Amid the universal clamour of New Year's resolutions targeting personal betterment, Queensland steps on to the global podium as just the place to be and feel your best… and perhaps also achieve a Personal Best (PB) in the process. Year-round!
That's the low-down from new research commissioned by Tourism and Events Queensland revealing just what drives the world's most active travellers to 'bucket list' fit-cations across the state.
The research undertaken by Strategic Facts polled 3,695 domestic and international participants in the state's endurance events – covering everything from triathlon to multi-sport challenges; running, mountain biking and cycling events; and idyllic year-round ocean swims.
Of note, the research showed Queensland cornered a global niche in wellness/fit-cation tourism by virtue of the state's natural assets. Notably, the unrivalled win-win of competing in bucket list destinations from the Gold Coast to Sunshine Coast and Tropical North Queensland's World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.
Other key pluses included friendly locals; world-class, safe and accessible events; and the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends.
Still got energy to burn? Check out Tourism and Events Queensland's It's Live! in Queensland calendar, showcasing Australia's best live events in the best destinations, putting the spotlight on art, culture, music, food, wine, sport… and everything in between. www.queensland.com/events
Question: Where is your favourite place to take your family, in Queensland?
Emma Frodeno: Fortunately I can say we live in Noosa and I believe it's one of the most beautiful places in Queensland, plus having a very 'kid friendly' beach has become important. I love going back to the Gold Coast, around Nobby's beach all the way to Tugun as I have such fond memories growing up there as a child. Which then leads me back to North Stradbroke Island as somewhere I really want to take my family as we spend many school holidays there. However, a little hidden gem of Noosa is taking the ferry over to the North Shore for a picnic. You can feel complete worlds away from one of Australia's top holiday destinations!
Question: Can you tell us about how you caught the exercise-bug?
Emma Frodeno: I think I must have been born with the exercise bug! I've loved sports for as long as I can remember and swimming was my passion from a very young age. I remember watching the 92 Barcelona Olympics and saying that I wanted to swim for Australia in the Olympics one day. I guess I just added another 2 sports to the mix. I am a completely different person when I exercise or when I don't
Question: What happened after you completed your first Noosa Triathlon, for fun?
Emma Frodeno: It was a friend from swim club that asked if I wanted to do the swim leg in the Noosa Tri at the last minute as someone had pulled out. Of course I wanted to still win my portion of the team, but I was just completely in awe of the whole event that I remember thinking I wanted to come back and do the whole thing one day. I was 16 at the time and competed in the whole even when I was 19. I was hooked and wanted to change my focus of competing in Triathlon at the Olympics after watching Sydney 2000.
Question: How can we too become hooked on the positive community vibe of group exercise (competitive or not)?
Emma Frodeno: Exercise is very different for me these days and I don't do it to be competitive anymore. I thoroughly enjoy the physical and mental benefits it gives me and I find this extremely addictive. If I can add a social element to it, I jump at the opportunity as well because I didn't really get to experience much of this when being so focused on completing my specific sessions. Group exercise is a fantastic way of meeting up with friends or making new ones that share the same benefits you feel, help to motivate you finishing a great workout or run a new track you might not have been on before
Question: What locations are on your future fit-cation bucket list?
Emma Frodeno: Far North Queenland is still somewhere I really want to experience with my family and have obviously heard so much about areas like the Daintree Rainforest and areas of the Great Barrier Reef. The mountain biking, hiking and snorkeling in that stunning region would be spectacular and I think that adds such a fun element to staying fit while on holiday. You get to explore places you just can't get to in a car.
Interview by Brooke Hunter