Event Profile

Toowoomba parkrun

Known as Queensland’s Garden City, Toowoomba parkrun is a colourful event all year round.

But if you want to make the most of a visit tie it in with the annual Carnival of Flowers, held in September.

Toowoomba parkrun’s birthday coincides with this carnival so that makes it a doubly good time to visit – cake and colour!

The parkrun launched in Queen’s Park on September 28 2013 with 219 parkrunners and seven volunteers.

It’s grown over the years and averages 278 finishers a week. It has a record attendance of 575 (January 20, 2018).

Founding event director Margaret Maloney says visitors can expect to see “happy, smiling faces and a beautiful, peaceful course”.

How it started

She founded the parkrun having learned of the free, weekly, timed event from friend Tressa Lindenberg.

Margaret says Tressa had run a few times at Main Beach parkrun and loved it.

“She thought Toowoomba would love it too so we went to see the mayor. How correct she was!”

Margaret’s first parkrun experience herself was at New Farm in December 2011.

She’s run at 10 parkruns across three states, but can mostly be found volunteering.

Like many event directors her volunteering outstrips her runs (in her case 26 runs to 291 volunteer days at time of writing).

“parkrun is wonderful for all the community and I am so proud at Toowoomba to have been the instigator and to have five or more start following our huge numbers every week.”

Toowoomba’s nearest events are South Toowoomba, Highfields and Oakey.

“I started with Tressa and she was my co-ed for some years and now is cycling (sadly) most Saturdays.

“I have done some other parkruns but not many – I went with Tressa to Main Beach, Gatton and Ipswich prior to us starting for some ideas.

“We’ve made it a wonderful community event. It is now great but the vollies make it and the atmosphere you create at your parkrun.

“I love the different parkruns. I’ve been ED for eight years now and did think of retiring around covid time but have a great team that makes it hard to step down from.”

Margaret says since the restart after the Covid pause they now visit several cafes, including their original post-parkrun venue of Parkhouse.

“We are known for our pretty parkrun all year around but especially at September as we are the Garden City and tourists love to come and see the gardens everywhere – and especially Queens Park.”

While in Toowoomba

Visit Picnic Point for panoramic views of the Great Dividing Range. This prime picnic spot overlooks Main Range and the Lockyer Valley.

The Carnival of Flowers runs in September and as well as Queen’s Park includes Laurel Bank Park. The carnival includes music and gourmet food so more than just a flower festival.

Toowoomba is also home to nationally acclaimed street art and impressive historic buildings.

Visit the Cobb+Co Museum to go back in time and see the National Carriage Collection.

The Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery is a private collection with more than 400 Australian artworks on display.

And wander around Queens Park some more, there’s 26 hectares to explore.

What’s in a name

Toowoomba parkrun is named for the city it is in.

There are several theories as to how it got it’s name, all relating to indigenous words.

Swamp: tawampa

Reeds in swamp: Womba Womba

Toowoom, the name of a native melon, which grew plentiful in the township.

Locals called the parkrun Queen’s Park. It was gazetted in 1869.

Event Profile

Our Park parkrun

Our Park parkrun makes you feel welcome before you arrive.

Named after the park it’s held in, in Orford, Tasmania, Our Park joined the parkrun family on November 7 2020.

Orford is a village on Tasmania’s east coast, about 75km drive from Hobart.

“We’re a beautiful family park with a playground, bike track, open areas, BBQ and right next to the beach,” says founding event director Kendal King.

“The course is all on a safe trail that heads away from the park through approximately 500m of trees/grass area before bringing you out next to West Shelly Beach with views over to Maria Island.

“At the turnaround you then get more beach views of Millingtons Beach Conservation Area, which is next to the park.

“Then you get to see all that again on your second lap. An added bonus is that it’s a fairly flat course.”

How it started

When it launched Our Park had 80 finishers and five volunteers.

That attendance remains its record, Our Park is an intimate event with an average of 20 finishers a week (and some weeks far fewer!).

Kendal signed up for parkrun in January 2016.

“My best friend encouraged me once my twins were six months old, so I bought a running pram, tied the dog on and have loved it ever since.

“Launceston was my original home parkrun.

“We moved to Orford in July 2019 and I missed the social side of it, the enjoyment of it.

“I also wanted to help our new community become more active and give them something to do without having to travel to Hobart.

“I rarely get to participate in the event these days, I often volunteer extra to allow others to participate.

“It’s enjoyable to spread the cheer and encourage others.”

She says there’s one word to describe Our Park to people yet to visit – “Beautiful. It’s just beautiful.

“Generally first timers are blown away by the beauty and location, especially if they have never been to Orford before.

“Plus they return!”

After parkrun they head to Wattlebanks Coastal Cafe.

“I haven’t yet had anything from the menu not worth mentioning!

“They make good burgers.”

While at Our Park parkrun

Take a trip out to Maria Island, Tasmania’s only island national park. Access from the port town of Triabunna, which is also worth a visit.

Maria Island is home to wombats and many birds. It also has convict ruins, eucalypt forest, a disused limestone quarry and much more to explore.

There’s plenty of other outdoor activities in and around Orford.

Three Thumbs Lookout towers above the town, there are notable beaches at Spring Beach, Rheban Beach and Raspins Beach, visit the town of Swansea, which overlooks Great Oyster Bay and dine at Ellys East Coast Kitchen.

Orford is a popular summer destination.

What’s in a name…

Our Park is the name of the park in Orford where the parkrun is located.

Kendal says they’ve not had many comments on the parkrun name “perhaps because it’s a prominent place in Orford”.

Event Profile

Yeldulknie Weir Trail parkrun

It’s a Y parkrun in South Australia but Yeldulknie Weir Trail parkrun has more going for it than that.

The parkrun is in the small town of Cleve on the Central Eyre Peninsula in between the two main highways. It’s a trek to get there, but worth it, event director Tina Traeger says,.

“Our entire community is extremely welcoming. We have fabulous views of the countryside from hills to the north to the ocean down south, the scenery changes every week and we have amazing coffee after.”

When parkrun was getting started in Cleve Tina says there were only half a dozen people who knew what it was.

“We had to explain and win the whole community over. and now they are all as proud of it as we are.”

Yeldulknie Weir parkrun launched on April 27, 2019 with 72 finishers and eight volunteers. That remains its highest attendance, it averages 25 finishers.

How it got started

Tina is the founding event director. 

“I was going through a fitness phase and had signed up to several running events, only they were a six hour drive away. 

“One weekend we travelled to Port Lincoln for a wedding and heard about parkrun.

“My sister, a friend and I decided that we would sign up and see what it was all about. 

“Before we even finished the 5km we decided this was something we could do. It didn’t seem too hard to organise and it would give us the chance to track our running closer to home. 

“The District Council of Cleve had also just finished the Yeldulknie Weir Trail so we figured that would be perfect for such an event. 

“We emailed parkrun and got the ball rolling.

“The council were keen to get on board and funded the defib. Later they gave a grant for the remaining of the funds. Here we are today, more than 100 events later.

About the run

The event takes place on the Yeldulknie Weir and Reservoir Walking Trail. 

The Yeldulknie Scheme was the first large water conservation and distribution network on the Eyre Peninsula.

The scheme comprised three small gravity reservoirs – Yeldulknie, Ullabidinie and Ulbana, formed by weirs constructed on three intermittently flowing streams of the same names.

The Yeldulknie Weir was completed in 1912.

While the reservoir remains, the Engineering and Water Supply Department relinquished its interest in the scheme when the water supply proved to be unreliable.

Tina says their parkrun is “sneaky”.

“A lot of tourists travel into town on the road right next to the track and it is pretty flat so they start their run thinking it won’t be so bad.

“But we have lots of little steep hills, then a deep creek just before the turn around point. 

“On the way back in there is also one extra sneaky hill that you do not notice until you hit it! 

“It’s also beautiful, the scenery changes weekly, there is so much open space and you get to watch the landscape change throughout the seasons.

“Visitors love it. We have low numbers so there’s no crowding at the start line.

“Then they aren’t so in love when they find the sneaky hill on the way back to the finish line. 

“A lot comment on how great it is and wouldn’t have visited our town if it wasn’t for parkrun. 

“Local first timers, they already know all about the hills on the track, but they love the way parkrun includes everyone and they normally come back.”

After parkrun they head to The Pink Door Co, where Tina says visitors should try the caramel slice.

While in Cleve

There are so many hidden gems in our district. 

The Yeldulknie weir is a great spot for bush walking, local history and even camping. There is also a waterfall walk back into the water reserve which is pretty impressive in a wet season or after a big rain. 

Within our town, we have some amazing little shops which are a must.

Then we have two horse sculptures made of old farm machinery, one in the main street, and one on Golf Drive. They’re made by a local farmer and are amazing. 

We also have the Darke Peak area which hosts the Darke Peak Range and Carrappee hill, both amazing locations.

Or in the other direction we have Arno Bay which has some fantastic beaches. If you are lucky you may be the only one there!

What’s in a name?

We are named after the walking trail which goes from town out to the old weir, which is a beautiful spot for a picnic or camping. 

We have been trying to find out what the meaning of Yeldulknie is but now one seems to know unfortunately. 

Event Profile

Whanganui Riverbank parkrun

In 2017 the New Zealand Government passed a bill that recognised the Whanganui River as a living person.

It has guardians appointed to speak on its behalf in order to protect it.

The river is what makes Whanganui Riverbank parkrun special.

Run director Michelle Selby says even though most of the city’s runners run beside it regularly it never grows old.

“It’s really pretty and the river always looks different. We see people rowing, fishing, plus the market at our turnaround point.

“There’s quite a good vibe along the way.”

The path is also littered with sculptures, the turnaround is marked by a huge globe with a map of the river etched in it.

There’s also a set of pencils, which Michelle says is a reminder to stand tall and be strong.


Whanganui Riverbank parkrun was all set to start in April 2020 but was delayed due to Covid.

When New Zealand parkruns returned in the July, Whanganui Riverbank launched with 76 parkrunners and 13 volunteers.

Its record is 83 (week two) but this is one of New Zealand’s more intimate events with an average of 36.

The parkrun was founded by Judy Mellsop, who remains as event director, after she learned of parkrun via her son.

She joined him at one event and saw it was a way to get a community active together.

“So, without too much thought and with no idea of the hiccups and hurdles I’d encounter I clicked the ‘start a new parkrun’ button on the parkrun website,” Judy says.

It’s an out and back in two directions with the river in sight throughout the run.

The first turnaround is near the River Traders Market, which is another highlight to a visit to Whanganui.


Michelle says the event has slowly brought people together.

“When we started people would run and then leave. Now there are more people staying afterwards and talking to each other.

“Our parkrun is building its identity, even with all the interruptions.

“I love our community, it’s supportive to everyone from the fastest to the slowest.

“When I heard parkrun was coming to Whanganui I was very excited.

“I had been a regular at Kapiti Coast from when it started but we moved in 2016 so had a long wait.

“Another friend from Wellington moved to Whanganui and we would talk about starting a parkrun here but we felt we didn’t know enough people to get the volunteers.

“We’re glad Judy got it started.

“Through volunteering I’ve made some really good friendships.

“Saturday morning is about going to parkrun to see my friends.

“I volunteer more than I run because I like that side of it.”

After parkrun they head to Columbus Cafe at Mitre 10 Mega for refreshment.

“I’m a new convert to the toasted cheese scone with butter,” Michelle says.

“There’s always something yummy.”

While in Whanganui

The Whanganui River Traders’ Market is on Saturday mornings at the parkrun turnaround.

Highlights are cinnamon buns, fudge and macarons as well as crafts.

Visit the Durie Hill Memorial Tower and Elevator. The elevator is New Zealand’s only public transport elevator and in use today.

There’s also the Whanganui Regional Museum and New Zealand Glassworks.

Like the outdoors? Visit the exotic Paloma Gardens for plants from all over the world. There’s also Virginia Lake and the Bushy Park Wildlife Sanctuary.

And while in River City, get on the water, by boat or take part in the great walk and paddle the river.

What’s in a name…

Whanganui comes from the Māori for big bay, or big harbour.

Whanganui is known as the River City. The parkrun runs alongside the riverbank.

Event Profile

Jubilee Way parkrun

Run briefings are similar worldwide, but at Jubilee Way koala sightings are included.

Koala spotting is one of the jobs for the volunteer who chalks and cones the course.

As you run you might also spot ibis and even Tawny Frogmouths.

Jubilee Way parkrun, known to locals as JWay, is a great community meeting point, co-Event Director Phil Blake says.

“Everyone is very friendly and being a new-ish area, there is a fantastic mix of families with young children, couples – young and mature, keen runners, run/walkers and others that walk the whole course. And a few friendly dogs as well. 

“People gather on the beautiful lawn area beside the red gum lined Dry Creek.” 

The course

The course is a “generously wide” concrete path for about half the distance and the other half is a smooth gravel trail. 

“Some participants love the challenge of the hill towards the end of the first kilometre, and others tolerate it!

“After climbing the hill the course goes around the Wynn Vale Lake past an island that is an Ibis (or Bin Chicken) rookery and a horse agistment. 

“JWay is a great place for volunteers as the course is out and back. It’s shaped a bit like an elongated horseshoe and the turnaround is just on the other side of the creek from the start/finish line. 

“So from around 10 minutes we see all the parkrunners heading towards the turnaround and coming back to the finish.”

How it began

Jubilee Way is in the Wynn Vale suburb on Adelaide’s east.

It launched on May 19, 2018 with  350 finishers and 10 volunteers. It has an average of 170 finishers a week and an average finish time of 37:01.

“parkrun has boomed in South Australia in the last few years. 

“New parkruns were popping up all across Adelaide and the state. Three started in a year in northern Adelaide: Mawson Lakes, Carisbrooke and in May 2018 Jubilee Way. 

“Co-ED Debbie Allen and, now Event Ambassador, Cherie Rothery got things going with great support from the City of Tea Tree Gully. 

“With the other two neighbouring parkruns up and running, the idea of one in the Tea Tree Gully Council area became possible when council formed up the gravel trail on the eastern side of Dry Creek in late 2017. 

“This made the 5km course viable without crossing a road or using an underpass that occasionally floods. 

“The council has provided publicity in its newsletters, signs at the start, finish and turnaround, and kilometre posts.


“When visitors and first timers come to Jubilee Way they leave having experienced the beauty of the parklands, the creek valley with its multitude of river red gums, the lake, the koalas, birds, and of course the friendly regulars.”

The parkrun was almost named Wynn Vale parkrun, but as there was Wyndham Vale parkrun in Victoria it was thought they were too similar.

Jubilee Way was the second choice.

“So how lucky were we that that happened because we ended up with one of only three Js in Australia for parkrunners to visit for their alphabet challenge.”

The other two are Jells in Victoria and Jindabyne in New South Wales.

Phil says first timers often are surprised by the number of people participating and reassured to see the variety of paces and that many parkrunners don’t run the whole thing. 

“That allays any concerns that parkrun is only for runners.”


Phil says he learned of parkrun when Mawson Lakes was in the process of starting.

“I got enthused quickly and went to the two trials and saw many running friends there. My wife Dawn and I ran the first event and we both volunteered at Event #2.”

Co-ED Debbie says she was a “latecomer” to parkrun.

“I honestly don’t know how I missed it for so long! Like Phil and Dawn I started at Mawson Lakes, ran a couple of times and volunteered as well. 

“One day I got talking to Cherie and as they say, the rest is history. 

“We shared a wonderful experience getting JWay to come alive from that first chat.

“Every Saturday is a day of joy for me. I love the people I have met and the stories I have been told.”

The current cafe venue is Milk and Honey, which is about five minutes away. 

“They are very kindly providing vouchers for a free coffee for each of our volunteers and we are promoting their business to our parkrunners,” says Phil.

He says there are so many choices but visitors should try the Smashed Avo, with feta and dukkah.

While at Jubilee Way…

While in the north-east, consider visiting Anstey Hill Recreation Park, which has the ruins of the original Newmans Nursery within.

Nearby is the current Newmans Nursery with a lovely café/restaurant.

We are not too far from the famous Barossa Valley wine region, and there is the city centre of Adelaide, beaches such as Glenelg, Henley and Semaphore, and the museums at historic Port Adelaide.

-Phil Blake

What’s in a name…

The name Jubilee Way is from the street that runs alongside the park.

Jubilee Reserve is the name of the park and the Jubilee Community Centre kindly lets parkrun use the building’s facilities.

Part of the Golden Grove development started in the 1980s.

The street, reserve and building were named Jubilee for the sesquicentenary year of 1986 when South Australia marked 150 years of European Settlement. 

Event Profile

Devil’s Peak parkrun

If the idea of three or more laps makes you feel dizzy, imagine running the 21 laps of Devil’s Peak parkrun in South Australia.

It’s one of the more unique parkruns in Australia, but not an event that every parkrunner will have an opportunity to experience.

Devil’s Peak is one of nine parkruns held in a custodial setting in Australia. It was the second to launch in South Australia, after Mobilong parkrun.

It’s held in Port Augusta Prison, the largest regional prison in South Australia, just south of Port Augusta. It has around 600 residents of low, medium and high security and a high proportion of Aboriginal residents.

“parkrun is priority number two after Aussie Rules football,” says Event Director Jeff Bowey, who is also activity co-ordinator at the prison.

“We have a high percentage of indigenous prisoners, football is priority number one across the majority of the cohort; parkround would be a close second.

“My guys are always getting asked about it. We’ve registered more than 700 over 18 months. 

“We have a high turnover so some will come in, move through the units and then move on.

“Others will be here for a very long time.

“We’ve had many go from here to Mobilong and I’m having conversations with another prison about setting up a parkrun there.”

The beginning

Devil’s Peak parkrun launched on December 19 2019 with 33 parkrunners and eight volunteers.

“I thought I’d get six a weekend, just because of the cohort. We’re a high security environment with lots of restrictions but we’re getting around 50 every week. 

“Mobilong has a different cohort and nearly all of them run, there’s a big competition.

“We have half a dozen runners and the rest are walkers.”

The idea to start a parkrun at work came from Jeff’s wife Maggie. She started running at Port Augusta parkrun.

Jeff says he thought it would be a good programme for prison residents. He looked it up and discovered prisons were already holding parkrun events.

At the time there were none in South Australia, but Mobilong was about to launch.

“I went straight to parkrun about getting one here. They came out and had a look around. They were very positive. We had a few things we had to work through to get it to work.

“One of our biggest headaches was because of the size of our oval, the parkrun is 21 laps of the oval clockwise.” 

Most parkrunners can count the two, three or sometimes four laps of an open parkrun course. But for runners at Devil’s Peak there’s a special counting system using paper tags.

Each participant gets a bundle of tags and drops one in a bucket at the end of each lap to help ensure they complete the full course.

“The walkers will have one person in charge of counting laps.”


After the event Jeff produces a newsletter with photos and results so participants can gauge their progress or see what their peers achieved.

Jeff says photos are hard to come by for a resident and they can be sent on to a family member.

Before parkrun launched at Devil’s Peak Jeff put out a questionnaire asking residents for expressions of interest.

From that he had 30 keen to take part, most days of the week the activities staff register new parkrunners.

The public can look up results of custodial events worldwide, as they can open events.

There’s a degree of confidentiality with custodial parkrunners given a pseudonym surname. At Devil’s Peak these surnames are all towns in Australia and typically start with the same initial as their surname.

If they transfer to another facility, or are released at the end of their sentence, they are able to keep parkrunning with the same barcode and accumulate more runs to their profile.

“We had one resident who was here from the launch of our event. He was a complex prisoner for a bunch of reasons and had spent a long time in prison.

“He was released and moved interstate. Because we register the parkrunners, their results come to our email.

“I started seeing results come through for this parkrunner. He was still participating in parkrun after he had been released.

“We thought ‘how good was this’. 

“The intent was to get prisoners when they leave here to get a different peer group on the outside. If we can get them to parkrun instead of going back to whatever peer group they’ve come from then they’re going to be among people building a life and with a community mindset. It’s life changing.

“He was volunteering as well as running. That was very satisfying.”

Why parkrun?

Not everyone at the facility is able to participate in parkrun. Jeff says it’s open to those in particular units and is also viewed as a reward for positive behaviour.

Some parkrunners who are able to run are serving a sentence of between 20 and 30 years.

“They know they’re still in prison but for that time it feels like they’re not. 

“Wherever you look there’s razor wire and fences but it still brings that level a step down from your everyday prison environment.

“Often there’s a perception of why are we giving them these things to do? 

“It’s about trying to create what is similar in the community so when they get out they’re in a mindset that more reflects that so they can fit back in.

“It’s a non competitive exercise. Prisons are notorious for gym junkies, parkrun offers a different context.

“One of the benefits is after the parkrun the units these people come from are a much more relaxed environment.

“The highlight has been the high number of prisoners who are engaged and do it every week. We still can’t believe we have this many.”

Devil’s Peak is named for one of the peaks in the Flinders Ranges, which overlooks Port Augusta Prison. 

Event Profile

Redland Bay parkrun

If you’re looking for a parkrun with views out to islands then put Redland Bay parkrun on your list.

Redland Bay parkrun is in south east Queensland with a view of the Moreton Bay islands. It’s a 40 minute drive from Brisbane airport.

This parkrun launched on June 10, 2017 with 394 finishers and 15 volunteers but typically averages 99 finishers. 

“We have stunning views along our beautiful bayside course, with a mix of grass, concrete and short boardwalks,” says event director Cheryl Lawie.

“We tend to get a lot of walkers because it’s a perfect spot to take in the amazing outlook over the southern Moreton Bay islands.  

“We have glorious weather, a very friendly and relaxed vibe and we love to welcome visitors.”

How it started

Cheryl was a regular parkrunner at nearby Cleveland parkrun and had volunteered “numerous times, but never as run director”.

“This path along the bayside was crying out for a parkrun! 

“Organising the launch of Redland Bay parkrun was a little daunting, and I literally wore L plates at our launch, but I had amazing support around me and no idea how much positive energy would come from it, or the way a beautiful community would form around it. 

“Like many parkruns, we are grateful for the foresight and support of other passionate parkrun people.    

“Many of us started our parkrun journey at the nearby Cleveland parkrun, with the fantastic event team there who inspire so many others.   

“I was attending a launch at another parkrun in Logan, when the event ambassador approached me to have a chat about a beautiful course he’d seen at Redland Bay, looking to join the parkrun family.   

“A couple more chats and visits to the park, and we were off on the journey of starting a new parkrun.   

“It has truly changed my life. 

“People tell you this beforehand, but I just assumed they were exaggerating.

“What a wonderful privilege to deliver this event for the community each week. 


Cheryl says Redland Bay is a relaxed and friendly parkrun with people who just love starting the weekend in “such a gorgeous spot” with a bunch of like-minded beautiful people.  

“We love the smiles, the jump shots, the families, the furry friends, and a little cooling shower under the hose afterwards!”

There are toilets, taps and shelter in the park, and a “great” playground for the kids. Cheryl says the swings overlooking the bay are extremely popular.

And if you get hot on the run? 

“We have some regulars who are partial to a dip in the bay after crossing the finish line.” 

Cheryl says many first timers comment about how friendly their parkrun is.  She says their volunteers like to encourage interaction and a supportive atmosphere.

“There are also the views, of course!”

“There are a couple of local spots for great coffee or breakfast, including down by the ferry terminal, where dolphins have been spotted on numerous occasions. 

“Some of our parkrunners also go into Victoria Point (5 minutes away) for breakfast.”

She says after running Redland Bay parkrun parkrunners should choose whatever they feel like.

While at Redland Bay

A trip to North Stradbroke Island is certainly recommended, or a wander up many of the trails at Mt Cotton to take in the views from a higher vantage point. 

The Moreton Bay cycleway winds its way along the bay and is a great option for grabbing some gorgeous photos.

There is plenty of history in the area and a popular winery, Sirromet, which also hosts its own parkrun.

What’s in a name?

Named after the suburb Redland Bay, which was settled in the 1860s-70s. 

You don’t have to look far to appreciate the rich red volcanic soil that supported farms and market gardens with a mix of crops including sugar cane, cotton, rice, pineapples and citrus.  

Redland Bay also hosts a modern ferry terminal, with regular services to multiple bay islands.

Event Profile

Nuriootpa parkrun

Karine Meadley was involved with parkrun way back when Newy was yet to launch.

So when she moved interstate she decided it was what her new home deserved.

Karine is the founding Event Director at Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley, one of the several events to be based in and around wineries.

Nuriootpa is the main commercial centre of the Barossa region, which is about an hour’s drive north of Adelaide.

“Dave Robbo and I are both physios and we worked for a business based in Newcastle. He was setting up Newy and needed some guinea pigs to test the course, so we went along to help out. 

“I had never heard of parkrun before, despite being from the UK. Newy was then our local but was more than an hour away, so we didn’t get to go much, until we moved to the Barossa and set up Nuri.”


Karine and her husband Michael moved to the Barossa from the Hunter region in New South Wales. Karine had run just a couple of times at Newy.

“I was surprised the Barossa didn’t have a parkrun, although when I started exploring possible courses, it was actually quite hard to find a suitable spot.

“Eventually I worked out a course in Nuriootpa and consider the whole project my “first baby”.

“While going through the process I realised I was pregnant with my real baby, and ran out of time.

“Eventually we launched Nuri parkrun in September 2017 when my real baby was four months old.”

Nuriootpa launched with 88 finishers and nine volunteers. It averages 35 finishers a week with an average finish time of 35:36.

“Our parkrun is an opportunity to catch up and get moving with a friendly group of locals including a few feathered friends, with a healthy mix of parkrun tourists each week, in a beautiful location. 

“Then of course the delicious coffee after.”

The course

Karine describes it as a friendly “boutique “ parkrun located in the beautiful Coulthard Reserve, surrounded by “glorious old gum trees and birdsong”. 

“Walk past the Bush chapel, to reach the start where you will be met by friendly, welcoming locals. 

“Then enjoy two laps through the park passing the Barossa Bushgardens and some Barossan vines along the way.

“It’s the perfect way to work up an appetite for some Barossan gourmet experiences for the rest of the weekend.”

She says they wanted to call the parkrun Barossa parkrun but were advised against it because the Barossa region is so big  and it was hoped more parkruns would pop up. 

She says visitors say they’re glad it’s two laps so they can see what they missed on the first time around.

“Unfortunately, post-baby, running is no longer an option for me. Just seeing my husband Michael and Mackenzie participate, and volunteering seems to be enough of a draw.

“I NEVER thought I would say something like that. I get my fitness fix on parkrunday by cycling 30km to get there instead these days.”

After parkrun they head to Fleur Social for delicious coffee and “any bagel option”.

While in Nuriootpa

Even though there are 42 wineries around Nuriootpa, there’s more to the Barossa Valley than visiting cellar doors.

But if wine is your thing get yourself on a winery tour, or even have a go at making your own.

There are many different tours on offer, in a variety of vehicles but for a birds eye view you can go hot ballooning.

On the ground there’s the Barossa Bushgardens, chocolate factory, farmers markets, Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park and bike tracks if you want to be active.

What’s in a Name

The first records of the name Nuriootpa are from 1852, and there is some debate as to the meaning of the name. While it is agreed that the word is a local Aboriginal word, there are different accounts of the story. 

One suggestion is that Nuriootpa is a derivative of Nguraitpa, meaning ‘neck country’, an indication of local ancestral spirits. 

Event Profile

Mt Clarence parkrun

Mt Clarence parkrun is an event that lives up to its expectations. Not only do participants run around the undulating base of Mt Clarence, but there’s a double dose, with Mt Adelaide’s base thrown in too.

Mt Clarence parkrun is situated in Albany, Western Australia.

It launched on August 23, 2014, with 70 finishers and six volunteers.

It has an average of 62 finishers and average finish time of 32:16.

About the course

The course runs around a headland in Albany. Co-Event Director Penny Simpson describes it as “very challenging”, with around 100m of elevation and “virtually no flat bits”.

“But participants are rewarded with stunning views, including whales at the right time of year.

“Our attendance fluctuates seasonally but is often around 100, which we think is a perfect size, and the volunteers and regulars are super friendly.

“We also have lots of walkers and a great relaxed atmosphere.”

How it started

Penny says that Mt Clarence was started by Bill Irving, who is now the Event ambassador.

“He ‘Strava stalked’ me and other Albany runners to drum up interest for the inaugural event.

“We are a long way from any other parkruns and I’m sure most of us had never heard of parkrun in 2014.

“A bunch of us turned up for the first event and were hooked. We have never looked back.”

Penny describes the parkrun as undulating.

“It is a hilly run on paved paths apart from the finish (and currently start – we’ve been on an alternative course for quite some time due to works in the area), which is on the beach.

“We have views over harbours and islands, including Princess Royal Harbour, where Albany’s port is located, and run past a statue of explorer Nicolas Baudin and underneath the National Anzac Centre.

“We overlook King George Sound, from where the first Australian ships sailed to World War I.”

How Penny found parkrun

Mt Clarence was Penny’s introduction to parkrun and since 2014 she has run almost 150 parkruns.

“It took me a while to become a really regular participant because I already had a Saturday morning routine that I was a bit unwilling to give up, but now Saturday is just parkrunday!

“I started volunteering very early and discovered that I love it. I took over as ED of Mt Clarence in 2018 and Suzy Wray, also a Mt Clarence parkrunner from the very first event, joined me as co-ED the next year.

“I live a long way from any other parkruns, but when I have the opportunity I always enjoy trying others.

“I’ve run or walked at 29 locations, including Bushy, which is a definite highlight, and volunteered more than 100 times.

“I also introduced my mum to parkrun. She is a regular at Carine Glades parkrun where she completed her 100th parkrun at the age of 78 and is now close to her 50th volunteer day.

Feel good

“I am just amazed that so much goes on in so many locations in Australia and around the world every Saturday morning, making such a difference to so many people – and it’s all run by volunteers!

“It makes me feel good about the world.”

Visitors to Mt Clarence are either thrilled by the views or shattered by the hills, or both, Penny says.

“Almost everyone loves it and says it’s one of the most beautiful parkruns they’ve done.”

After parkrun they head to Three Anchors, which overlooks the parkrun start and finish and the beach.

“I recommend two things from the menu – the avocado on toast and the tofu gnocchi – and I’m not even vegetarian!”

While at Mt Clarence

“There are so many places to visit! Albany is really lovely. We have gorgeous beaches and beautiful bush, and two mountain ranges, the Porongurups and the Stirlings, close by.

“We’re at the end of the Bibbulmun Track, a stunning long-distance hiking track, and the Munda Biddi, a long distance trail for mountain bikes.

“There are many great day walks, including Bald Head overlooking the ocean and Luke Pen along the beautiful Kalgan River.

“There are very good museums including the modern National Anzac Museum and Albany’s Historic Whaling Station. The views from Mt Clarence, Mt Adelaide and Mt Melville are fantastic.” – Penny Simpson

What’s in a Name

This well-known memorial-bearing mountain in Albany was named after the British Duke of Clarence, who later became King William IV. It has recently been officially joint named with its original Noongar name Corndarup, meaning ‘place of red berries’.

The English name may have been bestowed by George Vancouver in 1791, or by Matthew Flinders in 1801.

Event Profile

Quinns Rocks parkrun

Forget about the quest for a Q, Quinns Rocks is the parkrun to go for the quintessential Western Australia experience.

The coastal parkrun offers visiting dolphins and beautiful stretches of beach on top of the cheery community.

“We are fortunate to belong to a beautiful coastal parkrun that follows a winding path through the bushland close to the beach,” says Quinns Rocks event director Duncan Wild.

“The key aspect that makes our parkrun a great place to spend a Saturday morning has to be the wonderful people: both the runners and walkers and of course our absolutely brilliant volunteers.”

Boutique parkrun

“We are a small parkrun, with numbers ranging from 70-120 depending on the season.

“As we are small, we see familiar faces every week, and also love to welcome new runners and parkrun tourists (travel restrictions permitting of course).

“We are an attraction for the alphabet crew being one of the few parkrun events that begin with a Q.”

Quinns Rocks launched in January 2017, and is the northernmost metropolitan parkrun in Perth.

At the launch there were 245 finishers and 14 volunteers, though the event has an average of 93 finishers.

How it started

Quinns Rocks was started by Shirley and Ben Treasure who wanted an event for their community.

“Shirley and I used to attend Joondalup parkrun with our two young children, which we enjoyed immensely,” says Ben.

“We did not, however, enjoy the 20 minute drive there and back so much!

“We considered beginning a local event and gathered together a group of running buddies to create enough of a volunteer base to give us the confidence to launch a local event.

“Having the support of reliable and capable volunteers was essential to starting and maintaining a parkrun.

“We are delighted the event continues to create a safe and supportive space for people to be together, run, walk and enjoy the outdoors.”

About the course

Duncan says the parkrun, while one that challenge chasing parkrunners may have in their sights for a Q, is not one you would save for a PB run.

“Our course has three hill climbs (and descents) in the first 2km of the run, with up and back hills from the beachside path up to the local access roads.

“The hills are followed by an out and back section, and we then run back past the start line to a second turn around, before returning back to the start and a well-earned pat on the back and coffee!”

“We are often treated to dolphins swimming along the foreshore, and the run ends near Quinns Beach which features a shark net enclosure during the warmer months, making it perfect for an after run dip in the ocean.”

Duncan says first timers who live in the area become regulars thanks to the encouraging community.

“We pride ourselves on the fact that our local first timers come back again and then become our regulars! parkrun tourists say the same when they visit us for the first time, that they love the community feel and the support.

“Sure, the hills are certainly not a massive draw card, however we make up for it with our cheery faces and willingness for a chat and coffee afterwards.

“After parkrun our runners generally head into Portofinos for a coffee. The restaurant is situated right at the start and finish line.

“Portofinos do a mean banana bread, with toasted being the preferred option of course! They also have great breakfast options, and a great range of coffee, teas, milkshakes, cakes, and cupcakes.”

While at Quinns Rocks…

“Simply put, visitors must go to the beach after the run. Quinns Beach, which is closest to the start and finish line, has a shark net for safe swimming, while nearby smaller beaches between sheltering groynes are perfect to visit too.

“You can always find a spot that makes you feel like you’re the only people there.

“Another attraction in the area is the nearby Mindarie Marina where there are pubs and restaurants, plus a boardwalk to amble along.”

What’s in a Name?

In 1867 Assistant Surveyor James Cowle recorded an offshore reef and decided to name it after Robert Quin, his predecessor, who had carried out early surveys of parts of WA near Perth.

In 1925 the Wanneroo Road Board added an ‘n’ when they named the area “Quinns Rocks” while planning a road to that part of the coast.

Event Profile

Mosman parkrun

When Mosman parkrun started it immediately hit a hurdle.

The initial course at Balmoral Beach in Sydney welcomed 102 parkrunners to its launch in October 2013.

By the start of the next week the event was cancelled. Mosman co-event director Simon Mackley has been involved from the beginning.

The event was started by Kathryn Hodgkinson, who Simon says caught the parkrun bug after only running a few times at Curl Curl.

Getting involved

“Mary Botto and myself saw a post put out by parkrun Australia and they put us all in contact.”

Simon and Mary – now co-Event Directors – both volunteered at that launch event, along with Kathryn and Megan Hopley.

“Council approached us the next week and said we didn’t have the right approvals and they wanted to help us find another place to run,” says Simon.

“It was at a time when a lot of personal trainers were using the park for profit.

“Council soon realised that parkrun met their objectives of a free community activity and in March we had a new location at Spit West.

“Mosman Council have been very supportive.”

Volunteers at Christmas, Mary is RD, Simon third left

The event

Mosman parkrun meets on the land of the Cammeraygal people of the Eora nation.

It averages 50 parkrunners a week, and is therefore one of the smallest Sydney events.

All of the 10 nearest parkruns have averages of more than 100 parkrunners, with some in the 200s.

The course is three laps, by the water “with a sting in the tail”.

“We have a small, sharp hill at one end of the course. We get a few reactions about the hill and people asking for a photo with the view.

“We run most of the course next to a quiet part of Sydney Harbour.

“Being three laps you are always passing participants and able to encourage each other.”

Simon’s parkrun story

Simon has been a parkrunner since 2012.

“I was lucky enough to be bet by my stepbrother to run my fastest 5k at St Peters’ inaugural event in 2012.

“It was New South Wales’ first parkrun.

“I managed to beat my previous fastest time and was hooked from day one. In the early days I couldn’t go that often as we had a new baby.

“When Curl Curl opened up much closer to me, I moved there and then took the opportunity to be on the core team at Mosman for the past six years.

“I had been closing in on my 250th run before COVID hit and only have 11 to go.

“Before Covid hit I had an overseas trip booked to run in Singapore on my way to run my 250th at Bushy.

“I love trying to knock off the challenges.

“Three years ago I joined the Event Ambassador team and am so lucky to work with some amazing teams across the North Shore/Northern Beaches of Sydney and Dolls Point (just south of the airport, along Botany Bay).”

Simon says the current café of choice for Mosman parkrun is Chaos Café, and he recommends the pancakes.

“They really do look like cakes.”

While at Mosman

Balmoral Beach, home of the first Mosman parkrun, is a lovely harbour beach that looks out to the heads of Sydney Harbour.

Taronga Zoo is another big crowd pleaser as it has an awesome view of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The zoo is in the suburb of Mosman so you don’t have to travel far. Also in Mosman is the Sydney Harbour National Park, which is made up of five small harbour islands, rugged sandstone cliffs, bushland and beaches.

Mosman is home to many beaches and parks, as well as the Mosman Art Gallery.

What’s in a Name…

Mosman is the name of the suburb.

It’s named after Archibald Mosman (1799–1863) and his twin brother George, who moved onto land in the area in 1831.

They were involved in shipping, and founded a whaling station on a bay in the harbour, which became known as Mosman Bay.

Event Profile

Edinburgh Oval parkrun

Five other parkruns in the neighbourhood didn’t put off the team behind Edinburgh Oval parkrun.

Since it launched in February 2020 with 322 parkrunners it’s found its stride with an intimate group of 50 parkrunners on average.

Edinburgh Oval parkrun takes place in the grounds of Curtin University, Perth.

Mark Kerr (A830028), founding event director, had been running at parkrun since 2014 and is a Curtin University staff member.

“I guess ALL parkruns are a great place to spend a Saturday morning and I can’t really understand why anyone wouldn’t spend a Saturday morning at parkrun.

“It is awesome to see and welcome familiar faces over a period of time and to slowly get to know them in a welcoming, friendly and supportive environment.

“Also, with a smaller crowd the chance to nab a low numbered finish token can be appealing, as well as the opportunity to tick off an “E” on your alphabet challenge.”

Edinburgh Oval’s origin

Mark says a parkrun at Curtin University had been on his mind for a long time before it got legs due to the grounds and facilities available.

“However, there are five other parkruns within about 6-7km of Curtin and the University was undertaking some extensive building works so I put off the idea until the works would be completed a few years down the track.

“Just as I had put the idea to sleep I randomly bumped into a member of staff from Curtin Stadium and mentioned to her about parkrun and if they had heard of it.

“Amazingly, the topic of parkrun had been raised at one of their meetings a couple of days earlier and she was keen to meet up and explore the opportunity.

“A few days later, I sat down with representatives from Curtin Stadium as well as the Curtin Properties Place Activation team and we set to.”

Photos by Mark Baldwin

“They loved the concept as it fitted perfectly with their goal to bring community onto campus and, amazingly, were very happy to pay the start-up fee in full.

“They also very generously offered for us to utilise toilets, provided a storage locker and signed our landowner permission – we are forever grateful and in their debt.

“I promised to get the ball rolling, got in contact with parkrun and started the process of building an event team.

“Everything fell in to place and from initially putting the idea to sleep in August 2019 we launched with 322 parkrunners and an awesome event team in February 2020.”

The course

Edinburgh Oval parkrun’s main attraction is the Avenue of Trees, an out-and-back section that parkrunners experience twice.

The course is a two-lap out-and-back course around Edinburgh Oval with the Avenue of Trees dog-leg.

“We have four hairpin turns and some sharp corners so it is not a fast course, but we are pretty much pancake flat and finish on an ever so slight downhill section!

“We get feedback on how pretty the course and surrounds are as well as how friendly everyone is, which is lovely to hear.

“We also get plenty of “thanks for my E” from the alphabet tourists.”

Mark’s story

After parkrun the place to go is The Carnaby Café in the Curtin Stadium, but the building works are due to be completed soon offering another café option.

Mark says he’s looking forward to sampling the menu.

Mark got into parkrun after his wife, Ngaio, learned of it. Their first parkrun was at Canning River parkrun in March 2014.

“We slowly embedded parkrun in our lives, around kids sport and other things. In 2016 I joined the Event Team at Canning River where I RD’d for a couple of years.

“I also helped with a few RDs at Shelley parkrun when it launched and built an event team.

“Touring has always been a big part of our parkrun journey and collecting finish token number 500 at Bushy parkrun in 2016 has definitely been a highlight along with completing my 49th and 50th different events in Malaysia and Singapore.

“Obviously travel and parkrun tourism is on pause at the moment, which suits me fine, as we build a new parkrun family at Edinburgh Oval.”

While at Edinburgh Oval

Curtin University has a disc golf course but if you’re more daring why not visit Matagarup Zip+Climb?

This is a climb up to the top of the Matagarup Bridge and an opportunity to zipline 400m across the Swan River.

No visit to Edinburgh Oval would be complete without stopping in at the Manning Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday.

Mark says it is “a wonderful market for just a coffee and wander or to do your weekly shop”.

There are also boat and segway tours and bike hire but if you’re looking for something unique, go for a tour around The Perth Mint.

What’s in a Name…

Edinburgh Oval parkrun is named after the oval the course runs around.

The oval was named in honour of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh for his visit to the Western Australian Institute of Technology’s Bentley campus in March 1971.

The institution is now named Curtin University.

Event Profile

Coombs parkrun

Coombs parkrun Event Director Tim Grainger describes Canberra as a hidden treasure – and not just for its seven parkrun events.

There’s plenty on offer for visitors of all persuasions, but start your weekend with a parkrun.

Coombs parkrun is one of the ACT’s smaller events, with an average of 109 finishers since it launched on March 17 2018.

At the launch event there were 260 finishers and 20 volunteers.

“Like any other parkrun, Coombs is all about community,” Tim says.

“It’s one of Canberra’s smaller events, so participants don’t feel lost in the crowd, and will generally always find a familiar face. There’s a real sense of inclusion, acceptance and belonging for everyone.

“As a relatively young event in a new suburb of Canberra, Coombs has been built on accessibility, inclusiveness and encouragement for all participants – regardless of whether they’re young or old, fast or slow, running or walking, or the number of parkruns they’ve done.

“Above all, it’s about having fun and providing an opportunity to end the week – and start the weekend – with positive vibes and smiles all around.”

About Coombs

Tim says Coombs came about following significant growth of parkrun across Canberra and demand for an additional event in Canberra’s south-western suburbs.

“Add a small working party, local stakeholder engagement and a very generous (albeit anonymous) financial backer, and Coombs was up running, jogging and walking.

“Beyond a great sense of community, Coombs is a really enjoyable course.

“It’s an out-and-back that follows the Murrumbidgee River, with just enough undulations to make it challenging but not overwhelming for those new to parkrun or in the early stages of their fitness journey.

“There’s a mix of paved and unpaved paths, and plenty of space for walkers, doggos and parents with prams.”

He says first timers say they feel like they’ve been part of the Coombs family for much longer.

Tim’s background

Tim started parkrunning in 2014 and at the time of writing (during ACT’s parkrun pause) he sits on 200 events and 54 volunteers.

He’s run in Canada, USA and New Zealand and at 15 Australian events, including six of the seven in ACT (only missing Wagi Bridge).

“I found parkrun – and got into it – through a colleague who casually mentioned it during a staff function.

“Ironically, she wasn’t a runner, and that was early 2014, so it shows you how much of a thing parkrun was even back then.

“I did my first event and really enjoyed it.

“While I was a fairly regular runner, and had been working on getting faster/longer/etc, I’ve never really liked the competitive nature of organised events.

“That’s especially so for running races, where getting people to talk about anything, except running, was near impossible.

“Of course, getting people to talk about anything except parkrun remains near impossible.

“parkrun provided a good means to work on speed and time, without the attitude I often found at other competitive events.”


“After a few weeks, and getting to know other regulars, it quickly became a terrific means of distraction from the grind of Monday to Friday.

“I’ve made some close friends through parkrun, seen several professional and romantic relationships blossom, and been lucky enough to enjoy that in locations across Australia and around the world.

“I think the number of parkrun events in Canberra is about right.

“We’ve struck a balance where each event now has its own unique feel, and a critical mass to support it – both in the regular number of participants, and most importantly, volunteers.”

Tim says post-parkrun coffee is held at a number of places and there are many options for visitors.

“In the spirit of parkrun being impartial and apolitical, we’ll refrain from any recommendations beyond saying they’re all very good!”

While at Coombs parkrun

Canberra is a hidden treasure for visitors to Australia. Canberra is often overlooked in the shadow of the bigger cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

But it offers some of the country’s best cultural institutions (including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and host of others).

There’s also great and varied dining, and no end of running, riding and cycling options for those who like being outdoors.

There’s a reason we’re called the Bush Capital!

-Tim Grainger

What’s in a Name…

Coombs parkrun is named for the Canberra suburb in which it is located.

The suburb honours HC “Nugget” Coombs, a prominent public servant, economist, and the first Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

This profile originally featured in Issue 7 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

Lochiel parkrun

Lochiel parkrun was fairly anonymous outside of South Australia until a parkrunner called Caitlin Adams turned up one August morning.

On August 7 she ran a 15:38, finishing 10th out of a field of 272 and in doing so claimed both the Australian women’s record and the Global women’s record.

Event director Janet Reid (A615803)says she was helping set up the event for the day when she noticed a group of runners in matching kit had arrived.

“I recognised one of them as Jess Trengove, two time Olympian, and realised that this was Team Tempo, an elite group of running athletes.

“I went over to welcome them and had a chat with them all and then got back to putting out the volunteer vests while they headed off for a warm up.”


“The briefing was done and it was time to start. I was delayed talking to the RD and headed off just behind the tail walkers.

“Then I saw it – a blue vest coming towards me, followed by another, and another.

“I looked at my Garmin, I had completed 800m and the front runners were passing me.

“For a brief, glorious moment, I was within an arm’s reach of these elite athletes – even if we were going in opposite directions!

“Out on the course, the air was electric. Whispers of record runs were filtering through.

“A new men’s course record was set by Isaac Heyne, in 14:15, breaking Steve Monaghetti’s record that had stood since 2017, so the excitement was very real.

“But then the buzz grew louder, another new female record at Lochiel.

“We have had three new female records in the last six months. But this was something special as it was not just a Lochiel record, but an Australian and Global record.

“And it had happened right before my eyes – well, actually behind my eyes as I was still outward bound as all this was happening.

“The energy was still palpable when I got back.”

Caitlin Adams after her record-breaking run


“It was made all the more impressive by the fact that our parkrun is not flat, has a very sharp, tight turn-around coupled with the big puddles from earlier rain.

“What struck me the most though, was the willingness and eagerness of all members of Team Tempo to engage with the other parkrunners after the event.

“And later on Caitlin frequently referred to parkrun as being so inclusive and welcoming.

“That made my heart literally jump for joy. Because that is what parkrun is all about – inclusiveness.

“Everyone matters.”


“At Lochiel parkrun, that sense of community is as strong and inclusive as it is diverse.

“We are thrilled that the name of our parkrun is attached to the Global record.”

Lochiel parkrun is an out and back parkrun in Campbelltown, Adelaide.

It launched on September 5, 2015, with 154 finishers and six volunteers.

These days it averages 217 finishers, with a record attendance of 442 in February 2020.

Lochiel parkrun came about via local councillor Matthew Noble and was supported by John Lawrie, who was the Regional Ambassador for parkrun at the time.

“We started off small and it just grew,” Janet says.

“We are very fortunate to have an exceptional relationship with the Campbelltown Council and have the full support of the chief executive and mayor.

About the course

“Lochiel is a beautiful out and back course under trees, along Linnear Pathway beside the River Torrens.

“We have snoozy koalas, laughing kookaburras, singing magpies, quacking ducks and the occasional slithering snake – very occasional!

“The track is sealed with a little bit of a hill but otherwise flat. Our start area is beside the Lochiel Wetlands, home to many birds.”

Coffee is at the neighbouring Geoff Heath Golf Club.

“They serve the BEST chips in all of South Australia – no, make that the whole of Australia!!

“You will more often than not still find parkrunners sitting chatting at 11.30am enjoying a glass of wine or port with the party breaking up around 2pm.”

While at Lochiel parkrun

Thorndon Park, where the only junior parkrun in SA takes place is a great place to visit.

There is a beautiful reservoir there with a lovely walk around it.

If you are visiting with family make sure you stay for Sunday so as to you’re your children the junior parkrun experience.

Morialta Falls is not too far away. These are a series of three waterfalls and are on a popular walk.

Campbelltown has a large Italian Community, so it goes without saying that there are some superb restaurants in the area, as well as coffee shops.

As mentioned earlier, if golf is your thing, then the hidden gem, Geoff Heath Par 3 Golf Course is for you. – Janet Reid

What’s in a Name…

Lochiel parkrun is named after the surrounding area and wetlands.

It is in Campbelltown, which was named after early Adelaide settler Charles James Fox Campbell, in 1867.

In between 1855 and 1856 much of his land was sold, one parcel became known as Lochiel Park.

In 2014 a new development led to the park as it is today.

This was originally published in Issue 6 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

Event profile: Cambridge NZ parkrun

There’s an unwritten challenge that parkrunners try to run at events that share a name, particularly if their home run is one half.

The twinning of parkruns simply by name has led to friendships that Cambridge NZ event director Brian Prescott (A3119130) never imagined, especially since his role came about by accident.

“I volunteered to help set up Cambridge because I did a bit of running.

“I’d never done a parkrun before then.

“I’ve yet to get in to the tourism side of things – I finally ran Hamilton Lake, which is just up the road, a couple of months ago.”

Getting started

Cambridge NZ parkrun is in the Waikato region of New Zealand, just south of the city of Hamilton.

It’s next door to the Avantidrome, which is the home of New Zealand’s high performance cyclists.

It launched on March 4, 2018.

“Rob Hammington and Lex Chalmers (stalwart Hamilton Lake parkrunners) did all the setting up and then handed it over to Paul Stinton and me as Event Directors.

“We had both put our hands up to help out, never expecting to end up as EDs.

“But here we are.

“Along the way we have built up a core group of volunteers, most notable is Christine Jenkins, who, in the last parkrun before the current lockdown, completed her 200th time volunteering at Cambridge NZ parkrun.

“Paul Stinton is not far behind.

“I couldn’t do it without our core volunteer team of Paul, Christine, Larraine, Jo, Kenny, Sammy and Kyra – thanks guys.”


“The nearest town is Cambridge. But there was already a Cambridge parkrun so we became Cambridge NZ.

“We are one of the few ‘twin’ parkruns in the world and before Covid-19 there were a number of parkrunners who achieved the Cambridge double.

“We have a good relationship with Cambridge parkrun and had their volunteer team join us via a Zoom call when we restarted after the first Covid lockdown.”

Sadly Cambridge parkrun has since announced its closure.

Cambridge NZ launched with 95 parkrunners and nine volunteers.

It has an average finish of 50 parkrunners. Its highest attendance of 170 came on January 1, 2019, when it doubled with Hamilton Lake.

Brian and his daughter Anna aka Fizz

The course

“It’s a ‘mostly flat’ out and back parkrun with the first half being mostly downhill.

“It has a mostly rural outlook with some views of the mighty Waikato River.

“There are a few short and sharp uphills so try to leave something in the tank for the ‘heartbreak hill’ and ‘destroyer of PBs’ at the finish.”

Brian says that because Cambridge NZ attracts a small field it “never gets crowded”.

“And being an out and back course you always get plenty of encouragement along the way.”

Afterwards they head next door to The Bikery Café.

“I always go for the savoury scone, but a lot of people talk about the sausage rolls.”

While at Cambridge NZ parkrun

The Avantidrome is right next to the cafe.

It is free entry unless there is an event on.

You can often see some of the NZ cycling team training. Or for $25 you can do a 1 hour intro to track cycling.

All equipment provided.

Cambridge also has a very good farmer’s market at the village green on Saturdays and there are some excellent shops and cafes in the main street.

If you’re into nature Maungatautari Eco Sanctuary is worth a visit. Cambridge is also the closest parkrun to Hobbiton.

What’s in a Name…

Cambridge was named after the Duke of Cambridge, Commander in Chief of the British Army in 1864.

Its Maori name is Kemureti.

As Cambridge parkrun already existed in the UK, NZ was added as a suffix to signal it was a different Cambridge.

This was originally published in Issue 6 of the Runs With A barcode magazine.

Photos by Andy Walmsley

Event Profile

Mount Isa parkrun

If there’s a world record for the parkrun that got approved in the shortest time Mount Isa might be it.

This Queensland event is one of 20 that came about through the Embracing 2018 Commonwealth Games initiative.

It was so quick off the mark that within 100 hours of learning of funding event director Sarah Choyce (A823227) had everything in place.

The event launched on March 31, 2018 with 102 finishers and 11 volunteers. It averages 52 finishers.

“Our Saturday mornings are a great start to the weekend,” says Sarah.

“In the cooler months (approximately April to September) we often have quite a few visiting parkrunners from all over the country.

“In the warmer months it’s just our core group of runners, walkers and volunteers.

“Mount Isa is a pretty transient town so while our crowd changes a little, we are a welcoming bunch and many great friendships have blossomed at our parkrun.”

“I’m told we have one of the quickest times from application (including from the landowner) to approval in under 100 hours.

“The rush was to meet a funding deadline to ensure Mount Isa parkrun could be one of the 20 new parkruns to be supported by the Embracing 2018 – Commonwealth games initiative.”


“I started parkrunning in 2013 in Toowoomba, encouraged by a friend who was already part of the parkrun family in Townsville.

“I had small children and to get out of the house by myself, be active and have a coffee afterwards sounded like heaven!

“From there my parkrun love began, and when we moved to Mount Isa at the end of 2017 and there wasn’t a parkrun, I joked I’d start one, and well, the planets aligned and I did.

“I’ve met some great people I never would have if it wasn’t for parkrun and I’m so grateful to be part of the parkrun family.”

The Mount Isa course goes along the Leichhardt River.

Sarah says there is only ever water views for a couple of weeks of the year – most of the time it’s just the riverbed.

It’s a two lap course, all on the footpath which is mostly flat.

“It’s pretty kind.

“Our parkrun is fairly remote, apart from Cloncurry (about 1.5 hours away) so visitors are usually pretty happy to find us on their travels.

“For locals, like any parkrun, people are often surprised how easy it is to be involved.”

There’s no dedicated café, find out on the day which one of the locals they are visiting.

“Any coffee always tastes better after a run!”

While at Mount Isa parkrun

With a rich mining history dig deep with a mining tour.

There are plenty on offer, including a visit to the Mary Kathleen Mine, an old uranium open cast mine. When it closed in 1981 the whole town was dismantled.

Visit Lake Moondarra and the hatchery that keeps the lake stocked with fish.

There’s also an underground hospital and Mount Isa is home to the southern hemisphere’s biggest rodeo.

An hour’s drive east is Fountain Springs, where water bubbles through the quartzite fault line.

What’s in a Name…

It’s most likely named after the Mount Ida gold mines in Western Australia after prospector John Campbell Miles was taken with friends’ stories of the mines.

In 1923 he was on an expedition when he found mineral deposits, he and four farmers staked out the first claims in the area.

Mount Isa is on Kalkadoon country.

Event Profile

Mount Ainslie parkrun

Mount Ainslie is known in Canberra parkrun circles as being the only trail parkrun in the territory.

It’s also known for its kangaroos, which have been making their mark since the first event in April 2018.

Co-Event Director Kate Potter says one of the faster runners at that inaugural was taken out by a kangaroo hopping across the track.

“We have kangaroos all the time. Part of our briefing is to keep an eye out for them.”

Kate and her co-ED Ed Hutchinson took over the reins in June, though they have both been parkrunning a number of years.

Their daughters are school friends and thanks to that friendship Kate has made parkrun a big part of her life.

“Ed and I have been running regularly at Mount Ainslie since it started.

“Ed and I are old friends because our kids are at the same school.

“We started parkrun to build everyone’s fitness for snowsports and parkrun quickly became an essential part of our lives.

“We like Mount Ainslie for the wide trails and open spaces and we’re a comparatively smaller parkrun.

“Before that we used to run at Ginninderra, another nice Canberra location.

“We both live closer to Ginninderra, but like us, plenty of people travel a little further to Mount Ainslie each week for the trail running.”

Awesome community

When Mount Ainslie started on April 28, 2018 it had 453 finishers. That attendance remains a record (and is just over twice their second highest attendance to date).

These days the average finishers is 128. Martin Dent’s course record of 15:42 at the launch still remains, over three years later.

Mount Ainslie is an out and back trail run with a couple of challenging inclines.

Kate says their “awesome” parkrun community makes it a great place to be on a Saturday morning.

“We have a great range of super fast runners to walkers and everyone in between.

“We have plenty of kids and families and parkrun dogs.

“We have enough regulars to make a welcoming community for first timers and visitors. And of course we have an amazing group of dedicated volunteers.

“We’re Canberra’s only trail run and that makes us special.

“We’re also centrally located. Being so close to the Australian War Memorial makes it special as well.

“We also love our dress up days and get into the spirit of being creative and having fun!”

After parkrun they head to Poppy’s at the Australian War Memorial.

Kate recommends the caramel slice.

While at Mount Ainslie parkrun

For picture-perfect views of Canberra, you can’t go past a visit to Mount Ainslie.

Walk, cycle or drive to the lookout and enjoy the impressive scenery, lovely at all times but a particular treat at sunrise and sunset.

Take in Lake Burley Griffin and many of Canberra’s national attractions, framed by picturesque mountain ranges.

See how Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for the city has been brought to life from the summit.

The War Memorial is nearby, entry is free but timed tickets must be booked.

There are other memorials, museums and galleries nearby.

What’s in a Name…

Mount Ainslie is named in honour of Jaimes Ainslie, a 19th Centrury settler, who was the overseer on Duntroon, a large property in the area.

The suburb of Ainslie, originally part of Duntroon, is also named after him.

After 10 years at Duntroon he returned to Scotland. He died in jail aged 60 while awaiting trial on a charge of assault.

Event Profile

Millwater parkrun

Think of Auckland parkruns and most visitors will name Cornwall Park and Western Springs.

In the northern reaches of the city is the hidden gem of Millwater.

It was the lucky seventh parkrun to start in New Zealand, and the third in Auckland.

When it launched in September 2014 it had 56 finishers. These days it has an average of 107.

“We are an amazing supportive community of parkrunners and volunteers, where friendships have been made, health goals achieved, and all in the vicinity of the beautiful Te Ara Tahuna Estuary,” says co-event director Claire Taylor.

“Millwater is a fairly flat and fast out-and-back course on a concrete path.

“Just a few undulating hills add interest as the course leaves the Metro Park Sports Field and winds itself along onto the Te Ara Tahuna estuary.

“First timers usually say we’re a friendly bunch, who like to have fun!

“People enjoy our course, as they often get a decent time, and the wide pathways make it easy to run.”

Getting started

Millwater is one of the events in New Zealand that started because of the sponsorship deal with New Zealand Home Loans in the early days.

There were two couples who got the event off the ground, the Myburghs and the Falconers.

At the time Gavin Myburgh was involved with NZHL.

In 2018 Rhys Spyve took over as event director as the Myburghs moved away from Millwater.

Claire joined as co-ED last year during the 2020 pause.

When parkruns in New Zealand returned in July 2020 Millwater represented Italy and as a result of that celebration they now have a special connection with the European country.

Claire recently celebrated her 250th parkrun.

“When my Dad introduced me to parkrun back in 2014, I had no idea what impact this ‘Free Weekly Timed’ event would have on my life.

“I was in the UK on a flying visit for my sister’s wedding, and Kesgrave parkrun had just started.

“Dad and I had both recently taken up jogging, and this was to be my first organised running event.

“I recall being terribly nervous, and at that stage, I didn’t even own any lycra! I went along in my old trainers, t-shirt and cotton leggings, and puffed my way around with Dad.

“On my return to New Zealand a couple of weeks later, I discovered my closest event was here at Millwater which had, interestingly, started on the same day as Kesgrave.

“I turned up for Event #6 on 25th October 2014.”


“This thing called parkrun has changed my life. I am sure my younger self would be staring in disbelief at me running 5km every Saturday morning.

“I am fitter, stronger and more determined than I ever was in my youth.

“I have made some wonderful friends. Friends of different ages, stages and demographics.

“Friends from an online parkrun community, some of whom I’ve met on the parkrun circuit, some I am yet to meet.”

After parkrun the volunteers and parkrunners head to Millie’s .

It’s one of three local cafes who offer a discount with a parkrun barcode. Millie’s is always buzzing with parkrunners and locals.

“Millie’s are famous for their decadent doughnuts, oozing with different fillings and toppings, but their scones and cronuts are equally mouthwatering,” Claire says.

“They also have a fantastic hot brunch menu, and have some good gluten-free cake options too.”

While at Millwater parkrun…

Auckland doesn’t experience natural snowfall so head to Snowplanet for an indoor wintry experience.

Auckland Adventure Park has lots of fun for the family, including a zipline, luge track and a 4D cinema experience.

You can also explore Wenderholm Regional Park, Silverdale Pioneer Village, The Estuary Arts Centre, Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Cycleway (7.8km loop track), Orewa town and beach, Alice Eaves Scenic Reserve….. there’s so much to do! – Claire Taylor

What’s in a Name…

Millwater is a new suburb of Auckland.

In 2005 a number of themes were developed for naming the area.

The name Millwater combined an element of history (milling Kauri) with the area’s predominant geographical asset, water, which was used to transport the timber.

This was originally published in Issue 5 of the Runs With a Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

Mount Barker parkrun

It’s called Mount Barker but that’s purely for the town this parkrun is in, not because you run up a mountain.

Most parkrunners would be pleased to find it’s flat, but if you want the challenge of an incline then you can always run up the mountain afterwards.

“Several parkrunners run or hike up to the summit regularly where there are spectacular views across the valleys to Mount Lofty near Adelaide, and out to the plains to the east and south,” says co-event director Paul Butler.

Mount Barker is 33km north of Adelaide and is the town nearest to Mount Barker Summit, it’s also the largest town in the Adelaide Hills.

When it started in March 2014 it was the third parkrun in South Australia.

It had 94 finishers and these days averages 156, so the perfect size to not feel lost among runners.


At its 5th birthday in 2019 Mount Barker achieved its current highest attendance of 374.

Mount Barker was the 65th event in Australia.

“We love to catch up with friends and we welcome visitors,” says co-event director Jacqui Johnson.

“It’s a lovely community parkrun and an excellent out-and-back course along the Laratinga Wetlands.”

Mount Barker parkrun was one of the first in the state, bringing parkrun to the Adelaide Hills.

It grew quickly and a very friendly community developed.

“Over the years we have welcomed new Hills parkruns nearby at Charleston, Strathalbyn, Cleland and The Avenues (Kuitpo Forest), and we remain closely connected with them,” says Paul.

“We usually combine with Strathalbyn at Christmas and New Year’s Day.”

The course

“It’s a flat course!! Being called Mount Barker, that surprises a lot of visitors. It follows a creek and then goes alongside lakes where you’ll see plenty of bird life.

“Being an out-and-back course, the community gets to see everyone as they walk, jog or run – and that makes it an extra-friendly morning.”

There’s a meeting area with great facilities and a grassed area under a big old tree for gathering and chatting.

Jacqui says that visitors often comment about how friendly and welcoming the community is, and that the course is a fast one.

Jacqui and Paul both started parkrun when it first came to Mount Barker. The founding event director was Ros Lowe.

“The community is so welcoming and many of us have ventured onto trail running together and other events throughout the hills and beyond,” Paul says.

“We have a fantastic event team of run directors and we make it all lots of great fun!”

parkrun Adventurers

“In March 2020 we hosted PALM 2020 – the parkrun Adventurers podcast Listener Meet-up.

“People came from all over Australia for a weekend of parkrunning, social events and a live recording of the podcast on the grass at the start/finish line.”

Jacqui says parkrun for her is all about the “happy, smiling faces of fellow parkrunners”.

“You see how far they have come from their first ever parkrun, how they make more friends, become more confident and outgoing, feel fitter and healthier.

“We are so lucky at Mount Barker with the gorgeous Laratinga Wetlands, with a view of Mount Barker Summit off to the left as you head out, the superb blue fairy wrens dancing around the side of the path, various water birds, frogs and sometimes even turtles to take in both on the way out and on the way back.

“Being relatively flat it is good for those just starting out in their fitness, as well as those looking to smash a new PB and go all out.


“I recently celebrated my 250th at Mount Barker after starting back in March 2014, and have volunteered 65 times – I think Paul is closer to volunteering over 80 times!

“I also loved it when Jessica Trengove attended on September 23, 2017 and I was Run Director with both my kids getting to meet an Australian Olympian, just as part of their Saturday morning parkrun.

“We all have a lot of fun with our volunteers too, you will see from the videos on our Facebook page that we have had a Mannequin Challenge, done a rendition of Ed Sheeran’s with “I’m in love with my parkrun” .

“We are soooo lucky to have both Paul and Charlie Butler as part of our regular team given their roles as Photography Ambassadors.

“We also had fun taking turns with livestreams during lockdown to keep fellow parkrunners going last year.

“The time put in goes well beyond just a Saturday morning to create that warm, fuzzy atmosphere that is Mount Barker parkrun.”

PALM 2020


Two of Mount Barker run directors are reporters for the podcast – PK (Paul Kitching) and Grette Wilkinson.

PK says the wetlands are “just beautiful” with lots of birdlife and riverlife nearby to admire along the way.

“I love parkrun as it is always encouraging people to be active, is totally inclusive, helps people meet others and gives people a chance to volunteer,” he says.

“One or my best memories was in 2019 when we had a famous South African visitor, Tim Jenkin.

“I was fortunate to take him to parkrun and wrote a blog about it for the parkrun blog.

“In 1978 he was sentenced to 12 years in Pretoria Central Prison but managed to escape using wooden keys he’d secretly made with two other prisoners.

“In April 2019 Daniel Radcliffe was in South Australia filming the movie Escape from Pretoria about Tim’s story.

“Tim was in Adelaide to visit the film set. When he was asked what he wanted to do on Saturday he replied “parkrun.”.

“A fellow parkrunner was working on the film and put Tim in touch with me.

“Tim did interviews in the car on the way up, had a great run, and even hung around for coffee after.”

There is a cafe at the start/finish line, and several cafes in the main street.

Paul says the best thing to get is the coffee!

What to do when at Mount Barker

A visit to Mount Barker Summit is a must do for visitors.

Other activities are the Hills Sculpture Trail, the Ukaria Culture Centre and a variety of artisan food and drink establishments.

These include Prancing Pony Brewery and the Ngeringa Vineyard. Visit nearby Hahndorf, an artisan German village.

Mount Barker is also home to the SteamRanger Heritage Railway, which operates the Southern Encounter steam train to Strathalbyn and Goolwa to Victor Harbor.

As well as the Laratinga Wetlands, which you run through at parkrun, there’s also the Totness Recreation Park to explore.

What’s in a Name…

Mount Barker parkrun is named after the town in which it is found, which is near Mount Barker Summit.

The Summit is a place of historic and cultural significance, and home to the original custodians, the Peramangk people.

The Ngarrindjeri people from the east also used the summit for ceremonial and burial sites.

It was named by Captain Charles Sturt in 1830 in honour of Captain Collett Barker.

This was originally published in Issue 5 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

Hamilton parkrun

If you fancy a “cruisey lap of a lake” then Hamilton parkrun is the parkrun for you.

This Hamilton-named event is in Hamilton, Victoria, a large town in the south-western part of the state.

It’s based at Lake Hamilton, Rippon Road, and is a clockwise lap of the lake.

Its parkrun dates back to 2014 when founding event directors Diane and Bryan Barrera first learned of the free 5km event.

At that time Diane was pregnant with daughter Amina.

Co-event director Cindy Riddle says they were inspired by the concept and completing one once Amina was born became a goal.

In May 2015 they all completed their first parkrun at Mount Gambier parkrun in South Australia.

The beginning

Four months later plans were in full swing to start the event in Hamilton with a couple of trial runs that September with around 25 people at each.

“We thought that if we could get 30 people to our launch then we would be happy,” Cindy says.

“On Saturday, October 10 our event team officially launched Hamilton parkrun.

“We set up early and waited eagerly hoping for our 30 participants.

“Smiling faces kept walking down the path, excited to begin their parkrun journey. We were absolutely blown away and completely humbled to have 123 participants at Hamilton parkrun Event #1.

“To date, this still remains our highest attendance.

“We have seen run directors come and go but Diane and Bryan have been there with us through it all.”


“It has been such a privilege to help make their parkrun dream a reality and to see Amina grow up with parkrun as part of her weekly routine.

“Not only are the Barreras the founders of Hamilton parkrun, they are lifelong friends – our parkrun family.”

Hamilton parkrun averages 61 finishers each week and Cindy says there’s a smile waiting for every parkrunner.

“No matter the weather, Hamilton parkrun always feels warm. Hamilton parkrun is extremely family friendly.

“Our event begins right next to the Lakes Edge Adventure Playground making it a great place to gather and chat while the children play.”


“So many people have shared heartwarming stories of how Hamilton parkrun has changed their life.

“Stories of overcoming anxiety and depression, making lifelong friends, feeling included, smashing health and fitness goals. We even have a local GP who refers patients to parkrun, it’s that good!

“Together we have had our fair share of lows but have also celebrated the highs.”

Cindy says she learned of parkrun in August 2015 when she saw a social media post asking for volunteers for a new health and fitness initiative in Hamilton.

She put her hand up and was introduced to Diane, who quickly signed her up as a run director.

“From our first pre-launch meeting, I knew that parkrun was something different to anything I’d been involved in before, something more.

“It felt like a little family beginning a big adventure.

“We have always had an incredible supportive event team creating a relaxed and welcoming environment for volunteers and runners alike.”

“My parkrun commitment has been adaptable to every stage of my life – running PB’s, volunteering while heavily pregnant, walking with a pram, then a double pram! And now running with a dog and my eldest daughter.

“Our parkrun family has been through many highs and lows – birthdays, weddings, babies, cancer treatment, weekly coffee catch-ups, track changes, the mystery of stolen gear, sadly funerals and now a pandemic.

“There are so many stories to be told.

“No matter what life throws at us, parkrun is always there and our team holds each other up.”

Hamilton parkrun’s post-parkrun coffee is at The Roxburgh on Thompson St. Cindy says around 20-30 people usually head there.

“I can’t go past the Smashed Avo but I think others would agree that the banana bread is the go to!

“Ask my children and they say toastie and babycino!”

While at Hamilton parkrun

Hamilton is an hour away from the seaside (Port Fairy, Warrnambool), 20 minutes from the foot of the Grampians (Dunkeld) and only 2.5 hours from the city (Geelong).

The Wannon and Nigretta falls are both less than 15 minutes out of Hamilton – a must see, especially after a big downpour.

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is a UNESCO world heritage site and contains one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems built at least 6,600 years ago by the Gunditjmara people.

We are absolutely spoilt for choices here in the Western District of Victoria.

There are so many activities that choosing what to do can be tricky!

– Cindy Riddle

What’s in a Name…

Hamilton parkrun is named for the town it is held in.

The town was surveyed in 1849 and gazetted as Hamilton in 1851.

It is believed that it was named after Hamilton near Glasgow in Scotland owing to a large number of Scottish settlers living in the district.

This was originally published in issue 4 of Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

Invercargill parkrun

For a while Invercargill parkrun was a sought after parkrun for challenge collectors.

Not for its I but for the fact it was the world’s most southerly parkrun.

That mantel was lost when Cape Pembroke Lighthouse parkrun launched, but still, Invercargill remains New Zealand’s most southerly (and westerly) and an event to visit in its own right.

Invercargill is in the Southland region of New Zealand, and just 20km from the most southern town of Bluff.

It had its inaugural run on February 10, 2018 with 103 finishers. It averages 108 each week.


Event director Liz Henry says it’s the community that makes it the place to be on a Saturday morning.

“We have such a wonderfully positive group of people who join us for parkrun,” she says.

“I love that they can choose to come when it works for them and they know that we will be there when they come.

“It is an awesome thing that people feel confident in being able to come when they can. And equally really cool are the people that come every week.”

The course

Invercargill parkrun is one of the few single lap courses in New Zealand.

It traverses in and around Queen’s Park, mostly on sealed paths.

“Our parkrun is an energetic, friendly and inclusive event which takes you on a journey through perhaps one of the most stunning and most English of parks in New Zealand.

“The course itself is easier to find your way around than the map shows! We have many marshals to ensure that you have a supported morning jaunt.

“We start and finish at the duckponds, and take you on a journey through our beautiful rose gardens, it includes enjoying the wide expansive path that goes through a stunning walkway of English Beech and Silver Birch trees.

“Known as Coronation Avenue, it is the axis from which all parts of the park can be found and history and nature merge along the way.”

Liz’s story

Liz was recently recognised for her contribution to parkrun, she was nominated for Adminstrator of the Year at the Southland Sports Awards.

She got parkrun off the ground after a couple of visits to Australia.

“In 2016 I was on the Gold Coast for New Year’s with my sister who lived there. She made me go to parkrun (Main Beach).

“I came last, well, last before the Tail Walker and when I came through there were 365 people still waiting for me to finish and clapping me through.

“I was a bit embarrassed but also thought it was pretty cool.

“My thought was if Australia can do it then what can Kiwis do, I thought we could step it up here.

“I came back to New Zealand, made some enquiries and saw Dunedin was my closest one, but having done my studies there, there was no way I was running up that hill in the Botanical Gardens.

“Later that year I went to Adelaide for a cousin’s wedding and we all did parkrun (Torrens).

“It was a good way for everyone to get together and do something before the wedding. Again, there was a similar vibe.”

Invercargill’s launch

“After that I got thinking about setting one up in Invercargill. “It took us eight months to get a course sorted.

“We were just about to go live when council decided to dig up most of the park for drainage so we had to wait another seven months.

“When we first set up we thought 60 would be a success and that was the number we gave council to get permission to run.

“Six months later we were getting over 100 and they were blown away.

“They hadn’t seen that many people in the park at that time before. About half of our field are walkers.

“We might not be the most southerly any more but we’re the most accessible, southerly parkrun – Invercargill is easier and cheaper to get to than the Falkland Islands.”

After parkrun parkrunners visit The Cheeky Llama Cafe in the middle of the park.

“I go for the hash browns and eggs with bacon.

“Admittedly, it isn’t officially on the menu. But it has become a thing that many of us enjoy for a post parkrun brunch, along with a coffee of your choice of course!”

While in Invercargill

Bill Richardson’s Transport World is one of the most highly rated attractions in the city and is a must for anyone remotely interested in automobiles.

It is one of the largest private collections of vehicles found anywhere in the world with over 300+ vehicles on display.

Despite being in a naturally colder part of the city, Invercargill still boasts some magnificent beaches within its borders.

Oreti Beach is definitely one of those and is a long stretch of beach characterised by hard-packed sand that you can drive on.

It’s a great one for just about any beach-activity you can imagine.

Also known for being a great spot to capture an amazing sunset.

Solve It and Escape, escape room experience in Invercargill.

We also have a great selection of wonderful cafes and restaurants to choose from!! – Liz Henry

What’s in a Name…

Invercargill parkrun is named for the city it’s in.

Inver comes from the Scottish Gaelic word inbhir meaning a river’s mouth. Cargill is in honour of Captain William Cargill, who was at the time the Superintendent of Otago, of which Southland was then a part.

This was originally published in issue 4 of Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

Queenstown parkrun

You’d be hard-pressed not to find a reason to visit Queenstown parkrun.

It’s the only Q parkrun in New Zealand, but also finds itself nestled among some of the most breath-taking scenery.

Add to that the variety of experiences visitors can enjoy while in town and its surrounds, well you might as well just book a trip now!

Queenstown parkrun started on June 9, 2018 with 93 finishers.

It averages 76 finishers a week but post pause its numbers have avergaed at 59 a week. The run is two laps around the Queenstown Gardens.

The course

“It’s a gently undulating course but you get a little bit of everything, footpaths, trail, forest, lake views, mountain views,” says event director Chris Seymour.

“We have views of the Remarkables Mountains and they’re pretty and unrivalled.

“I’m not biased in any way but it’s a beautiful view, especially in winter if you have a clear day, with the snow-capped mountains across the lake.

“Our event is run through the botanical gardens then through a pine forest, so you pop out and go from super sunny to completely shaded.

“When you leave the forest, you get the view of the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.

“Every tourist goes OMG when they see the mountains, it’s almost like you have to remember to turn.

‘You don’t want to get too stunned by the view and end up in the lake!”

The event cancels once a year for the Queenstown Marathon and is a 9am start in winter, along with Invercargill, Wanaka, Balclutha and Dunedin parkruns.


It was when Chris moved from Australia to New Zealand that Queenstown parkrun was born.

“I started running parkrun in Sydney. Before moving to New Zealand, I lived in Australia for eight years.

“I’d gotten into distance running and one of my colleagues was a triathlete. He said I should check out parkrun and told me how to find my closest event.

“After looking it up and thinking it was pretty cool, I joined in at St Peters parkrun in 2016 which was the first in Sydney. I loved it.

“Two years later my wife, Jamie, and I decided to move to Queenstown full time for a lifestyle change – we had some land and had built a holiday house.

“We started looking up the closest parkruns and there was none.

“I heard that Wanaka was going to start one and that town was smaller than Queenstown and still 100km away.

“I thought to myself “how could Queenstown be the tourism capital of the South Island and not have a parkrun?”

Getting started

“One reason I wanted to get to a parkrun was I didn’t know anyone and thought the running community was where I would meet like-minded people.

“I reached out to Noel and Lian from parkrun NZ through the normal channels and they told me they were coming to Wanaka and I should meet up with them.

“After Wanaka’s inaugural event before Noel and Lian were going to depart from Queenstown I offered to take them on the course.

“My wife and Lian had coffee at a potential parkrun café while I took Noel around Queenstown Gardens.

“He said he thought it would be the most beautiful course in all of New Zealand.”

After parkrun they wander over the road to Yonder Café on Church St, which offers discounts for parkrunners.

“I recommend their Vegan Cinnamon Scrolls! You would never know they were vegan!”

While in Queenstown

Explore the many surrounding trails and lakes or try out one of the many adventure activities.

Good places to visit are Cookie Time Cafe, Fat Badgers Pizza, Fork and Tap in Arrowtown and Fear Factory for New Zealand’s scariest attraction.

Queenstown has many cycle trails and wineries. Hire a bike and visit the wineries, or book onto an organised tour.

Known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, visitors can visit the original Bungy site, go jetboating, skydiving or chill out in the Onsen pools.

What’s in a Name…

There are lots of theories as to how Queenstown got its name.

It was most likely named after Cobh in the Republic of Ireland which in 1849 was renamed Queenstown in honour of Queen Victoria (Cobh reverted to its current name in 1920 during the Irish War of Independence).

Its Māori name is Tāhuna, meaning shallow bay.

This was originally published in issue 4 of Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

The Terrace parkrun

Set on the picturesque Hunter River, The Terrace parkrun offers parkrunners a flat run in serene surroundings.

But one of the perils of being so close to the river is flooding.

Event director Paul Tooney says the return from the Covid pause has been hampered – there were no events in April.

However, The Terrace is an event that shouldn’t be discounted.

“We have a great community vibe and the location by the Hunter River is beautiful,” says Paul.

“There is something peaceful about running or walking by water.”

The start

The Terrace parkrun launched on January 30, 2016 with 693 finishers. After 234 events it averages 110 finishers.

The run is at Raymond Terrace, in the Hunter region of New South Wales.

There are eight other parkruns within 30km.

It all started with founding Event Director Brenton Pobjie who felt like Raymond Terrace could do with a parkrun, Paul says.

He says Jodi Crane had the same idea.

So they talked and then after Jodi contacted parkrun Australia, Brenton felt like it was something he should lead.

“He then set about making out the course (with the help of Matt Rarschke) who had thought about The Terrace for a while too.

“Lettice Gamer joined Brenton as the inaugural Event Directors.

“They launched The Terrace on January 30, 2016 with what was at the time a record launch of 693 finishers and an amazing 31 volunteers.”

The course

The Terrace is set on the riverfront of the Hunter River at Raymond Terrace where the Williams and Hunter Rivers meet.

It’s a mostly flat, two lap course with some mixed terrain of grass, cobblestone and concrete paths.

Paul says visitors say the riverfront location is “beautiful and peaceful”.

“It’s an easy course to follow and the parkrun community at The Terrace are very welcoming.”

Paul’s story

Paul has been a parkrunner since May 2014.

“My daughter wanted to do Newy parkrun but she couldn’t drive at the time or was on her Ls.

“I had to drive her to Newy (about 30 minutes) or supervise her driving there.

“At first I just sat in the car and waited for her, which is a source of laughter when I tell this story.

“I thought it was crazy to drive 30 minutes to run 5km and then drive 30 minutes back home when I could run 5km at home in under 30 minutes.

“She convinced me to do it a couple of times.

“It wasn’t until The Terrace started and it was closer to home that I started going regularly.

“I had some neighbours who did it and we started going for breakfast at Cups N Saucers and met more people and then I was hooked.

“The people are so welcoming at The Terrace and the breakfast is always great so we just kept coming back.”

Cups N Saucers is “a great café” at 5/43 William St, Raymond Terrace.

Paul recommends the eggs benedict with a hot cup of your favourite beverage.

While at The Terrace parkrun

The Hunter Region Botanic Gardens at Heatherbrae is about a five minute drive away.

A little further you can see Fighter World at the Williamtown Air Force Base where you might get to see one of the new F35 Lightning II fighter jets flying about.

To the north is the beautiful Nelson Bay with great beaches, whale watching, fishing and restaurants with great views.

South of The Terrace is Stockton on Newcastle Harbour where you can catch the ferry across to the city of Newcastle.

To the west is the Hunter Valley and the vineyards. – Paul Tooney

What’s in a Name…

The town Raymond Terrace was named after Lieutenant Raymond, who had explored the Hunter River in 1797 and described the terraced appearance of trees in the area.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie camped in the area in 1818, using “Raymond Terrace” as the name for the place where his party had camped.

Raymond Terrace is sometimes referred to as the Terrace.

This was originally published in Issue 3 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

The Ponds parkrun

In the middle of suburban Sydney lies The Ponds parkrun.

It started off on May 30, 2015 with 235 runners at its launch.

Now six years old the event has an average 364 finishers. Its highest attendance was leap day last year with a whopping 708.

Looking through event photos you can see that this event has a diverse group of parkrunners.

Co-event director Charina Giron says the parkrun is unique in that it is centrally located in The Ponds suburb.


Householders can look out from their bedroom or living room window and see a throng of runners on the 3m wide footpath each week.

“Locals can walk to the start line quite easily,” Charina says.

“This is why our event attracts families with very young children, mums and dads with prams, every man and his dog, grandma and grandpa.

“There’s a shopping centre with several cafes just a stone’s throw away. Despite all the modern amenities, the 5km route meanders through a park with nice tall trees in a bushland setting.”

The event was founded by Rio Lambino and her husband Jun, who used to run 10km around The Ponds.

They saw a newspaper article about parkrun so went to Parramatta parkrun, that was January 2014.

Charina and Rio

The vision

Rio was amazed to see how it operated with fantastic volunteers plus it was free.

She told Jun, “if we can bring parkrun to The Ponds, we don’t need to travel for 30 mins to Parramatta”.

And that’s how The Ponds parkrun came to be, from Rio’s vision and desire to bring it close to home, literally.

Charina also started her parkrunning at Parramatta in 2014.

She and her husband Ariel moved to Sydney from the Philippines in 2000.

She said that volunteering, ie giving service for free, was an alien concept for her prior to the move but parkrun has opened up a whole new world.

The background

She was keen to share Rio’s story of how The Ponds came to be, this was originally published in a run report.

“We contacted parkrun in January 2014, then submitted a council application the following month,” said Rio in a story about The Ponds parkrun’s beginnings.

“We had two trials in March and April 2015, then a launch in May 2015.

“First we had to convince Blacktown Council about the safety of a weekly event.

“Running events are traditionally held once a year and a weekly parkrun was a new concept.

“The second challenge was finding a sponsor. SuperCharge Batteries came to the rescue.

“They understood the concept and positive impact of parkrun to the community and agreed to sponsor the event.

“The third challenge was when we launched it. My husband Jun and I were not members of any running clubs.

“We were really fortunate to meet Lachlan Oakes at Parramatta who became the third member of our event team.

“It was a challenge for the three of us and my two teenage kids to operate for the first three months.

“Fortunately, the community kept growing and now we have a steady stream of volunteers. Our core team of run directors and supporters are very passionate and dedicated.”


Like Charina, Rio’s family also migrated to Australia from The Philippines.

“I am happy to say that our circle of friends have grown exponentially since parkrun. My family is happy to support The Ponds’ for as long as you folks keep coming!”

Charina says that visitors always mention how well organised The Ponds is, as well as being “friendly, warm and welcoming”.

“They are surprised how much fun they have, 5km need not be painful at all.”

There are several cafes at The Ponds Shopping Centre, Charina’s pick is the cinnamon scroll from Silverleaf Artisan Bakery.

While at The Ponds parkrun

If parkrun wasn’t enough you can explore nearby Rouse Hill Regional Park.

It’s home to biking and walking trails and a children’s adventure playground.

There’s a 1km trail that takes you through the grounds of the historic Rouse Hill Estate.

The house was built between 1813 and 1818 and is open for guided tours.

Also in the area is the Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural and Education Centre.

This offers an authentic Australian indigenous cultural experience. Celebrate the rich history of Aboriginal Darug culture.

The Parklea Markets are about 3km from parkrun and are the largest indoor markets in the Southern Hemisphere.

Set aside at least an hour, this is a treasure trove of food, fashion and flair with everything from toys to fresh flowers, computer goods to cosmetics. There’s also fruit and vegetables, seafood, deli, a butcher and a bakery.

What’s in a Name…

The Ponds was a name designed to reflect the geography of the areas and was derived from the nearby creek, Second Ponds Creek.

This was originally published in Issue 3 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

The Entrance parkrun

If you like to run beside water then The Entrance is an event that should go on your list of parkruns to visit.

It’s located on New South Wales’ Central Coast and was the area’s second parkrun to open.

Mt Penang parkrun pre-dates it by almost two years.

The Entrance launched on May 14, 2016 with 194 finishers and 11 volunteers. It averages 121.8 finishers.

The course

Event director Meg Pye says The Entrance is a small coastal town but with a big heart.

“We have a great parkrun community,” she says.

“Our parkrun is a beautiful and gentle course that runs right alongside the lake providing great scenery, the most beautiful and wonderful volunteers and such supportive runners who’ll encourage everyone.

“It’s a near-flat parkrun starting at the beautiful The Entrance and running out to the Long Jetty boat shed.

“There you will get to pass two of the iconic extra long jetties that gave the area its name.

“The course is set on a concrete footpath the whole way following the lake with an almost rainforest-like small section around the 800m mark. It’s an easy out and back course.”

Meg says a lot of first-timers and visitors comment on how beautiful the course is.

“As well as how nice and encouraging everyone is and how good and clear our briefings always are.”

Meg’s story

Meg was encouraged to come along to parkrun when she happened to walk straight into the event three years ago.

“One of the parkrunners took the time to stop and ask me to come and join.

“The friendliness of that parkrunner really stuck with me.

“I went home looked up parkrun, registered and went along the following week to find everyone was super friendly.

“After a few weeks I decided to help out and give volunteering a try and have been hooked ever since.

“I went from doing every volunteer position to becoming an RD and now an ED.

“I’ve had the pleasure to see parkrun grow in our community with an additional three events in the area, as well as an increase of participants at The Entrance, especially over summer with all the visitors that come.

“The friends I’ve made from parkrun have to be the best by-product of parkrun.

“I love that parkrun gathers people together from all over the world and makes you feel like you’ve got a second family.”

Coffee afterwards is hosted at The Entrance Lakehouse, just around the corner from the start line.

“I like the Smashed Avocado, scrambled eggs, or the favourite for most seems to be the double bacon and egg roll. Drink favourites are coffee or cold-pressed orange juice.”

While at The Entrance parkrun

The surrounding area is all beautiful, there’s plenty to explore at The Entrance, including the baths.

There is a beautiful bay just south called Toowoon Bay and another five minutes south will land you at Bateau Bay.

Here you can take the coast to coast track through Wyrrabalong National Park up to Crackneck Point Lookout where you can see from Terrigal to Norah Head Lighthouse.

If you head north from the Entrance there are bush walks all the way from The Entrance north all the way to Norah Head where you’ll find a working lighthouse.

Head west and you can take a visit to the Central Coast wetlands and while you’re nearby, a visit to the Wyong milk factory would be a must.

– Meg Pye

What’s in a name?

The Entrance parkrun is named after the town where it starts.

The name of the town was originally Karagi, meaning The Entrance, for the point on the south bank of the channel at the Pacific Ocean.

The name Karagi was changed on November 15, 1911 and The Entrance was adopted.

This was originally published in Issue 3 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

Goolwa parkrun

There can’t be many parkruns where its first-timers showed up because their skydive was called off, but Goolwa is definitely one of them.

Event director Paul Thurkle says that activity can be added to a visitor’s list of things to do after getting their barcode scanned.

There are two G parkruns in South Australia with similar sounding names, the other is the state’s oldest country town, Gawler (and twice the size of Goolwa).

Goolwa has recently celebrated its third birthday, having launched on April 28, 2018.

At its launch there were 158 runners, though it’s a much smaller event with an average 54 finishers each week.

“We have a great community spirit here,” Paul says.

“People always comment on the friendly nature of our event, as well as our smooth, and mostly flat, bitumen course along the river front.

“It’s fast for those who wish to try for a PB.”

Goolwa’s course is permanently marked with ample signage should you wish to freedom run.

It takes place in Richard Ballard Park, Liverpool Road.

Post-parkrun coffee is at Riverview Deli just over the road.

Paul says visitors enjoy visiting the cafe.

He recommends the fresh-baked muffins, “always delicious and in different flavour combos”.

Paul and his wife Elizabeth started their parkrunning at Victor Harbor parkrun, which is around 18km away.

Elizabeth had heard about parkrun somewhere and started following the facebook page.

“She had the crazy idea to give it a go one New Year’s Day and we didn’t look back.

“It was just that New Year’s was a good time to start something.

“We were attending that for around a year when we were approached by the then event ambassador for the area.

“He had been given my name by the guys at Victor as a potential candidate to start a parkrun in Goolwa.

“The funding was already secured, Medibank had already highlighted Goolwa as a good option, they just needed someone to bring it all together with the council and be the event director.

“I agreed, foolishly thinking we could stay in bed a bit longer as we wouldn’t have to drive the 25 minutes over there.

“Little did I realise we’d spend the next year getting up earlier to set up our own event before our new run directors could take over.”

Goolwa is an historic river port on the Murray River, near the Murray Mouth in South Australia.

It’s joined by a bridge to Hindmarsh Island and is about 100km south of Adelaide.

While at Goolwa parkrun

We recently had visitors who had come to skydive at the local airport, but it was too windy so they came to parkrun instead, then a day of sightseeing.

We’d recommend checking out the Murray River mouth.

There are a few different cruises to choose from. Also go for a ride on the Cockle Train.

This was Australia’s first railway and is now a popular tourist attraction). Goolwa also has a motor museum.

There are some great places to eat and get coffee and some beautiful drives as well, including Tourist Drive Route 50, a 73km journey through rural and coastal scenery. – Paul Thurkle

What’s in a Name…

Goolwa is the name of the town it is based in.

Goolwa is a Ngarrindjeri word meaning ‘elbow’, signifying the bend in the Murray River before it goes out to sea at the mouth not far away.

This was originally published in Issue 3 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

Kate Reed parkrun

This story originally featured in issue 1 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.

If mud, trails and hills make your heart sing then a trip to Tasmania to Kate Reed parkrun is a must.

Described as a “true trail parkrun”, Kate Reed is bound to have you experiencing a runner’s high long after your result is received.

Taking place in the Kate Reed Nature Recreation Area on the southern outskirts of Launceston, the parkrun is run entirely on trails and includes slightly technical segments.

It started on October 31, 2020, some eight months after it was due to launch, and is already getting a reputation as an event to visit.

“Kate Reed parkrun makes use of one of Tasmania’s beautiful nature reserves,” says event director Leanne Evans.

“It’s a gently undulating scenic trail loop with a mix of fire trail, board walk and flowing single track.

“As well as hearing native bird songs you may be lucky enough to glimpse local wildlife including wallabies and echidnas.”

What do visitors say?

Leanne says in their short event history they have already received many encouraging comments from visiting parkrunners.

“We’ve been told that our course was fantastic but ‘more tricky than we imagined’, that there’s ‘more rocks and tree roots than we thought there would be’; ‘that is a true trail, the only true trail parkrun I’ve actually run’ and that ‘the mud and puddles were fun’.

“If you happen to walk by before, during or after our event, you would see and hear groups of cheerful people chatting, often reliving the great course and their favorite sections.

“Post-run coffee has been known to last for several hours due to the banter and discussion. What better way to spend a Saturday morning?”

Kate Reed parkrun starts at the Kate Reed Trail head and goes down the main fire trail through temperate eucalypt bush.

It enters a beautiful flowing single track with a short boardwalk section then returning to single track. The final 800m undulates under the canopy of casuarina forest.


Before Kate Reed, Leanne was a regular at Launceston parkrun (she’s run over 180 parkruns there).

“It was growing in numbers and there became a need to start a second local parkrun. I had a vague idea about finding a 5km route to start a new one, but it was only ever thoughts and did not eventuate much more than that.

Leanne Evans

“A second parkrun did start so I put my ideas to rest, so I thought. During this time I had developed a love of trail running and I live near some amazing trails, which I regularly run on.

“I began to think how good it would be to have a trail parkrun and verbalised my thoughts to a few friends including local trail runners. I was encouraged to investigate the possibility.

“I played around with the idea for several months before seriously looking for a potential 5km route and making it happen. Several trail runner friends aided to develop what we thought was a great course.

“This was not approved by Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife for various reasons. But they were keen to assist and aided the development of an alternative in a different area.

“We were fortunate to receive funding via a Government Grant and Kate Reed parkrun was born. We were due to launch the weekend parkrun events were closed due to COVID.”

While in Launceston…

There are another two parkruns in Launceston, you must visit them both, and of course the other Tasmanian parkruns! They are all so different.

After enjoying your parkrun zip along to the Harvest Market to experience local produce and food.

Launceston has so much to offer, but Launceston Cataract Gorge is a must. Launceston City Park, Royal Park and Princes Square are great for places to relax and soak up the atmosphere. Other places are the Tamar Island Wetlands and The Tasmania Zoo.

The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery is always worth a visit as is the automobile museum. Take a walk around the streets and city to see the beautiful architecture including restored colonial and Victorian buildings. Tamar Valley region is a great place to find top local food and wine.

What’s in a name?

Kate Reed parkrun is named after the Nature Reserve in which it is situated.

This reserve was named after Kate Reed. She was the wife of the late Henry Reed, who owned the estate which previously included the land that makes up Kate Reed Nature Recreation Area.

Get your free copy of this first issue here.

Event Profile

Nambour parkrun

This story originally featured in issue 1 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.

In a game of word association Nambour parkrun would most likely be followed by Fluffy – the resident emu.

But there’s a lot more to the Sunshine Coast parkrun than the friendly native bird.

Nambour parkrun started in November 21, 2015 and is often a parkrun listed by tourists when naming their bucket list parkruns.

It was also the main event for this year’s PALM (parkrun Adventurers’ Listener Meet-up).

The parkrun Adventurers meet Fluffy

“Nambour parkrun is a unique experience in the Aussie bush and there is nothing better than bush therapy to lift your spirits,” says event director Melissa Taylor.

“Running, walking through the bush with no traffic noise or smell, just the smell of the bush, the sights and sounds of wildlife, it heals the soul.

“It is a tough course and a fast way to develop fitness and get healthy all the while with support and encouragement from your fellow parkunners.”


Nambour parkrun evolved after conversations with Darrin Voss, a local gym owner, who had a vision to bring parkrun to the town.

That was in March 2015.

“Nambour was a small town that was struggling since the main industry of sugar cane was shut down.

“We visited many parks to find a suitable location, but they were all the same, concrete, crowded and traffic.

“There would be no point of difference with any other parkrun and no reason to bring people to the town.

“We were heading back from a park one day when I looked up at the hills I ran in.

“I mentioned I knew of a 5km course but there was no way they would agree to a parkrun there because it was 100% bush trails, no water and no toilets.”

The perfect course

Melissa took Darrin for a look and immediately it became apparent this was what they were looking for.

Nambour has two start-lines to choose from.

“It is held on forestry trails so you will get dirty, possibly muddy and we have plenty of hills, in fact 165m of elevation on the normal course, add an extra 20m for Plan B.

“Our normal course is a 5km circuit utilising the Rocky Creek Trail. The first hill to greet you is the warm-up walk to the start line. The final hill is the cool down run to the finish.

“In between Nambour offers a variety of other hills.

“Your hills will be broken up by dirt, mud, rainforests and a creek crossing at the half way point (Rocky Creek). But, if it rains, there will be no crossing of creeks as the water rises quickly.

“With Plan B everyone turns around at Rocky Creek and excitingly this means you get to run back up the biggest hill on the course affectionately known as The Twins.

“We get some pretty extreme reactions from people ranging from ‘brutal but beautiful’, to the ‘we thought the Kawana Beach course was tough, but this is worse and we’re not coming back’.”

Meet Fluffy

Of course most people who have heard of Nambour parkrun will likely have heard about Fluffy, “an inappropriate” emu.

If planning a visit to see Fluffy, the local celebrity, Melissa says visit in the cooler months.

“Fluffy has no concept of personal space, let alone social distancing.

“He is a huge distraction when he shows up at the run briefing. Our RDs have huge trouble keeping everyone’s attention when Fluffy is strutting about among the crowd demanding his own attention.

“Fluffy loves to show off by doing his warm up zoomies as we all walk up to the start line, he can’t contain his excitement about the run.

“He loves running with the parkrunners, but only in short spurts, then he needs a breather before pacing the next lot.

“Fluffy also has a fetish for ears. In fact getting an ear nibble from Fluffy is part of the Nambour experience.”

While at Nambour

We have heaps of mountains to climb in the area with Mt Ninderry and Mt Eerwah being the closest.

For more bush therapy head up the road to the beautiful Blackall ranges. There’s so much to explore up there. Many beautiful trails and waterfalls, with safe swimming holes.

If running with Fluffy isn’t enough wildlife experience then down the road at the Big Pineapple we have Wildlife HQ.

Then a 45-minute drive away is Australia Zoo in Beerwah.

The Sunshine Coast is the most beautiful place to visit in Queensland. You can be staying in the hinterland up in the bush and 15 minutes drive away you can be down at the beach.

– Melissa Taylor

What’s In A Name

Nambour was the name of the first cattle station in the district. It came from the aboriginal word Nambaa meaning red flowering tea tree.

Nambour parkrun is located in Parklands Conservation park which has four towns including Nambour bordering it.

In memoriam: Darrin Voss died in September 2020 after a short illness. He was instrumental in getting the funding to start Nambour parkrun, Mel says. She says his memory will live on through Nambour parkrun and the contributions he made to the town.

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Event Profile

Timboon parkrun

For a small parkrun, Timboon has lots to offer parkrun tourists.

Event director Dean Whitehead mentions the wildlife and the community.

parkrun tourists who have got in contact with Runs With A Barcode espouse the gourmet food trail – and the ice cream in particular.

Aside from its launch event numbers are below 100, the average is 45, so Timboon promises to be an intimate event.

Timboon is in the Shire of Corangamite, in the Western District of Victoria.

It’s around 213km southwest of Melbourne. In the 2006 census it had a population of 871.


Dean took over as ED in February from Donna Ellis, who was in the role from its 2017 inception.

“With our return from COVID she was unable to continue with the role. I grew up in the Timboon with my parents owning a dairy farm.

“I’ve been a part of this community my whole life. Our small community has a strong culture of volunteering and helping others when in need.

“My parents have particularly been a big influence as they volunteered a lot of their time to organised many sporting clubs and events when I was growing up.

“I saw this as an opportunity for me to be able to do my bit so that our community can keep this great event going.”

Getting started

It was Dean’s wife Ellen who got her barcode first.

“I then got involved, using parkrun to improve my fitness so I could continue to play football.

“A lot of my involvement has been during the summer months.

“I’m a PE teacher at Timboon P-12 School and have enjoyed some good spirited rivalries with some of my students, many of them I cannot get near now.

“I volunteered a few times, however I was more focused on trying to improve my PB.”

The course

Timboon is an out and back along a rail trail.

“It has a gradual slope, winding down hill to the turn around then a slow incline all the way back to the finish.

“This makes it enough of a challenge to mentally push yourself to the finish, but the consistency makes it achievable.

“Under foot is compacted gravel with a small covering of leaves from the trees that line the course.

“The course can be a little slippery after rain, although the tree canopy often protects runners and the track from the elements.

“The sun often shines through the trees lighting up the track with streams of golden light.

“We regularly spot birds and koalas along the track with the odd kangaroo sharing the course.”


Dean’s still relatively new to parkrun, he’s yet to earn his 50milestone but isn’t far off it.

“I have been Event Director for a little over a month and enjoy the volunteering just as much, if not more than participating as a runner.

“Another reason for me taking on this role was to encourage my family to continue to live an active healthy lifestyle.

“I had the pleasure of running with my son, Parker, who is 4, for his first parkrun a few weeks ago.

“My eldest daughter Stella, 9, is loving being involved improving her times, and being so proud that she can run the distance.

“Thea, 6, enjoys the social side either walking/jogging with her mum or other young friends she has encouraged to join in.

“The local community has been so supportive of me taking on the role, volunteer roles have all been filled without chasing people to help.”

Timboon parkrun meets at the skate park and playground which allows the children who have been pushed by their parents in prams a time to play.

There is a toilet block towards the main shopping centre.

“Timboon is a very small town. The rail trail runs all the way from Timboon north to Camperdown (40km).

“A track is currently being constructed south to join Port Campbell (18km).

“My suggestion is to bring your bike, or hire one, begin from Glenfyne and ride back towards Timboon, which is around 12km).”

The cafe venue is Timboon Provedore on Main St.

“I’m just a quick coffee after parkrun, but they do have nice breakfast options. My go-to is the Moroccan spiced pie for lunch.”

While at Timboon parkrun

Timboon is on the 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail.

This gives visitors to the 12 Apostles Coast and Hinterland the chance to experience amazing artisan food and beverage destinations.

As well as Timboon Ice Cream, the town is also home to Timboon Railway Head Distillery, where you can discover single malt whisky, and Berry World.

There are also boutique stores and an art gallery.

Visit the unusual and historic Timboon Trestle Railway Bridge, which is Heritage listed.

This was built in 1892 and one of the few surviving railway structures of this type in Victoria.

What’s in a Name…

It is believed that the name Timboon comes from the local Aboriginal word “timboun”, which was a word to describe pieces of rock to open mussels.

Timboon is on Girai Wurrung land.

This was originally published in Issue 2 of the Runs With a Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

Ocean View parkrun

Ocean View is a small parkrun but it’s said that the best things come in small packages.

This Sunshine Coast parkrun averages around 32 finishers a week and event director Kelly Gurski describes the event as “boutique”.

It’s one of a handful of parkruns globally that runs through a winery.

“Tourists come from far and wide to test their fitness and fortitude on our beautiful yet brutal course,” she says.

Getting started

“I have lived in the next suburb of Dayboro for 16 years. I founded Petrie parkrun but wanted something in my local community.

“I literally nagged our local councillor at every opportunity for a parcel of land suitable for a parkrun.

“Eventually he suggested I meet Kate and Thomas from the Ocean View Estates winery.

“I regaled Thomas and Kate with parkrun facts and figures and was met with nice smiles but no real recognition and questions of ‘so which date are you looking at to run this’.

“Trying to explain a weekly running event was hard. Eventually the engine ticked over and we held our first parkrun in April 2018.

“There was much too-ing and fro-ing with parkrun over the name and the course.”

The experience

“Because Ocean View Estates has disease-resistant vines it means you can get a real winery experience, winding in and out of the vines. You can even bring your pooch.

“Three years on Kate and Thomas still mow our course regularly and make sure their cafe is open for coffee and brekkie at 8am.

“They know and love parkrun and still think people are crazy for wanting to run up ‘The Hill of Despair’.”


Turn up on tutu day (any Saturday that falls on the 22nd) and Kelly will have her tutu box ready for parkrunners to dress up.

“I have always loved a good dress up, so I parkrun touristed to other parkrun launches and birthdays to celebrate and dress up.

“Probably my favourite was an 80’s dress up run at Logan River parkrun. A whole gang of Brisbane parkrunners descended on this parkrun in our best Olivia Newton John aerobics gear! What a sight!

“I feel like running in a tutu or dress up frees you and I love seeing others embrace that too.”

Kelly as Wonder Woman

Kelly started her parkrunning at Sandgate parkrun where she didn’t know a soul.

“I’d heard some positive things about it. My first run I wore my fashion sunnies and analogue watch.”


She stayed with Sandgate for a while and then gave North Lakes a go. She said she didn’t volunteer often owing to ‘zero confidence’.

“I used to work at Petrie police station and would often run along the now Petrie parkrun course.

“I would often chat with another North Lakes parkrunner about starting a parkrun and she was an experienced run director so we joined up.

“In those days you had to raise the $5000 start-up fee yourself so I knocked on every door in Petrie until I secured the funding.

“I also had the blessing of the local councillor who was a bit sporty himself.

“In the early days I rarely got to run, but as our vollie reserves increased, so did my runs.”

Eventually Kelly decided to start an event closer to home, and the rest is history.

“After they’ve run our event parkrunners say it’s a beautiful yet brutal course but they come back. We offer country hospitality with great coffee and magnificent gardens.”

Voluntourists are very welcome at this event.

While at Ocean View parkrun

Ocean View is the gateway to the mountain range of Mount Mee.

This overlooks the Glasshouse Mountains and is part of the D’Aguilar Range.

The Mount Mee Forest Reserve contains huge expanses of rainforest and eucalypt forest and includes many picturesque bushwalks and four-wheel drive tracks.

The Dayboro Rodeo and Dayboro Show usually occur between May and July, as well as Dayboro Day, which celebrates the town’s unique rural heritage.

The Dayboro Bakery is known for its pineapple pies.

What’s in a Name…

Ocean View parkrun is named for the Queensland suburb it is in, Ocean View.

No details can be found of its naming but presumably it was named for the view of the ocean.