How to pack for a destination triathlon

How to pack for a destination triathlon

I didn’t need much convincing to sign up for a triathlon in the wonderful Whitsundays on Hammo – that’s Hamilton Island to the locals. The Fujifilm Hamilton Island Triathlon includes an easy 750-metre swim in the crystal clear water of Catseye Bay, a challenging but picturesque 20km, three-lap cycle course taking in the hilly terrain and some aero time on the island’s airstrip.

The race finishes with a 5km run with a few inclines and a magical dash along the beach to the finish line. It’s a difficult but rewarding course with breathtaking views of Hamilton Island and the surrounding islands of the Whitsundays.

I was super excited about exploring Hamilton Island but as it was my first destination triathlon I was concerned about forgetting something important for the race. I’m a lover of lists, so here’s a list of essentials to get your packed and prepped for a big race.


Trisuit, tick! Goggles, tick! What about a goggle tan?! Not on the list? Well, don’t forget the sunscreen! The swim prep is pretty easy – bring your trisuit (and wetsuit for colder swims) and goggles and you’re pretty much set. You’ll be given a timing chip and a swimming cap with a colour that determines your wave and off you go!

  1. Trisuit & wetsuit
  2. Cap
  3. Goggles
  4. Timing clip
  5. Chafing cream
  6. Sunscreen
  7. Towel


Hamilton Island Triathlon | How to pack for a triathlon

Photo by Hamilton Island via FB

Travelling with a bike can be hard work, but Hamilton Island provide a complimentary bike freight service if you’re travelling from Brisbane, taking the stress out of baggage allowances and the hassle of lagging a bike box around #winning!  If you’re travelling interstate or from overseas, invest in a bike bag, check your luggage allowance and purchase extra kilos if need be.

Unfortunately, you still have the joyful task of dismantling the bike into a box or bike bag. Most bike shops can do it for you and it will cost you. If you’re doing it yourself, be sure to write down what you have undone and mark the positioning of your seat and handlebars to ensure your set up is exactly the same when you put it back together.

Don’t forget to pad your bike with old towels or bubble wrap so it has a comfortable journey to the destination. Last tip: Be nice to the baggage handlers and freight personnel. It can definitely help!

Once at the destination and reunited with your bike, an Allen Key will become your best friend as you reassemble your handlebars, seat, pedals and wheels. There’s usually a bike sponsor at the event to help you fix any issues and pump up your tyres.

  1. Allen Key
  2. Spare tyre & puncture kit
  3. Helmet
  4. Shoes (and socks if you’re precious, like me)
  5. Sunglasses
  6. Drink bottle


Similar to the swim, if you have running shoes, you can run! Other essentials for the run leg are a race belt, which holds your race number, and a visor. For longer races over two hours, pack some food or gels to give your body that extra oomph to get you across the finish line.

  1. Shoes
  2. Socks
  3. Running belt
  4. Visor
  5. Food or gels


Celebrating finishing the triathlon

Triathlons are pretty chilled affairs before the big race but a big after party is always guaranteed. Don’t forget to pack something to wear to presentations and drinks.

If you’re combining the triathlon with a holiday in the Whitsundays, check out the other essentials you’ll need while exploring the 74 islands. Think nautical – navy and white! For Whitsundays inspiration and itinerary ideas, get the full run down with this list of 100 things to do in the Whitsundays.

Keen to get more active in The Whitsundays?

There are plenty of events in the Hamilton Island Endurance Series, including:

Prepare for more Queensland endurance events:

Love travelling to compete in triathlons, what’s your number one packing tip?