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Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, and the City

Saturday the 14th to Monday the 23rd January 2023

10 days, 9 nights

RIDE Holidays invites you to experience the 2023 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.

2023 is going to be special. A new race director provides the opportunity for an event refresh. New stages. New look. Making the Santos Tour Down Under even better. Can’t wait to see the final stage up Mount Lofty. 

See you there.

Overview of the Tour

We've found the perfect mix of visiting the Adelaide Hills, followed by the beautiful Barossa Valley, before descending upon the city of Adelaide for the climax of the greatest cycling race in the Southern Hemisphere. 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 come home having experienced the full flavour of what the region has to offer.

Our itinerary is tailored for all levels of 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. On our last tour we had four hot days and having local guides meant that we were able to change the itinerary accordingly. We also had three days where we were riding in arm warmers and vests. Basically - we can never tell what the weather will be. What we can do is be flexible and have a plan in place for all conditions.

Thank you for joining us on the 2023 Santos Tour Down Under.

Santos Tour Down Under | Tour Details

Tour Inclusions

  • 5 nights Adelaide, 2 nights Hahndorf, 2 nights Barossa. Staying in 4-star hotels
  • Local Adelaide cycle guides who know every nook and cranny
  • Majority of meals are included – as per the itinerary.
  • Basic cycling snacks. Bananas, muesli bars, electrolytes etc.
  • Our own designated RIDE Holidays V.I.P pen at a finish line
  • Walk behind the scenes with the pros before a stage start
  • See the event race live 5 times. 4 stages and also the Crit. 
  • Choice of three guided rides daily - 60 kms to 110kms plus
  • Sportive, Fondo entry included. 
  • Separate itinerary, vehicle and guide for Team Macchiato (non-riders)
  • Support vehicles and bike trailers – you will be well looked after
  • 10-week training program leading up to the STDU
  • Souvenir 40-page booklet included
  • RIDE Holidays cycle jersey and Dirty Dozen t-shirt

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 $1200.00NZD pp.

Bike hire $900NZD (we can get road e-bikes, but they are at a higher cost)

Extra Adelaide accommodation & Breakfast $170.00NZD 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. There is an initial deposit of $500.00 which allows us to pay deposits to the hotels. The balance to be paid 60 days prior to departure. Full payment will be 60 days prior to departure. (Both of these can now be covered via various travel insurance policies which would be my recommendation)

Tour Down Under 2023 | Tour Itinerary

Day 1, Saturday 14 Jan

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. Which is conveniently located right on 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.

This evening will be epic. It’s the Santos Tour Down Under Criterium. Known as the Schwalbe Classic and it’s within walking distance of our hotel. 45mins 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 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!!

Day 2, Sunday 15 Jan

It's off to the Hills!!

We leave the city 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. We will have plenty of ride options. Ranging from 50 to 100km. None of them will be flat!!

What is the Dirty Dozen? 12 nasty hills that we feature on our t-shirt. It’s your job to knock off as many as you can. It’s our job to encourage you to do so. Today you’ll get a chance to ride 2 or 3 of them. Afterall, we’re starting at sea level and our hotel is in the hills.   

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

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 Macchiato - This morning Katrina has booked the Melbas Chocolate factory followed by lunch at a local winery. You are also very welcome to get involved with the massage. Katrina will have a walk planned for each day that you are on holiday.

/ Accommodation: The Manna of Hahndorf
/ Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3, Monday 16 Jan

Cuddly little bears - wildlife spotting

Today is all about exploring the magnificent Adelaide Hills. There’s no tour to watch so there’s no deadlines. Ride until you’ve had enough.

We start with breakfast. Hmm, which is at the top of Mt 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. Your Dirty Dozen t-shirt will have names on it like Little Italy, German Town, Montacute, Mt Lofty & Norton Summit. All need to be ticked off. Today’s the day for at least 4 of them. 

Team Macchiato - will also meet us at the top of Mount Lofty for breakfast followed by a visit to the Mount Lofty Botanical gardens or the Cleland wildlife park. There’s also a local art studio which we’ll check out.

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.

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

Day 4, Tuesday 17 Jan

Barossa Valley

Over the past 10 years we've pretty much biked everywhere. It doesn’t get any better than the Barossa. This region offers some of the best food & wine in Australia.

Door to door is about 90km. Today won't be overly hilly, certainly when compared to the rest of the week. All rides will feature the Jack Bobridge trail. (Now called something else after Jack found himself in jail, oops)

Do you like donuts? Our morning tea / second breakfast, will be at the famous Lobethal bakery. I'd guess a thousand of so other cyclists will pop in for a giant donut today. If you can eat 2 then Ride Holidays will pay. Go for it.

Team Macchiato - You are booked in at Seppeltsfield Winery for lunch, followed by a cooking demonstration at the Maggie Beers. She needs no introduction.  

Our hotel for the next 2 nights is stunning. All rooms have a view of the vineyards across the valley. And you really should take advantage of the swimming pool. 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 and it really is special. Which is why we book it 12 months in advance. Our guarantee – you won’t lose any weight on this tour.

/ Accommodation: Barossa Novotel
/ Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner and donuts if you can finish 2. (Lunch own arrangements at the bakery)

Day 5, Wednesday 18 Jan

Stage 1 – Race Day  

6am yoga. Just kidding. Today’s stage starts 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 150km 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 5 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 – you also get the chance to experience the Santos Tour Down Under this morning. Katrina also has planned visits to the amazing Barossa Cheese factory and Gin Distillery.

After watching the finish, you can choose to ride back to our hotel for a swim or the guides will stop in at Jacobs Creek for a relaxing wine on the deck. You really can’t go to the Barossa and not pop into Jacobs.

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 and Dinner. (Lunch own arrangements)

Day 6, Thursday 19 Jan

Off to the city we go…

We leave our Barossa paradise and head to the city. Feedback from clients in the past is that they wanted an easy day prior to tomorrows big ride. We’ll have options from 60 to 90km. The extra good news is that it's pretty much all downhill. Kind of.

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.

Our aim is to arrive in Adelaide early afternoon. To give you plenty of time to rest those legs.  

Today’s STDU stage is reasonably flat so it’s the one day that we’ll miss the action. The City of Adelaide Tour Village in the City Square is only a 15 min walk from the Majestic. If you didn’t have enough of the behind-the-scenes action yesterday, then you could wander down there at about 4pm which is when the pro's ride (literally) through the village.

Team Macchiato - you're in for a treat. The current number one RH Team Mac Tripadvisor for South Australia is the d'Arenberg Cube (McLaren Vale) featuring a contemporary art museum, winery and lunch. In riding terms, this is the Team Mac queens stage.

Tonight, we've arranged pasta. Pasta, pasta, pasta. You'll need every ounce of it come tomorrow.

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

Day 7, Friday 20 Jan

To be confirmed…

For the past 10 years – today has traditionally been your opportunity to ride the same course as the professionals. At time of writing – we haven’t had confirmation of this for 2023. We certainly hope that it’s a thing, as it’s a brilliant day. Think of thousands of fair dinkum Aussies and a handful of fast skinny Kiwis.

It’s worth riding just for the food at the rest stations. I fondly remember the fruitcake and coffee. Historically, there has been a choice of 3 to 4 distances. It’s a really early start as you need to be off the course by the time the professionals ride through. So, touch wood… Let’s hope that the organisers have a Sportive planned for today. If not, then we’ll make up our own little event.

Stage 3 of the 2023 Santos Tour Down Under has been designed to push the GC guys to the front and the sprinters to the back. Today’s course includes climbs like Kangaroo Ck, Gorge Rd and Corkscrew. The actual finish isn’t far away from our hotel. In past years we’ve rolled back to our hotel with the likes of Peter Sagan which is a pretty cool experience. “Gidday Pete” 

Team Macchiato - today is all about Adelaide. Central Market, a tour of river Torrens on the Popeye, shopping, cafes, city trams and of course a fabulous lunch.

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

Day 8, Saturday 21 Jan

Our plan is soooooooo cunning. We start with the Adelaide Markets for breakfast. Another must-do. We'll look after your bikes. You guys go and drink coffee and eat as much as you can.

It's then a gentle 10km to beautiful beach town of Glenelg. From there, we hug the coast and bike paths through to the stage start at Port Willunga. A town that has never featured before at the Santos Tour Down Under. Today’s course takes in the glorious beaches and vineyards of McLaren Vale region. With a few detours we can see the race a few times, and some local highlights! Think the Cube!

Team Mac – Glenelg is a perfect spot for some retail therapy along with some of the best coastal walks in Adelaide. Later in the afternoon, you will meet up with the riders on top of Willunga Hill.

The race today is actually reasonably flat. Unlike previous years when the finish was at the top of Willunga Hill. This year’s finish is in town and doesn’t really feature any massive climbs.

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.

What to do, what to do next? How about a trip highlight?

After the conclusion of today’s stage, we ride up Willunga hill. There’s only one restaurant at the top and we know the owner – Andy. He always looks after us and the views are pretty special. We conclude today with a nice early dinner (whole sheep) before heading back to the city. 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.

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

Day 9 Sunday 22 Jan

Final stage - A must see…

The final stage of the 2023 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.

It will be epic. The actual race distance is only 114km 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.

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 23 Jan

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 included.


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