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Tropic Now's ultimate guide to TARGA 2020

Annual motorsport event TARGA has once again come to Cairns for TARGA: Great Barrier Reef.

This is your one stop shop for information about the races, road closures, best places to watch and more. For TARGA 2020, Tropic has got you covered.


TARGA Great Barrier Reef consists of 3 legs from September 4-6. Each leg consists of 6 races located in and around Cairns.

Leg 1 features stages up the Gillies Range and tablelands. 

Leg 2 features stages in and around Innisfail.

Leg 3 takes things back to the tablelands with the Kuranda range area.

You can view details about each individual stage here, but we will go into detail about our picks for the highlights in just a moment.

There's also the TARGA cavalcade, a 27km drive through Cairns on September 5. In previous years this event featured a showing on the Cairns esplanade, but this year locals can witness the impressive collection of cars driving past their very own front yards.

Click here to see the official route for the TARGA cavalcade.



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GREEN HILL (Road closure time: 8:09 – 12:39). Roads closed: Greenhill Road, Gray Road.

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GILLIES RANGE & LITTLE MULGRAVE (Road closure time: 8:36 – 14:36). Roads closed: Gillies Highway.

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LAKE EACHAM (Road closure time: 9:00 – 13:30). Roads closed: Wrights Creek Road, Gadgarra Road, Winfield Road.

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LAKE MORRIS & COPPERLODE Road closure time: (11:50 – 17:50). Roads closed: Lake Morris Road.


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BAMBOO CREEK (Road closure time: 9:10 – 11:50). Roads closed: Oak Street, Lawrence Road, Mundoo Road, Grima Road.

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SOUTH JOHNSTONE (Road closure time: 9:25 – 12:05). Roads closed: Innisfail to Japoon Road.

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MENA CREEK AND SILKWOOD (Road closure time: 9:39 – 14:39). Roads closed: Innisfail to Japoon Road, Silkwood to Japoon Road.

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PARONELLA (Road closure time: 12:13 – 14:53). Roads closed: Japoon to Innisfail Road.

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INNISFAIL (Road closure time: 12:28 – 16:58). Roads closed: Grima Road, Mundoo Road, Lawrence Road, Oak Street.


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KURANDA RANGE (Road closure time: 6:46 – 11:16). Roads closed: Kennedy Highway.

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UPPER BARRON ONE (Road closure time: 8:06 – 11:06). Roads closed: Claringbold Road, East Barron Road, Cook Road, Stonehouse Road, Andrickson Road.

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MALANDA (Road closure time: 8:28 – 11:58). Roads Closed: Merragallan Road, Laundry Road.

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MILLAA MILLAA & PALMERSTONE (Road closure time: 8:59 – 13:59). Roads Closed: Old Palmerstone Highway, Maalan Road. 

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UPPER BARRON TWO (Road closure time: 12:27 – 16:57) . Roads Closed: Claringbold Road East Barron Road, Cook Road, Stonehouse Road, Andrickson Road.

Visit the TARGA website if you want more info on these closures.


The entire rally is an exciting event for Tropical North Queensland, but we've selected some highlights for those keen to catch the best of  the tarmac.

Due to COVID there are no spectator hubs for the races this year, so feel free to find your own spots. The TARGA website shows the exact route of each stage, and might give you some more ideas.

-Leg 1, Stage 5:
Lake Morris. This scenic road is a twisty, challenging track for the participants, with a longer distance of over 11km. Finding a spot to view this one will be doubly exciting, as the racers will be coming all the way back on stage 6 for the reverse run.

-Leg 2, Stage 8:
South Johnstone. A short and flowing stage, this one will allow onlookers to grab a bite or a beer in the rural town of the same name, which has a population around only 500! Enjoy the serenity with this one.

-Leg 2, Stage 9:
Mena Creek. This 13.8km monster will definitely provide the thrills.  What starts off as free and flowing stage becomes a tight and narrow run in the last few kilometres. Mena Creek is also very close to Paronella Park, the iconic North Queensland attraction that is a must-visit for any who haven't had the chance.

-Leg 3, Stage 13:
Kuranda Range. This is the last range road for the event and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. We recommend parking up near Saddle Mountain Road to catch the frontrunners zipping to the finish line.