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Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, and the City

11 to 20 January 2025, 10 days, 9 nights

Ride Holidays invites you to experience the 2025 Santos Tour Down Under. One of the best cycling events on the planet. Pull up a bike seat, sit back and let the world spin by.

100% of our staff are Adelaide born and bred. They know the secret roads, the best cafes and restaurants. Be prepared to be treated like a local.

Our official tour operator status (our 11th consecutive year) opens doors that are often closed. Including V.I.P starts and finishes.

A brilliant trip. Can’t wait!!

** Please note that the details below are an educated guess. Based on a decade of experience at the Santos Tour Down Under. We won’t 100% know the dates until May 2024. At this early stage we invite you to book for only $100.00. If you cancel when the final itinerary is released, then that $100.00 will be donated to our kid’s bike charity ** 


Overview of the Tour

We've found the perfect mix of visiting the beautiful Barossa Valley, followed by the Adelaide Hills, before descending upon the city of Adelaide for the finale of the greatest cycling race in the Southern Hemisphere. Join us to get involved with the action. Experience the thrill of seeing this world class event live!

It's not all about the race. In fact, the race is just a part of a great holiday. We focus on the magnificent cycling on offer, as well as eating at the very best South Australian restaurants and cafes. You will return home having experienced the full flavour of what the region has to offer.

Our itinerary is tailored for cyclists as well as non-riders (Team Macchiato), who are very welcome. Be assured, you won't just be following the cyclists. Your days will include visits to regional must-see attractions, wineries, boutique shopping, enjoying local cafes and restaurants, some walking, plus much more. This group will have their own vehicle and local guide.

Throughout our 10-day tour, we’ll cater to all levels of cyclist. From the fastest cyclists – referred to as the whippets, right through to the more leisurely weekend warrior. Everyone will be well looked after.

The most common question we have is about the heat. Yes, it can get hot. However, it can also be very cool. Having local guides means that we were able to change the plan accordingly to look after all conditions.

Safety is key. Having support vehicles means you can concentrate on one thing – cycling. Let us worry about everything else. It’s a holiday and it’s our job to roll out 10 hassle free days.

Sleep, eat, ride, drink and repeat. That’s what we expect from you.

Thank you for joining us on the 2025 Santos Tour Down Under.

Santos Tour Down Under | Tour Details

Tour Inclusions

  • 4 nights Adelaide, 2 nights Barossa, 3 nights Hahndorf. Staying in 4-star hotels.
  • Local Adelaide cycle guides who know every nook and cranny. (1 guide for every 4 clients)
  • Majority of meals are included – as per the itinerary.
  • Cycling snacks. Bananas, muesli bars, electrolytes etc.
  • Our own designated Ride Holidays V.I.P pen. At a start and finish.
  • Walk behind the scenes with the pros.
  • See the event race 5 – 6 times. (including the city crit)
  • Both men’s and women’s stages.
  • Choice of three guided rides daily - 60 kms to 110kms plus.
  • Separate itinerary, vehicle and guide for Team Macchiato. (non-riders)
  • Support vehicles stocked with cold drinks.
  • 10-week training program leading up to the STDU.
  • Souvenir 40-page booklet included.
  • Ride Holidays cycle jersey.

Tour Exclusions

  • Airfares and extra accommodation.
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary. Alcohol.
  • Travel Insurance - including cover for your bikes.

The Tour Cost

$4850.00NZD pp. (Twin Share)

Want your own room? Single supplement $1250.00NZD pp.

Road bike hire (BMC 105 Disc) $1000.00NZD. We can get road e-bikes, but they are at a higher cost. Please note: Very limited availability

Extra Adelaide accommodation & breakfast $190.00NZD Per person twin share.

The cost for non-riders is the same as for cyclists. We pay for a lot of your winery lunches, entry fees etc etc.

Deposit & Balance terms and conditions. The initial deposit is $100 NZD per person. An additional $900 (NZD) is required once the final route is released in May 2024. Full payment will be 60 days prior to departure.

Tour Down Under 2025 | Tour Itinerary

Day 1, Saturday 11 January

Welcome to South Australia

We look forward to meeting you at Adelaide Airport. Ideally you would arrive from mid-morning to early afternoon.

We’ll help you assemble your bike once we’re back at our central Adelaide hotel. Conveniently located right near Rundle Mall (think retail) and only a 15 min walk to the Santos Tour Down Under race village.

At about 3pm we’ll pop out for a short city ride. Maximum of an hour and it will focus on Adelaide’s amazing bike trails that aren’t far away from our hotel. A short ride purely to get the legs turning and to find those nasty little mechanicals that may pop up.

Team MAC - After you’ve settled into your room, we’ll meet up to have a wander around the funky East End. The Adelaide East End is known as the domain of choice for trendsetters. Right in the heart of the city, the neighbourhood is filled with cafes, restaurants, bars, and premium shopping. There’s plenty of fabulous hidden dining lanes to explore. Let’s have an aperitif at one of the many wine bars before returning to the hotel for dinner.

This evening will be epic. It’s the Santos Tour Down Under Criterium. Known as the Down Under Classic and it’s within walking distance of our hotel. 90mins of shear adrenalin. The world’s best sprinters. You’ll be in the thick of it.

Our last act for today is our welcome dinner. We'll run through the plan for the next 10 days. Yes, you are now officially on holiday. Welcome to South Australia. Cheers to you.

/ Accommodation: Majestic Rooftop Adelaide Hotel
/ Meals Included: Dinner

PS, you are very welcome to arrive the day prior. We will take care of your transfers and accommodation for you. Our job is to make your job easy!!

PPS, what if, what if… One of the most common questions we have is “what if my bike doesn’t turn up or it’s damaged”?

The answer to that – we’ve got you covered. That’s why you do a tour with RH. We have about 10 bikes on standby to look after any of those airline misdemeanours.

Day 2, Sunday 12 January

Women’s stage 3. Exploring Adelaide’s best beaches

We’re changing things around a bit in 2025. Normally we’d be leaving the city today and heading out of town. That was until we saw that the women are literally starting a stone’s throw from our Adelaide hotel. It’s our only opportunity to support them as today is their last stage.

We don’t see any need for a 6am breakfast. Let’s relax and remind ourselves that we are indeed on holiday. The plan is to roll out of the hotel at about 9am and head for the start in Wakefield Street. There’s a great chance we’ll have access to the warm-up pens which will be closed to the public. The actual start time will be around 10.30am.

After the girls have departed, we’ll also follow reverse race route down to the beautiful beach at Glenelg. It's a gentle 10km and no doubt the crowds will be cheering as we roll out of town.

“Who are those athletes in Pink and Blue?”

That would be Team Ride Holidays.

From Glenelg, we hug the coast and bike paths. We see today as being an opportunity for a flattish 100km at a leisurely pace while following the stunning coastline. A great day to acclimatise to the conditions. The rest of the week offers more challenging cycling.

Team MAC – Glenelg has become a must go tourist destination for anyone visiting Adelaide. The beach-side suburb has many attractions from shopping, the Marina, restaurants, cafes along with costal walks in Adelaide, bring your runners if you are keen.

This afternoon, we visit the City of Adelaide Tour Village in the City Square which is only a 15 min walk from our hotel. We’ll wander down there late which is when all the pro men will be returning from their training ride. The STDU offers fantastic opportunities to get close up and personal with your favourite riders.

The Tour village is also a great place for food. Offering an amazing variety of street food (We suggest you have dinner here) and refreshments. (Beer)

Oh, and in the past, we’ve also had clients buy bikes here as all of the major brands offer opportunities to get your credit card out. What’s stopping you?

/ Accommodation: Majestic Rooftop Adelaide Hotel
/ Meals Included: Breakfast (Lunch and Dinner are your own arrangements)

PS, Team Mac… We really want this trip to be an active one. It’s not all eating and drinking. Katrina will have a plan each day for a good walk. You can then feel less guilty about the eating and drinking…..

Day 3, Monday 13 January

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to the Barossa we go!!

Over the past 11 years we've pretty much biked everywhere. It doesn’t get any better than the Barossa Valley. This region offers some of the best riding, food & wine in whole of Australia.

Door to door is about 90km. Some of you can do more, others can ride less. Having support vehicles takes the pressure off.

Today won't be overly hilly, certainly when compared to the rest of the week. It’s a mixture of National Parks, country roads and bike paths. We would really like to leave Adelaide early as it’s the swimming pool you should be focussed on.

Team MAC - today after a local walk we’ll be treated to a delicious lunch at Fino of Seppeltsfield Winery. This iconic wine estate dates back to 1851 and you’ll know you’re close when you see the Avenue of Palms. After lunch we’ll head to Maggie Beer’s Farm, for a fun cooking demonstration.

Our hotel for the next 2 nights is stunning. All rooms have a view of the vineyards across the valley. It’s one of the best hotels we stay at anywhere in the world.

Tonight, we've booked a local restaurant for dinner. It’s called Harvest Kitchen (we book it 12 months in advance) and it really is fantastic. It’s even more special now that the Harvest Kitchen is actually based at the world-famous Jacobs Creek winery.

Our guarantee – you won’t lose any weight on this tour.

/ Accommodation: Barossa Novotel
/ Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

PS, OK, a bit of a warning. As you approach the Barossa hotel there’s a wee little kicker. A gentle false flat of around 25%. Nothing to be worried about though. Keep in mind that this hotel offers fabulous views. And, to have a view, you must get to the top of the hill!!

Day 4, Tuesday 14 January

Stage 1 – Race Day

6am yoga. Just kidding. Today’s stage starts and finishes in Tanunda at 11am. Which is about a 30min ride from our hotel via a beautiful bike path.

We’ll arrive at 10am as we have VIP access. Yes, you’ll receive a special wrist band so you can walk through the team village as the riders sign on and warm-up for today’s opening stage. It’s a great opportunity for autographs and usually the riders are very approachable.

Stage 1 is 144km long so should finish at about 3pm. (Back in Tanunda) That means we have 4 hours to ride our bikes. We’ll certainly include Menglers Hill which the race goes over 3 times. It’s not a huge hill (about 250VM) however, some of the sprinters may struggle to stay in touch. We’ll also make sure we include the gorgeous region of Seppeltsfield.

Team MAC - Today we start with a walk along the Jacobs Creek path and then we get to experience the excitement of Santos Tour Down Under. We’ll meet up with our riders while we watch the Pro Teams complete this stage of the race at Tanunda. Afterwards we’ll head to the Seppeltsfield Road Gin Distillery for a wee tasting!

This afternoon you should budget on some quality pool time. It’s not all cycling, eating and drinking… We expect you to find some time to relax as well.  

Tonight, is a highlight as we dine on the lawn. Overlooking the vines that supply Jacobs Creek. It really is a lovely way of finishing a magnificent day.

/ Accommodation: Barossa Novotel
/ Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner. (Lunch own arrangements)

Day 5, Wednesday 15 January

It's off to the Hills!! Via stage 2

We leave the Barossa this morning and make our way to Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. Without doubt the best cycling in the State, arguably in all of Australia.

Yes, we’ll see stage 2 of the Men’s Santos Tour Down Under. Our target will be the Fox Creek climb. It’s short but its maximum gradient sits at over 17% so the climbers and GC riders will be saying haere rā to the sprinters who can have their tomorrow. Today will shape the top 10 for 2025 Santos Tour Down Under.

Riding hotel to hotel has its advantages. Your bags will be in your Hahndorf hotel room when you arrive. Please make sure they’re labelled clearly with your RH tags.

We will have plenty of ride options. Ranging from 50 to 100km. None of them will be flat!! We can’t leave the Barossa without visiting the Whispering Wall. It’s kind of on the way. Kind of. Anyway, it’s a must. You’ll see what I mean.

Other than Hahndorf being a gorgeous little German town and a fantastic place to stay for 3 nights, it’s also noticeably cooler than staying in the city. In fact, the difference can be up to 10 degrees when compared with central Adelaide. That’s a good thing!!

We also pre-book massage while in Hahndorf. This afternoon would be a great time to give back to your legs. There’s lots of cycling to come.

Team MAC - This morning Katrina has booked the Melbas Chocolate factory and cheese tasting followed by a relaxed lunch at a beautiful local winery with amazing views. You’re also very welcome to book a spa treatment, massage. After all we’ll be giving our legs a good work out with a walk each day.

/ Accommodation: The Manna of Hahndorf
/ Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

Practical stuff – you have access to washing machines etc when in Hahndorf.

Day 6, Thursday 16 January

Cuddly little bears - wildlife spotting

Today is all about exploring the magnificent Adelaide Hills.

We start with breakfast. Hmm, which is at the top of Mount Lofty. 700m above sea level and the café is opening just for us. The big breakfast is unbelievably big, the views are amazing. Thousands of cyclists ride this climb daily.

Ride options vary from 60km to 120kms although only a select few would consider 120km in this part of the world. It's lumpy. Full of false flats. Little Italy, German Town, Montacute, Mount Lofty & Norton Summit. All need to be ticked off.

Stage 3 starts in Tea Tree Gully and finishes in the city. It’s surprisingly flat. You will have seen the STDU 7 or 8 times over the past few days. We see today as being the best day for taking advantage of the magnificent cycling that the Hills offer. Rather than focusing on the race.

Team MAC - will also meet us at the top of Mount Lofty for breakfast followed by a tour of the amazing Jurlique Farm for the full experience of the beautiful skin care products. If we haven’t come across a koala yet we can always drop into the Cleland Wildlife Park. Or we can visit the historic Art Gallery of a famous Australian Artist, Hans Heysen at The Cedars.

Both cyclists and non-riders should see Koala’s today. And Kangaroos. And a bit of gravel. Having local guides means we know all the secret spots.

Hahndorf is known for it’s retail. This is the town where Adelaide locals visit for the day. If you are from New Zealand – think Greytown but about 5 times bigger. The good thing is that come 3pm all those day-trippers depart for the city. Leaving this beautiful little town just for Ride Holidays.

/ Accommodation: The Manna of Hahndorf
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner (Lunch is own arrangements)

Day 7, Friday 17 January

Bonus night in Hahndorf

Today’s STDU stage starts in Murray Bridge and finishes in Port Elliott. The good news is that the King of the Mountain climb is only about 30km from our Hahndorf hotel. That’s our key objective for today. So, the shortest ride will be 60km and the longest will be well into the triple digits. There’s more exploring of those Adelaide Hills to be done.

Traditionally, today is reserved for the Challenge tour. A participation event which features thousands of weekend warrior cyclists. As I write this, we are unsure of how that’s going to look for 2025. If such a thing does exist, then we’ll try and make it happen. It may not be today; it may be Saturday or Sunday. We’ll see. Watch this space.

When we saw the event stages for the first time, we had a choice to either stay tonight in Adelaide or Hahndorf. We went with a 3rd night in the Adelaide Hills as it provides a better balance. You’ll still have plenty of time in the city. Hahndorf doesn’t have a single set of traffic lights which gives you the idea. Plus – if it’s hot like it can be in January then the cooler temperatures really do offer some respite.

Team MAC - you're in for a treat. The current number one RH Team Mac Tripadvisor for South Australia is the world renown d’Arenberg Cube (McLaren Vale) featuring a contemporary art museum, winery, and lunch. The design concept for the building was developed by d'Arenberg's Chief Winemaker, Chester Osborn, who is of the fourth generation of the Osborn family. The vineyard dates back to 1912 while the building was completed in 2017 and often features some world-renowned art pieces. In riding terms, this is the Team Mac queens stage.

/ Accommodation: The Manna of Hahndorf
/ Meals Included: Breakfast (Lunch and Dinner own arrangements)

PS, we’ve hired the local movie theatre to show you a movie after dinner. Last week I saw the Greg LeMond doco – The Last Rider. It’s brilliant and that would be our target if we can buy it. Otherwise, we could revert back to some Russian Fly Fishing.

Day 8, Saturday 18 January

Queen stage race, finish Willunga Hill!!

Our plan is soooooooo cunning.

We ride from Hahndorf to the wine region that is the McLaren Vale. No introduction required.

It’s not all about the coffee!!

Yes, it’s all about the coffee. Our first café stop will be the actual town of McClaren Vale. The race comes through here at about noon. It’s then a 20km race route loop that features Willunga Hill. Ride it twice if you feel obliged. The atmosphere at the top of Willunga is Alpe d’Huez like. Almost 100,000 people cram the last 4km of this hilltop finish.

Again, a choice of rides. Anywhere from 70 to 120km. After 7 continuous days riding there will be some legs that are tired. Others will be just warming up.

There’s only one restaurant at the top of Willunga Hill and we now have it secured for the next 5 years. The idea is that you can use the restaurant as a base and come and go as you please. They have a beautiful deck, shady spots, BIG screen and all the comforts. We know Andy, the owner, well. He really looks after us. Don’t worry – we won’t make you ride. We’ll take your bikes which means you can enjoy that 2nd or 3rd glass of wine.

Team Mac – This morning we will head to the surf coast of Port Elliot as it’s market day and visit the local gallery. Then it’s off to Victor Harbour to take a walk across the historical bridge out to Granite Island.  Later in the afternoon, you will meet up with the riders on top of Willunga Hill.

/ Accommodation: Majestic Roof Garden Hotel
/ Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch (Dinner is own arrangements)

PS, tonight would be a great night to head back to the tour village. There will be live music and a great vibe. All in the name of cycling.

Day 9 Sunday 19 January

Final stage - A must see…

The final stage of the 2025 Santos Tour Down Under will be based all around Mount Lofty. (Where you had breakfast earlier in the week) Only about a 15km ride from our central Adelaide hotel.

Your choice of three rides again today the longer will include the full race loop, Lofty return.

It will be epic. The actual race distance is only 128km however the total climbing is well over 3000VM. This is the stage that will ultimately decide the winner of this year's event. In fact, it may just be decided in the last 100m of the race.

Speaking of the last 100m. At the top of Lofty we plan on having our very own finish line pen. You’ll see the pro’s ride past 5 times. Dingo will deck it out with all kinds of refreshments. (Donuts, knowing him) An outstanding way of concluding our holiday together.

Team MAC - Today we’ll join the riders at Mount Lofty for the Final Stage of this amazing race, it’s always exciting! Before that! It’s all about Adelaide! We’ll start the day with a walk along the Torrens River and through the tree lined streets finishing with a coffee.

But wait, there’s more…. We really want to finish off with a highlight. So, after packing up all the bikes it’s time for some fine dining. Champagne is on us. A few stories and lies will be told. Special guest invitations have been sent out to RH friends - Mr Phil Liggett and his lovely wife Trish. Hope they can make it.

What a day…. What a trip.

/ Accommodation: Majestic Roof Garden Hotel
/ Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10 Monday 20 January

Home, James

The tour concludes with breakfast. Some of us will pack our bags, bikes and leave for the airport. Our tour is all but over.

We can easily look after extra accommodation if you choose to stay on. It's a really nice way to round out the holiday.

Whatever you decide - thank you for joining us. Safe travels home…

/ Meals Included: Breakfast.


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