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Targa Expo, Targa Fest offer special access for spectators

The second edition of Targa Great Barrier Reef will provide spectators with opportunities to rub shoulders with the stars and cars of the Cairns-based event.

Photo credit: Angryman Photography

Following the ceremonial start at the entrance to the Reef Hotel Casino from 7.30am, the field, which represents around $25 million of automotive history, will head out of Cairns for a day of five competitive stages.

On returning to Cairns later in the day, fans are encouraged to head to the Convention Centre for Targa Expo between 6pm to 8pm.

A selection of 50 machines will be available to be inspected. Access is through door 21 at the Convention Centre which is the event’s base. $10 entry fee for adults and kids under 13 are for free.

This will be a prime opportunity for fans to get up close to the magnificent machines and mingle with the drivers, co-drivers and crews.

The atmosphere intensifies on Saturday with TargaFest between 5pm and 9pm on the Cairns Esplanade between Spence and Florence Streets.

Last year more than 25,000 fans flocked to the TargaFest and Event Director Mark Perry is again expecting the locals to come out in force and see the exciting field of cars.


“The atmosphere for the event last year was just fantastic, I think it was made up of a combination of Tropical North Queenslanders loving a national event coming to their city, plus there are so many motorsport fans visiting here as well,” Perry said.


“All of the competitors commented on how enthusiastic the locals were, which gave the whole event such a buzz and has definitely contributed to the increase in competitor entries this year.


“It’s the third round of the CAMS Australian Targa Championship, so all the serious contenders know they have to do well here.”

Targa Great Barrier Reef in Far North Queensland has proven to be popular with the Targa enthusiasts.

“Cairns is a great place to come to and that we have a really good Targa course,” a Targa official commented.

“It is also about the welcome as well with people turning out to the public events like Targa Expo and Targa Fest. 

“Some of the competitors said they felt a bit like rockstars or F1 drivers.

“Targa Great Barrier Reef is about the destination and a place for people to come and visit and enjoy.”

Additions to the event this year will see the field head to the new Springmount and Mareeba stages (Targa Stages 6 & 7) which will open competition on Day 2.

There will be a chance to catch up with the stars and cars at the lunch stops each day.

On Friday, August 30, the designated lunch stop is in the town of Atherton with cars expected between 9.45am-12noon while Mareeba will be the new lunch stop the following day from 9.45am-11.30am.

Fans can catch up with the field at Ravenshoe on Sunday, September 1 from 10.00am to around 13.00 before the cars head back to Cairns for the ceremonial finish at the Convention Centre.

The final day will also see Rainforestation host a Fathers Day event during the Kuranda Range stage. 

For more details and to purchase tickets, head to

Rainforestation will be a strictly ticketed event and no tickets will be available on the day. Tickets are $50 per adult and $30 Per Child (children age is 4-14)

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