SUPER JOURNEY: Ian Thorpe with the Queen's Baton Relay atop Sydney Harbour Bridge earlier in the relay.
SUPER JOURNEY: Ian Thorpe with the Queen's Baton Relay atop Sydney Harbour Bridge earlier in the relay. Contributed

Ready to bear the baton

AFTER four months of travelling through Australia, the Queen's Baton Relay is headed for the Whitsundays today.

The relay started in Townsville early this morning, travelling to Ayr and Bowen before it is due to arrive in Airlie Beach at 5.04pm tonight.

Once the baton reaches Airlie Beach Lagoon, the festivities will commence with a free community fun event.

Fourteen runners from the region will carry the torch in the Airlie Beach leg today after the baton has passed through 14 bearers' hands earlier in Bowen on day 84 of its voyage.

Hamilton Island local Stephen Jackson is due to collect the baton at 5.04pm with John Dickinson finishing the Airlie Beach leg at 5.41pm before the Airlie Beach Community celebration.

On day 85 of the tour the baton will travel to the Whitsunday Islands where it is scheduled to pass through the hands of Esther Gabey at 6.52am, then on to Courtney Atkinson before Mark Steen finishes off at just after 6.58am.

Temporary road closures will apply for the duration of the event in Airlie.

The Central Airlie Beach carpark and the Broadwater Avenue carpark will be closed from 6am to 6pm Monday, March 19.

The Coral Sea Boardwalk and the following roads will be closed from 3.30pm - 6pm on Monday, March 19.

Whitsunday Regional Council advises that, during the closures, cars parked in the area will need to remain parked.

When the baton passes you can continue on your way.

For a full list of baton bearers and to keep up to date with the Queen's Baton in real time, head to the official website.


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