7 things not to miss at Santos Tour Down Under 2023

SA Tourism travel blog

The Santos Tour Down Under is the biggest cycling race in the southern hemisphere and the first race of the year on the UCI WorldTour calendar. As the greatest names in world cycling descend on Adelaide, battling it out through the picturesque regions, the state comes alive with a festival atmosphere like no other.

Though it’s not just the competing cyclists who get to have all the fun.

The Santos Tour Down Under is home to the largest Festival of Cycling in the southern hemisphere, with a range of associated events, mass-participation rides for kids and adults, street parties and live music combining to create a massive party atmosphere across South Australia. With long lunches served up track-side, day trips following the race through the beautiful sites of South Australia, world renowned wine regions and even free concerts, there’s so much to see and do.

With so much going on in South Australia during the 2023 Santos Tour Down Under, which takes place from 13 to 22 of January, it’s hard to know where to start. Don’t sweat, we have taken the peddling out of it with this comprehensive guide to the best events and activations happening throughout this year’s festival.

1. Men’s and Women’s Road Race

The Tour Down Under passing Aldinga Beach

International racing is returning to South Australia, and the stages are set. The women’s race will be the first ever UCI Women’s WorldTour stage race in the southern hemisphere after being elevated to the top category of racing for 2023. Race director, Stuart O’Grady has created a race for the fans. Huge climbs, coastal sprints, street circuits will all be taken on by the world’s elite cyclists.

2. Detours

The DeTours will visit the Fleurieu Peninsula, Barossa, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills

This is for the spectators with a gourmet palate. Want to experience the adrenaline of the race and the region around you? Get closer to the action, the entertainment, and the athletes with this ultimate Santos Tour Down Under experience.

In 2023 the DeTours will take revellers across the regions with full itineraries bursting for days out in the Fleurieu Peninsula, Barossa, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills, visiting some of South Australia’s most sought-after venues.

3. City of Adelaide Tour Village

The City of Adelaide Tour Villiage

Whether you are a cycling fan or a fan of festival fun, the free City of Adelaide Tour Village is the place to be from Friday 13 – Saturday 21 January. Elements include daily live music and programmed entertainment and some of South Australia’s leading food and drink vendors, including Comida, Fine and Fettle, Gelista and brand new restaurant Fiesta Tajine will make their mark. The popular Sprout Kitchen will also cook up a storm in their ‘Rolling Regions By Sprout‘ bistro space, who’s menu will reflect the region the cyclists are in each day.

There will be plenty on offer for cycling fans including Australia’s largest bike expo, providing the opportunity to test out the latest gadgets, technology and hear from brand experts.

For the first time the Team Zones will feature men’s and women’s teams side by side. This is where you can catch a glimpse of your favourite riders and watch the mechanics at work.

4. Live Entertainment

Headline act Vanessa Amorosi

Pop icon Vanessa Amorosi is headlining a raft of well-known, plus up and coming, musical acts, all available to watch free in the City of Adelaide Tour Village.

Don’t miss your chance to see Amorosi get ‘Absolutely Everybody’ pumping on opening night, Friday 13 Jan, joined by an exciting mix of musical entertainment who will entertain fans, such as First Nations Triple J Unearthed duo MARLON X RULLA.

Other acts include Stace Cadet, best known for Hottest 100 featured dance song, ‘Energy’, DJ Mell Hall, MORGEN + TINK, Rob Edwards and more.

Interested to know what other events South Australia plays host to? Check out our events calendar with all the latest dates and information about some of Australia’s most iconic festivals.

5. Family Ride

San Remo Family Tour

See the champions of tomorrow take on part of the UCI WorldTour street circuit just hours before their cycling superheroes. Don’t miss this chance to get your kids or grandkids involved!

Ride the shady track with your family as the perfect way to stay active this school holidays. Ride as many laps as you can before the final bell rings. Under 10s will ride alongside a parent or guardian and the over 10s can hit the track solo!

Collect your goodie bag upon arrival and after you’ve hit the track you can hop along Oppy’s Ochre Trail, picking up a selection of fun items from around the Tour Village before you see the pro riders battle it out.

6. Trek Night Riders Criterium

TREK Night Riders Criterium

Watch Australia’s best elite men’s and women’s domestic cyclists battle it out in a fast and furious street circuit. With the circuit nestled right next to the City of Adelaide Tour Village, it’s the perfect way to enjoy a cold one with your mates on a warm summer’s night watching fast criterium racing.

With live DJ’s playing throughout, enjoy the atmosphere at TREK Night Riders with surrounding events and festivities in the City of Adelaide Tour Village including food and drink options, kid’s corner and much more.

7. Challenge Tour

Challenge Tour

Are you up for a challenge? The Challenge Tour is back and will test even the toughest legs.

Three of Adelaide’s biggest climbs feature, Norton Summit, Checker Hill and Corkscrew Road. This is your opportunity to ride Stage 3 just hours before the Santos Tour Down Under men’s teams.

Post ride, relax in the festival atmosphere awaiting at the finish line in Campbelltown, where you are invited to relax, refuel and enjoy the Men’s Stage 3 race as it unfolds on big screens.

Not quite up for something that challenging but still want to get a ride in? We’ve got you covered. A range of group rides are on offer, each leaving from the City of Adelaide Tour Village daily. Meet other avid recreational cyclists in the city and explore together some iconic local routes. A great social activity for cyclists during the festival. Group rides will vary in difficulty, experience, and average speed, so there will be something to suit all levels of riders.

Keep the journey moving…

Swap from two wheels to four and explore South Australia by taking one of our iconic road trips. Shuck oysters caught fresh from the ocean lapping at your knees, dive beneath the surface at a pre-historic sinkhole or pack up your 4×4 for an outback adventure.

/Courtesy of SA Tourism. View in full here.