What is the Top End Gran Fondo?

Gran Fondo, meaning “big endurance”, is a long-distance, timed cycling event that welcomes competitive, amateur and recreational cyclists of all abilities. 

The Sunbuild Top End Gran Fondo is the largest cycling event hosted by the Darwin Cycling Club each year, taking in some of the best riding that the region has to offer alongside hundreds of other keen cyclists!

The event has become an icon of the cycling scene in the Northern Territory and includes participation options to suit any rider and ability level. The first Top End Gran Fondo took place in 2012, and has continued to grow in size and scale ever since. Starting and finishing in Darwin’s beautiful Waterfront Precinct, riders in the full length Fondo will once again take in a full lap of the Territory Wildlife Park at the course’s furthest point, a highlight of the day for any who tackle the full distance.

For non-Territorians  the 2023 Sunbuild Top End Gran Fondo falls right in the middle of the Dry season in the Territory, when Darwin comes alive with great weather, many cultural events and festivals, and stunning natural attractions. Those contemplating a trip to the NT can now add the 2n of July to their plans, and tackle the Sunbuild Top End Gran Fondo while they take in the best of the Territory.

The 2023 edition consists of 4 distances to choose from, from 22km up to the full 145km, with participants in the 145km Sunbuild Top End Gran Fondo and 110km Inpex Top End Tonne receiving a 2023 TEGF Jersey featuring artwork by Larrakia, Wardaman and Kurrijarri artist, Danella Lee. During the entry process for the shorter events, participants can choose to purchase a jersey in their chosen size (valued at $149) for an additional $99. There will also be a FREE City of Darwin Family Ride to be held a closed 1km course around the Start/Finish Area at Fort Hill Parkland aimed at beginner skill levels and open to all ages.

Event History

Beginning in 2012 with a ride that went from Mandorah to Darwin, there was just the one distance for the first few years. In 2015 a new partnership was born with Pedals NT and Epic Events and Marketing being brought in to help organise the event. 

A ‘Half Fondo’ and ‘Mini Fondo’ were added to the overall day. 

A new course was also developed, with all events starting and finishing at the Darwin Waterfront. 

The Full Fondo heading as far out as a lap of the Territory Wildlife Park. 

In 2018 some additions to the event were made, with a new ‘Fun Fondo’ being added over 25km and the distances being moved out to 145km for the ‘Full Fondo’ and 75km for the ‘Half Fondo’.

Now, we gear up for the 2023 edition!