The Amazing Race Australia

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The Amazing Race Australia
The Amazing Race Australia logo.jpg
Genre Reality competition
Created by Elise Doganieri
Bertram van Munster
Presented by Grant Bowler
Starring The Amazing Race Australia contestants
Theme music composer John M. Keane
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 34
Executive producer(s) Michael McKay (2011–2012)
Trent Chapman (2011–2012)
Brad Lyons
Producer(s) Kylie Washington
Ariel White
Location(s) See below
Cinematography Ryan Godard
Running time 60-90 minutes
Production company(s) activeTV (2011-2012)
Seven Productions (2014-present)
Distributor Disney Media Distribution Asia Pacific
Original network Seven Network
New Zealand TV2 (season 3)
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original release 16 May 2011 (2011-05-16) – 25 September 2014 (2014-09-25)
Related shows International Versions
External links

The Amazing Race Australia is an Australian reality game show based on the American TV series, The Amazing Race.

On 19 July 2010, Seven Network purchased the format rights to produce the Australian series.[1] The first two series of the show was produced by activeTV in association with ABC Studios. The third series was produced in-house by the Seven Network. It is distributed by Disney Media Distribution Asia Pacific.[2] The host for the show is New Zealand-born actor Grant Bowler.[3]

It is the third Asia-Pacific version of the franchise after The Amazing Race Asia (also produced by activeTV) and The Amazing Race: China Rush; however, it is the first adaptation by a country with English as its first language.

The grand prize for the winning team is A$250,000.

The Race[edit]

The Amazing Race Australia is a reality television competition between teams of two in a race around the world. The race is divided into a number of legs wherein teams travel and complete various tasks to obtain clues to help them progress to a Pit Stop where teams are given a chance to rest and recover before starting the next leg twelve hours later. The first team to arrive at a Pit Stop is often awarded a prize (up to the value of A$10,000) while the last team is normally eliminated from the race (except in non-elimination legs, where the last team to arrive may be penalised in the following leg). The final leg of each race is run by the last three remaining teams, and the first to arrive at the final destination wins the A$250,000 cash prize.


Each team is composed of two individuals who have some type of relationship to each other. A total of 64 participants have joined The Amazing Race Australia.

Route Markers[edit]

A standard Route Marker looks like this.

Route Markers are yellow and red flags that mark the places where teams must go. Most Route Markers are attached to the boxes that contain clue envelopes, but some may mark the place where the teams must go in order to complete tasks, or may be used to line a course that the teams must follow. Route markers were, however, coloured yellow and green in the second leg of series 1 to avoid confusion with the flag of South Vietnam.


Clues are found throughout the race in sealed envelopes, normally inside clue boxes. They give teams the information they need and tasks they need to do in order for them to progress through the race.

  • Route Info: A general clue that may include a task to be completed by the team before they can receive their next clue.
  • Detour: A choice between two tasks. Teams are free to choose either task or swap tasks if they find one option too difficult.
  • Roadblock: A task only one team member can complete. Teams must choose which member will complete the task based on a brief clue about the task before fully revealing the details of the task.
  • Fast Forward: A task that only one team may complete, allowing that team to skip all remaining tasks and head directly for the next Pit Stop. Teams may only claim one Fast Forward during the entire race.


During the race, teams may face the following which may potentially slow them down:

  • Yield: It is where a team can force another trailing team to wait a pre-determined amount of time before continuing the race.
  • U-Turn: It is located after a Detour where a team can force another trailing team to return and complete the other option of the Detour they did not select. In series 2, the "Vote U-Turn" was introduced, having all teams voting at the start of the leg for whom they wish to receive the U-turn; The team with the most votes would be U-turned sometime during the leg. Also, an "Anonymous U-Turn" is where a team may U-Turn another trailing team without having to reveal themselves.
  • Intersection: It is where two teams must complete further tasks together until a clue indicates that they have been unintersected.


At the beginning of each leg, teams receive an allowance of cash, usually in Australian Dollars, to cover expenses during the race (except for the purchase of airline tickets, which are paid-for by credit cards provided by the race).

Teams then have to follow clues and Route Markers that will lead them to the various destinations and tasks they will face. Modes of travel between these destinations include commercial and chartered airplanes, boats, trains, taxis, buses, and rented vehicles provided by the show, or the teams may simply travel by foot. Each leg ends with a twelve-hour Pit Stop where teams are able to rest and where teams that arrives last are progressively eliminated from the race until only three teams remain. Most legs comprise three or more challenges, often a Roadblock, Detour and a Route Info Task. The first teams to arrive at the Pit Stop win prizes, usually from the show's sponsors.

  • The Express Pass was awarded to the winners of the first leg of series 1 which allows that team to skip any task they want during the race. Sam & Renae won this pass and used it to bypass the Roadblock in Leg 3. It returned in the Australia vs New Zealand series where the team that won the first leg won one pass for themselves and a second for another team.
  • The Salvage Pass was awarded to the winners of the first leg of series 2, and to the winners of the sixth leg on the series 3, which allows that team to either save the last team to arrive the current leg from elimination, or gain a 1-hour lead in the next leg. Ross & Tarryn won this pass on series 2 and used it to save Lucy & Emilia from elimination. On series 3, Daniel & Ryan won the pass, but decided to not save John & Murray from elimination and take the 1-hour advantage to the start of the next leg.

Non-elimination legs[edit]

Each race has a number of predetermined non-elimination legs, in which the last team to arrive at the Pit Stop is not eliminated and is allowed to continue on the race. However, that team is penalised for the next leg.

  • Marked For Elimination: It was used for series 1 and 2, the team where they are required to arrive first in the next leg or face a 30-minute time penalty.
  • Speed Bump: It will introduce for series 3 will introduce the "Speed-bump" where the penalised team must complete an extra task on the next leg before continuing with the race.

Marathon legs[edit]

Marathon legs occur when teams are instructed to go to the next Pit Stop but actually must continue racing without a mandatory rest period. The clue to the Pit Stop says "Grant Bowler Awaits" with no mention of elimination. It has occurred once every season.

Rules and Penalties[edit]


  • For the first season, both team members are to perform a maximum of 6 Roadblocks. It is assumed that a similar rule was used for season 2 but there were several roadblocks that went unaired.
  • Unless otherwise stated, such as during Roadblocks, team members must stay within 6 meters of each other and stay close to their assigned camera and sound crew.


Most Penalties are adapted from the US version but sometimes the show will use its own rules.

  • If a team fails to complete a Roadblock, Detour, Speed Bump, or Route Info task, they receive a 4-hour penalty. (In the US version the penalty for a Roadblock or a Speed Bump remains at 4 hours but for Detour, Fast Forward, or Route Info tasks the penalty is 6 hours.)
  • If a team fails to complete an Intersection task, they receive a 2 or 4-hour penalty. This occurred to Anastasia & Chris and Sam & Renee of series 1. It is not stated but assumed that the larger penalty is given to the team that elects to quit with the smaller penalty given to the team forced to quit due to their intersected team quiting.
  • If a team hitchhikes or travels in privately owned vehicles, they receive a 20-minute penalty. This occurred to Sam & Renae and Tyler & Nathan of series 1.
  • If a team fails to take a particular type of transport or travel class, they receive a 10-minute penalty (which is a 30-minute penalty in the US version). This occurred to Jeff & Luke of series 1 who travelled on a second class train carriage when told to travel on a third class carriage.
  • If a team sells their own items in order to raise money, they receive a 30-minute penalty (which is a two-hour penalty in the US version). This occurred to Adam & Dane of series 2.
  • If a team pulls another team's belongings out of their taxi, they receive a 2-hour penalty. This occurred to Joseph & Grace of series 2.

Series summary[edit]

The first series premiered in May 2011 and ended in August 2011. The second series[4] premiered in May 2012 and ended in August 2012. The casting for a third series began in August 2012, however it was notably absent when the network revealed its 2013 schedule in October. A 2013 series of the show was replaced by an unsuccessful revival of The Mole. A new season was launched in August 2014, involving teams from New Zealand and titled The Amazing Race Australia v New Zealand.[5]

Series Broadcast Winners Teams Host Comments
Premiere Date Finale Date
1 16 May 2011 (2011-05-16) 1 August 2011 (2011-08-01) Tyler Atkins & Nathan Joliffe 11 Grant Bowler
2 30 May 2012 (2012-05-30) 15 August 2012 (2012-08-15) Shane Haw & Andrew Thoday Introduced the Vote U-Turn, Anonymous U-Turn, Yield and Salvage Pass.
3 4 August 2014 (2014-08-04) (AU)
5 August 2014 (2014-08-05) (NZ)[6]
25 September 2014 (2014-09-25) (AU)
7 October 2014 (2014-10-07)(NZ)
Daniel Little & Ryan Thomas 10 Subtitled Australia v New Zealand.
5 teams from each countries compete.
Introduced Speed Bump, and a second Express Pass that must be given to another team.


Season Episodes Timeslot Premiere Finale Average
(in millions)
Date Premiere
(in millions)
Rank Date Finale
(in millions)
1 12 Monday
8:30 PM
16 May 2011 1.258 #5 1 August 2011 1.195 #6 1.125 #7 [7][8]
2 12 Wednesday 9:00 PM1,2
7:30 pm
30 May 2012 0.886 #10 15 August 2012 0.976 #8 0.905 #10 [9][10]
3 10 Monday 8:40PM 4,5(AU)
Tuesday 8:30PM (NZ)
4 August 2014 (AU)
5 August 2014 (NZ)[11]
0.588 #18 25 September 2014 (AU)
7 October 2014 (NZ)
0.416 #<20 0.607 #16 [12][13]

^Note 1 : The first four episodes aired on Wednesdays at 9:00 PM and starting with the fifth episode, episodes started airing on Mondays at 7:30 PM.
^Note 2 : Episode 3 aired in ACT,QLD and NSW on Thursday 9:00 PM.
^Note 3 : Episode 11 and 12 aired on Tuesday and Wednesdays 7:30 PM as a part of the show's 'Finale Week'.
^Note 4 : Episode 1 aired at 9:10 PM due to an extended X-Factor.
^Note 5 : Episode 10 aired at 9:00 PM on Thursday.

Countries and locales visited[edit]

Countries that The Amazing Race Australia has visited are shown in colour.

As of 2017, The Amazing Race Australia has visited 27 countries and 6 inhabited continents.[a]


  1. ^ This count only includes countries that fielded actual route markers, challenges or finish mats. Airport stopovers are not counted or listed.
  2. ^ Including the Special Administrative Regions of  Hong Kong and  Macau (1).
  3. ^ Includes 3 finish lines


The premiere episode of series 1 was placed in top 5 ratings behind MasterChef Australia, Come Fly with Me and two nightly news. It had more viewers in the Melbourne and its regional area during the week of 15–21 May 2011.[14]

Awards and Nominations[edit]

This show has won the consecutive Asian Television Awards for "Best Adaptation of an Existing Format" and "Best Direction" for Michael McKay in 2011.[15]

Summary of Awards and Nominations
Year Award Category Nominated Result
2011 Asian Television Awards Best Adaptation of an Existing Format Series 1, Episode 1 Won
Best Director Michael McKay for Episode 1 Won
ASE Awards Omnilab Media Award for Best Editing in a Television Non-Drama Joel Page and Tom Meadmore Nominated
2012 International Emmy Non-Scripted Entertainment Series 1 Won
Asian Television Awards Best Adaptation of an Existing Format Series 2 Nominated
2013 AACTA Awards Best Director Michael McKay for Episode 1 Nominated
Best Reality Television Series Matthew Kowald and David Gardner Won


  1. ^ "Seven to produce The Amazing Race Australia". The Spy Report. 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  2. ^ "The Amazing Race: Australia confirmed by Seven". The Spy Report. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  3. ^ tjkirk (2010-11-06). "Grant Bowler to host The Amazing Race Australia". The Spy Report. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  4. ^ "The Amazing Race Australia renewed for second series". The Spy Report. Media Spy. 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Knox, David (2011-05-16). "Week 21". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  8. ^ Knox, David (2011-08-01). "Week 31". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  9. ^ Knox, David (31 May 2012). "Wednesday 30 May 2012". TV Tonight. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Knox, David (16 August 2012). "Wednesday 15 August 2012". TV Tonight. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Knox, David (5 August 2014). "4 August 2014 ratings". TV Tonight. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Knox, David (26 September 2014). "Footy Show takes Nine to Thursday win". TV Tonight. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "'The Amazing Race Australia' premiere rates 1.26m on Seven". TV Central. 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  15. ^ Knox, David (2011-12-13). "Amazing Race Australia, My Place win at Asian TV Awards". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 

External links[edit]