The major cost for international visitors will be airfares, though it’s cheaper to fly to Australia than from Australia.
Expect to pay anywhere between AUD$1500 and AUD$2500 (roughly: €1215-2026 or £975-£1621) for flights to Adelaide in January from Europe. Flights from LAX will run you to around AUD/USD2200 at least.
Australia is quite an expensive place to visit with a high cost of living. If you’re visiting on Euro or Sterling though, I think you’ll find it much of a muchness and you’ll have a reasonable amount of purchasing power.
For those coming from Europe, the UK, the States, Canada and Asia, going out for dinner can be an expensive exercise, although the quality and diversity of food in Australia is excellent (more on this later). There’s a wide variety of price points and generally speaking a decent dinner will cost you at least AUD$20 for a main.
In terms of budget, I’d allow something like the numbers below. All costs are in AUD.
Airfares – $2000
Accommodation – between $100-300 per night per person.
Food – $50 per day per person – $10 breakfast, $10 lunch, $30 dinner including a drink.
Car hire is only really needed if you intend to drive around on day trips, so no need to worry about this if you’re just staying in and around Adelaide and riding your bike. If you need car hire, budget $40 per day.
There are plenty of cost saving ideas such as the ones below.
Breakfast – buy some cereal and have breakfast in your digs. Better still, make and take my own high protein cereal called the Ola Mix.
Make your own lunch and take it on day trips.
Dinner – pubs are great value as are Thai, Chinese and Malay restaurants.
Accommodation – stay in long term accommodation or stay outside Adelaide.
Getting to Australia means long haul flights. If you’re coming from Asia, the middle east, the EU or UK, the good news is you’ll likely be flying on newer planes like A380s and Boeing 777s.
Qantas and Emirates have formed an alliance (read more about the Qantas Emirates alliance) which is going to be awesome for those flying to Australia from Europe, the UK and middle east.
Adelaide is served by the following airlines (with airline code):
Please be aware that if you click on flights via the Skyscanner widgets I might receive a small commission.
One great option is to fly into (or out of) Adelaide airport and into or out of a different airport like Melbourne.
For international visitors, the best baggage allowances are on Singapore (35kg), Emirates (30kg but you can push it to 35kg) and Virgin Australia (2x23kg). If you’re a Qantas Club member you’ll also get 2x23kg.
For locals, your best bet is on Virgin or a Qantas flight (not Jetstar). I am able to get my bike and gear for four days into an EVOC bike bag and keep under 23kg when flying domestically.
Make sure you book your entire trip on one ticket through to Adelaide. If you book a domestic stand alone flight, you’ll be subject to the baggage limitations of that domestic ticket and Australian domestic baggage allowances are very restrictive.
I’ll have a baggage tool to help you find the best baggage allowances for your flight available very soon. Make sure you’re on the VeloNomad mailing list to find out when it’s ready.
One of the best parts of the TDU is you stay in one place and ride out of Adelaide (which does not take long) with lots of other cyclists to one of the vantage points.
Often, you’ll be able to watch several passings of the peloton. This is usually true of the Willunga stage where you can smash out to the beach to watch a sprint then head up Willunga to watch peloton pass twice.
The police protecting the TDU are MUCH more laid back than the TDF gendarmes. You’ll be able to ride up the road in the same, or opposite, direction to the race until just a few minutes before the lead riders appear.
As soon as the last riders pass you can alight your bike and keep going.
There are none of these getting-pulled-off-the-road-6-hours-before-the-riders-appear shenanigans (yes this happened to me, TDF Stage 13 2009).
You can even smash back down off Old Willunga Hill into Willunga to watch the finish AFTER the riders pass over the hill.
Like I said, pretty awesome.
After each stage you will often ride back with the actual riders which is awesome (especially when you burn off the Liquigas lightweights).
Riding back with team Liquigas
Most Aussie pubs in Adelaide will have the TDU on during the day (if not, just ask them!). In France you can sometimes struggle to find a pub with the Tour on.
There’ll be a large influx of visitors so you’ll want to book by October the year before to make sure you secure accommodation.
Although there’ll be lots of accommodation in surrounding areas like the wine regions, staying in Adelaide gives you access to a lot more restaurants and also drinks with the riders each night at the Hilton.
Hahndorf is an awesome old German town which is readily accessible by bike.
If you’re an Aussie visiting the TDU, skip this section as it’s likely you’ll already have internet on your smartphone.
Australia is a funny old place. Wired internet in hotels can range from being heinously expensive to “free” (you and I both know “free” means it’s built into the cost).
We don’t have broadband everywhere, so if you stay outside Adelaide you might not have access to fast reliable internet.
However, wireless internet is a different kettle of fish.
There are three providers of wireless internet (or mobile broadband) in Australia – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Telstra by far and away have the biggest and best network, which is progressively being upgraded to LTE or 4G.
Most smartphones will work on all the Australian networks. If you’re from the USA, make double sure of this as the US operates, or used to, mobile networks on different spectrums to those in many other countries.
I’ve tested an iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 on Australian networks and European networks and both work on Orange France, Vodafone Spain/France/Suisse/Germany so if you have a phone that works on these you’ll be fine.
If you have a tablet, all providers have plans for tablets too but I think you’re better off putting a SIM in your phone then tethering to your phone.
Clare Valley (138km to the north) – search for McLaren Vale wineries
If you’re on a tight schedule, the Barossa and McLaren Valley offer outstanding wineries.
South Australia’s reds in particular are renowned.
Some of my absolute favourite Shiraz and Cab Sav vineyards are in the Barossa including: McGuigan, Jacobs Creek, Wolf Blass, Lehman, Saltram, Henschke, Penfolds and many more.
The Bowen estate in the Coonawarra produces ridiculous reds. The Coonawarra can be visited from Adelaide or on the way to Melbourne. Rymill, Wynns and Penley estates are also in the Coonawarra.
Special Needs Eating
I have to admit, Australia has the best selection of restaurants, cafes and food diversity anywhere in the world. Adelaide is no exception.
Even if you have special needs requirements like gluten free/coeliac, vegan or something else, you’ll be fine as the variety of food available, and general understanding by restaurants of a broad range of requirements, ensures everyone is catered for.
Supermarkets all stock gluten free bread and other products as well as loads of vegan substitutes for bacon and so on.
The local seafood is seriously good with the Great Australian Bight, and Oz in general, being rich in great seafood.
Adelaide serves up some great steak as well.
Whilst Adelaide isn’t as blessed with as much seriously great coffee as some other cities in Australia (like Melbourne), there are still a few great places to be found.
Many riders will head out to Glenelg each morning for a coffee so you won’t have trouble finding people and following them west to the beach.