Registrations are now open
JOIN US IN THE PILLIGA

Experience the beauty and biodiversity of the Pilliga Forest in NSW

Join us from 13th – 15th September 2024 in the Pilliga for a weekend of running, community and sports activism. Run in one or all of our events, PU10km / PU20km / PU50km, discover the Pilliga’s beauty and diversity, and learn from the local community about why this landscape is so special.

The Pilliga Ultra is an event to support the local community’s efforts to protect the Pilliga for its cultural and environmental significance by bringing more people to the area to discover and appreciate its beauty and bring much-needed tourism to the area.

Sign up now for this unique grassroots event in an undiscovered part of New South Wales!

REGISTER NOW

Race Details

Pilliga 10k
Eary Bird: $55
Regular: $60

Pilliga 20k
Early Bird: $90
Regular: $100

Pilliga Ultra 50k
Early Bird: $180
Regular: $200

Pilliga Ultra Grand Slam
Early Bird: $290
Regular: $320

10% off all registration fees will be donated to a fund to support the local community.

Why is the Pilliga Forest significant?

Deep in the heart of NSW lies a vast forest that for millennia has been home to native mice, endangered birds, ancient underground aquifers and Traditional Owners, the Gomeroi.

This forest is the largest inland forest in inland Australia, and is a nature lovers playground of escarpments, bushland, creeks and abundant flora and fauna.  Come and experience this landscape for yourself, and see why the local community are so passionate about protecting this ruggedly beautiful part of New South Wales.

Join us in a moment of sports activism

As trail runners, we want to see beautiful and biodiverse places protected. Join us in the Pilliga, and traverse the sandstone escarpments and grass-lined creeks to experience its inherent beauty as a wild place.  

Together, we will stand alongside the communities of the Pilliga to support a future of nature-based tourism, where people can come and marvel at the ancient sandstone caves, endangered birds, star-filled skies and the incredible hospitality of Pilliga Pottery.

Pilliga Ultra

Event Sponsors

PaddyPallin
PILLIGA POTTERY

Event Schedule

Friday 13th September

Registration Opens

Welcome to Country

Gasfield Tour

Event Welcome

PU10km

Live Music

Communal Dinner

Saturday 14th September

PU 50km

Kids Race

Workshops & Activities

Guided Walks

Live Music

Communal Dinner

Sunday 15th September

PU 20km

Workshops & Activities

Pilliga Ultra 2022

In March 2022, 80 runners converged on the Pilliga Forest to participate in the inaugural Pilliga Ultra.  Collectively, runners raised an incredible $100,000 to support The Wilderness Society’s campaign to keep the Pilliga wild.  Event Director Hilary spoke about the campaign to protect the Pilliga at TEDx Katoomba in November 2023, which you can watch here.

Changes in 2024

Since the inaugural Pilliga Ultra, a lot has changed.  We have listened to feedback from the community and decided to remove the mandatory fundraising component and instead donate 10% of every event entry to an FWP-managed fund that will distribute funding to community groups, organisations and individuals on an ongoing basis. 

Any event profits will be split 50/50 between For Wild Places and the Pilliga Fund.  We hope this makes the event more accessible as we shift our focus to getting more people to the Pilliga, to experience this special place for themselves.

Event FAQ's

Here are some answers that might help.

Why is the Pilliga Forest significant?

The Pilliga is the largest inland forest in eastern Australia. It’s a biodiversity hotspot—home to at least 300 native animal species and more than 900 plant species. It’s sacred to the Gomeroi/Gamilaraay people, and rich in cultural sites. Underneath its rare eucalypt forests lie recharge zones for the Great Artesian Basin—one of the largest groundwater sources in the world.

Is this a fundraising event?

Yes and no.  Unlike previous years, runners will not be required to fundraise.  Instead, 10% of each race entry and 50% of event profits will be contributed to a fund managed by For Wild Places.  This fund will be made available to organisations, individuals, and community groups in and around the Pilliga to support their efforts to keep it wild.

After the event has concluded, organisations and individuals will be able to apply to receive a portion of the funds.  The amount and the frequency at which funds are distributed will be dependent on how much money is raised through registration and event sponsorship.  If you enter in the Pilliga Ultra, we will keep you up to date on how the funds help contribute to the community efforts to celebrate and protect the Pilliga Forest.

Why isn’t it a fundraising event anymore?

After our 2022 event and the cancellation of the 2023 event, we asked people for feedback on the event.  The overwhelming barrier to entry was the need to raise funds.  This feedback, combined with the ongoing cost of living pressures and the associated travel costs to participate in the event, led the Organising Committee to remove the mandatory fundraising element.  Instead, in 2024 we will be focusing on bringing more people to the Pilliga so more people can experience the beauty of this unique landscape.  Through this, we hope more people will become involved in the fight to protect this forest and bring much-needed tourism to the area.

Where will the event take place?

PU Event HQ is at Pilliga Pottery, a private farm that is 30 minutes north of Coonabarbran and 1 hour south of Narrabri in the NSW Central West region.  This private farm is just south of the Timmallallie National Park and Pilliga Nature Reserve.

How do I get to Pilliga Pottery?

Pilliga Pottery is approximately a 6 hour drive from Sydney, 8 hours from Byron Bay and 8 hours from Brisbane.  The closest airport is Narrabri, which is serviced by REX.  Alternatively, you can fly into Tamworth and Dubbo with QANTAS and hire a car, after which it’s roughly a 2.5-hour drive.  The Pottery is approximately 10 km off the Newell Highway, along a gravel road.  After heavy rain, the road can be slippery and difficult for 2WD.  We will keep participants up to date with road conditions, or you can check yourself via the Pilliga Pottery website.

Are there age restrictions?

Participants must be 18 years or older to enter PU50. For PU6 and PU20 events, participants must be at least 16 years old. An adult must accompany participants under 16 years old in the PU20 or PU10 on course.  Participants under 18 must provide written consent from a parent or guardian at registration.

I haven’t participated in a trail running event before. Why is this event for me?

The Pilliga Ultra is the perfect entry-level event for runners and hikers of all fitness and experience levels. With a few months before the event, there is plenty of time to train and get experience running on trails. Soon we’ll be launching a 12-week training plan for each event (PU10, PU20 & PU50) which will guide you through the necessary training to not only finish your chosen event but have a blast while doing it!

I’m not a runner but would love to volunteer. Can I?

Of course! Volunteers are integral to bringing events like this to life. If you’re interested in volunteering, reach out to the team at pilliga@forwildplaces.com for more details.