Race Entry (cost is in addition to the package price) 

       Post-Race Extension to the Great Barrier Reef | Four-Night Package: September 16 – 20, 2024  


      • Four nights’ accommodation at the Shangri-La Cairns 
      • Breakfast daily at the hotel 
      • One-way flight from Sydney to Cairns (Monday, September 16) 
      • Roundtrip airport transfers 
      • Full Day Great Barrier Reef Tour (diving available at an additional charge) 
      • Full Day Cape Tribulation and Daintree Tour 
      • Farewell Reception
      • All taxes included 
      • Services of Marathon Tours & Travel Staff (minimum 10 guests required) 

      Not Included: 

      • Australian Travel Visa – Required for U.S. and Canadian residents 
      • International airfare to/from Sydney 
      • Great Barrier Reef airfare from Cairns (CNS) to your connecting international flight (Friday, September 20) 
      • All activities listed as optional 
      • Meals unless noted on the itinerary 
      • Gratuities and tips 
      • Incidentals 
      • Travel Insurance (highly recommended) 


      Aussie Challenge Package: International flights should be booked to arrive at Adelaide Airport (ADL) on Thursday, September 5, 2024. Your flight home can depart on Monday, September 16, 2024 at any time that is convenient for you. 

      Great Barrier Reef Extension: Guests on the post-race extension to the Great Barrier Reef should book your return flight on Friday, September 20 from Cairns (CNS) to your home airport. 

       Rates (all prices are per person and in US dollars)

      Aussie Challenge PackageDouble OccupancySingle Occupancy
      Aussie Challenge 11-Night Package$3870 per person$5395
      Post-Race Extension to the Great Barrier ReefDouble OccupancySingle Occupancy
      Deluxe Room$1450 per person$1945
      Deluxe Ocean View Room$1495 per person$2045
      Race Entry FeeRate
      Sydney Marathon$100
      Kangaroo Island Marathon $85
      Kangaroo Island Half-Marathon$85
  • Hotels

    • Welcome to the Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets. The boutique hotel rooms pay homage to the legendary festivals of the city. The modern color palette is brightened by natural light and colorful wall art, inspired by neighborhood festival posters. The restaurants and bars create innovative flavors, tapping into the best of Adelaide Market’s wonderful produce for seasonal appeal. The ground floor houses a modern Australian restaurant and bar or take the elevator up to the spectacular rooftop bar, featuring an immaculate array of local delicacies and a Hibachi Grill. The drinks menu focuses on local beer and cocktail favorites with a twist, showcasing the best of South Australian wines.

      Welcome to the Aurora Ozone Hotel at Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Boasting a truly unique location, set along the foreshore of one of South Australia’s most pristine coastlines. 

      Experience our quality Kangaroo Island accommodation located on the foreshore with stunning views overlooking Nepean Bay from our Zone Restaurant.

      InterContinental Sydney, Sydney

      Located a half mile from the finish line in the centrally positioned heart of Circular Quay. The InterContinental Sydney extends breathtaking panoramic views of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Set within the beautifully restored Treasury Building of 1851, this hotel is renowned as one of the city’s prized icons.

      Shangri-La The Marina, Cairns

      Experience the warmth of our genuine Australian hospitality at Shangri-La The Marina, Cairns. Prominently situated on the marina. Laze by the pool, surrounded by lush tropical gardens or adventure out to Carin’s favorite attractions including local markets, waterfalls and World Heritage listed rainforests and landmarks.

  • Event Information

    • Kangaroo Island Marathon Event Information: 

      Race Date: Sunday September 8, 2024 

      Race Time: Marathon 7:30am. Half Marathon 8:00am* 

      *Half marathon runners must report by 7:00am sharp. Buses depart to the Remarkable Rocks (start line) at 7:15am. 

      Course: The course route carves its way through the heart of a shutdown Flinders Chase National Park. Runners are inspired by post-bushfire regenerating flora and fauna, undulating roads and trails, an exposed coastal section with views of the powerful Southern Ocean and a boardwalk leading to the iconic Remarkable Rocks. The race format encourages a spirit of camaraderie amongst runners as they pass by each other throughout the day. 

      Temperature: The weather in Kangaroo Island is mild with an average temperature between 50-65°F. 

      Entry Fee: We can provide entry to the Marathon or Half Marathon at a special rate when you book a package through Marathon Tours & Travel. 

      Time Limit: The course time limit is seven (7) hours. 

      Difficulty: Challenging course with rolling hills and beautiful scenery. 


      Sydney Marathon Event Information: 

      Race Date: Sunday, September 15, 2024 

      Race Time: 7:00 AM – Marathon 

      Course: Introduced in 2001, the inaugural Sydney Marathon followed the same course as the marathon during the 2000 Summer Olympics the previous year. The 2024 marathon course will incorporate changes to enhance the experience to make it “a faster, more scenic and spectator friendly course”. The Sydney Marathon course is AIMS Certified accurate course. Marathon Course Map and Marathon Course Profile. 

      Entry Fee: Sydney Marathon – $100 

      Eligibility: Sydney Marathon – 18 years + 

      Time Limit: Seven (7) Hours. The marathon will have cut-off points along the route. For more information go here. 

      Awards: Marathoners who finish their running event within the time limit will receive a commemorative medal and also receive a finishers t-shirt. 

      Temperature: September is the beginning of the spring season in Sydney. Daytime temperatures will range from 60°F – 68°F (16°C – 20°C). You will want to be prepared for some potential chilly westerly winds and chance of rain. 

      Difficulty: Moderate. See Marathon course profile here. 

  • Registration & Booking

    • Rates: All prices are based on current exchange rates and may change due to currency fluctuations. All payments to Marathon Tours & Travel will be processed in US Dollars. 

      Reservation and Payments: A completed tour application together with a non-refundable deposit of $800 per person must be received before confirming your reservation. Final payment must be received before July 15, 2024. Final payments received after July 15, 2024 are subject to a $50 late payment fee. Bookings made after July 15, 2024 will require full payment at time of booking. 

      Cancellations: All payments, including your deposit, are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Non-transferrable includes applying your balance to another person, another year or another trip. Should you cancel for any reason, you will forfeit your trip investment. Therefore, travel insurance for every trip is highly recommended. All cancellations must be received in writing. 

      Note Included in the Price: All items not specifically listed under tour features. The race entry fee is an additional cost to the package price. 

      Insurance: For your protection, trip cancellation, baggage, health and accident insurance is highly recommended for all participants. However, no representation or description of the insurance made by our staff constitutes a binding assurance or promise about the insurance. 

      Travel Insurance for U.S. Residents
      Travel Insurance for Canadian Residents 

      Security Policy: Marathon Tours & Travel’s security policy requires that anyone staying in our room block must be registered as part of our package. If a registered client attempts to house a non-registered guest and /or invite them to attend any of our scheduled activities, the registered guest’s tour package will be forfeited and parties may be denied access to future tours. Please note that no exceptions will be made as this policy will be strictly enforced. 

      Responsibility: These tours are operated by Marathon Tours, Inc. of Chelsea, MA who acts only as an agent for the passenger to the companies offering such services and assumes no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity caused by any reason whatsoever by any party offering such services. All terms and conditions offered are governed by the laws of Massachusetts. The right is reserved to cancel the tour prior to departure with a refund, less applicable credit card and processing fees, made as full settlement to the passenger. The right is reserved by Marathon Tours, Inc. to deny acceptance of a booking application by any person. Marathon Tours, Inc. may make any changes or alterations in the itinerary as it deems necessary for the proper handling of the tour. The sole responsibility of any airline used is limited to that set out in the passenger contract evidenced by the ticket. The airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time that the passengers are not on board their aircraft. 

Meet the Reps

Ann Haebler

Senior Trip Designer

Ann Haebler

Senior Trip Designer

Ann joined the Marathon Tours & Travel team after spending five years working as Group Sales Manager for a domestic tour operator specializing in train travel. She has now been a member of the team for eight years and hopes to continue to expand her knowledge of the world. Since her seventh grade world geography class, she has had an interest in learning about all the world has to offer.

During her time majoring in geography at the University of New Hampshire, her love of travel really kicked into high gear after spending a semester abroad in Australia. Let’s just say it was love at first flight! She has completed several half-marathons, 10K and 5K’s around the globe and in her local community.

Ann currently manages trips to Bhutan, Dragon Challenge, Comrades Ultra Marathon, Rio de Janeiro, Big Five, the Australian Outback, Sydney, Cape Town, Dublin and Patagonia in addition to being an Oceania Cruise Line Specialist.