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  • Renee Cluff

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    Tropical North Queensland on show during Targa Great Barrier Reef broadcast

    The stunning scenery of Tropical North Queensland will be on show to a national audience this weekend, when a full length television production of the inaugural Targa Great Barrier Reef competition goes to air.

    The event was held in late August and early September, featuring 200 cars in both modern and classic tarmac rallies.

    Under bright blue skies, the drivers took on tight, winding courses to the south and west of Cairns with backdrops featuring the Coral Sea, sugar cane and banana plantations and the world heritage-listed Wet Tropics Rainforest.

    Featuring in the broadcast will be the Gilles Range and Little Mulgrave areas, Lake Morris Road to Copperlode Dam, Lake Eacham and Yungaburra, Glen Allyn, North Johnstone and Upper Barron as well as Malanda, Millaa Millaa, Kuranda and Cairns.

    The event was hailed as a major success by organisers, drivers and motor sport enthusiasts.

    Cairns Regional Council Mayor Bob Manning says it contributed more than $2.5-million to the local economy.

    “Targa Great Barrier Reef was a much welcomed addition to the Far North sporting calendar. 

    “Through participants, support crews and spectators, thousands of people got to experience our unique environment," he said.

    The Tasmanian leg of the touring car event remains the ultimate – the so-called ‘king’ of Targa, however the sun-kissed far north is already biting at its heels.

    250 entries are expected in 2019, which would make it the world's second largest tarmac rally behind Targa Tasmania.

    Organisers say the television special will certainly provide incentive for more entries, which close at the end of November.

    Councillor Manning said the program will also reach a wider audience and further promote the region as a tourism destination.

    “This weekend’s broadcast will expose the wonders of the reef and rainforest.

    "I’m sure many viewers will be inspired to visit after seeing the excitement of the race," he said. 

    "We’re excited the event will return next year." 

    You can watch the program on channel 9 this Sunday, the 4th November at 11-AM.