In terms of Australian street circuit races, the Adelaide 500 holds a special prestige.
Run on an abbreviated version of the same circuit through the Adelaide Parklands that was used to bring Formula 1 back to Australia in 1985; the Adelaide 500 is one of the biggest races on the Supercars calendar.
Originally the season opener (between 1999 and 2020) the event has now switched to the season finale making it one of the must-attend events for any Supercars fan even more so now that it’s the title decider.
If you’ve never been to the event before, it might be a little daunting. Lucky for you, with my years of attending the Adelaide 500, I’ve put together all of my best advice so that you can make the most of the race meeting when you go.
Did you know: The Adelaide 500 is still often referred to as the Clipsal 500 with the brand the naming rights sponsor of the event between 2000 and 2017.
Where is the Adelaide 500 held?
The Adelaide 500 is held on a temporary street circuit built especially for the event, predominantly in the Adelaide Parklands on the eastern edge of the CBD.
In fact, two of the city’s larger access roads through the parklands, Wakefield Rd and Bartels Rd, form part of the track for the duration of the race meeting. The East Terrace which lines the eastern edge of the city is the main access road to the track.
While the majority of the track, including the permanent section that includes the pits and most of the grandstands, is located in Victoria Park.
Where To Stay For The Adelaide 500?
I typically try to stay in a serviced apartment right in the centre of the city that I share with a couple of other photographers. I find this is the best option for me to work at the Adelaide 500.
That said, I’ve spent a lot of time in Adelaide over the years, and there are many good options for staying in the heart of the city that will allow you easy access to the circuit without having to drive.
Here are some of my picks for some of the best places to stay in Adelaide, not only to make it super convenient to get to the race track but also to make the most of your time in the city while you are there.
- The Soho Hotel – A brand new addition to Adelaide and just a stone’s throw from Victoria Park. The perfect combination of luxury and convenience.
- Hume Serviced Apartments – As I mentioned, serviced apartments are my go-to for the Adelaide 500; these are one of my top picks in the heart of the city and within walking distance to the track.
- RNR Serviced Apartments – Another of my go-to’s for the Adelaide 500 again in the centre of the city, but still close enough to walk to the track.
- For a little more of an up-market stay, either Hilton Adelaide or Adina Apartment Hotel are great options to make the most of your time in Adelaide as well as attend the race.
- While the best budget option closest to the track is the Adelaide Travellers Inn Backpackers Hostel.
Getting To and From the Adelaide 500?
As you might have worked out to this point, my preferred method of getting to and from the Adelaide 500 street circuit is walking.
The great thing about the city-based street races is that they are super convenient to access when you stay in the city and Adelaide is no different. The bad thing is infrastructure like parking is quite limited, hence my preference for walking.
While staying in the centre of Adelaide, I’ve found that following Halifax Street will lead you all the way to the main gate. And it takes me about 20 minutes.
That said, taxis and uber are both very good options if you don’t feel like walking. I have found that typically there has been a queue of taxis waiting at the main gate and the end of the day which is handy.
What To Do In The Evenings?
One thing that the Adelaide 500 is famous for is the concerts held each night. In fact, I’ve seen people spend all day waiting at the concert stage waiting for the concert to start oblivious to the fact that there is a motorsport event running. So, that’s going to be the first option for many people.
Beyond spending all day and all night at the track, there is plenty to see and do in Adelaide after the on track action finishes for the day.
Traditionally, on the Saturday night Hutt Street is closed off to traffic to allow the restaurants, pubs and cafes to expand with extra tables onto the street. Keep an eye out for the street party vibe in the area.
Beyond that, there are plenty of pubs and cafes near the track. But for the best array of restaurants and bars, you really need to head to Gouger Street in the centre of the city.
Spending Time In Adelaide Before or After?
I’m going to give you the hot tip… If you just fly in and out for the race, you are doing yourself a disservice. Adelaide has so much to offer.
Also, everyone else wants to fly out on the Monday morning after the Adelaide 500. Making the airport a real nightmare for a few hours. Adelaide Airport is a decent size, but with just one terminal, everyone has to transit through the same place, so it gets quite busy.
So why not take full advantage of the trip and explore what else Adelaide has to offer? I’ve already put together a comprehensive guide covering everything you need to know to visit Adelaide which you should definitely check out.
That said, sports fans should really check out the Adelaide Oval (they run tours).