Mainstreet Precinct Upgrade

Activating our mainstreet precinct

The Mainstreet Precinct Upgrade will see the heart of Victor Harbor’s Town Centre transformed into a vibrant public space that celebrates the town’s character, encourages more activity and improves links with other areas of the town centre.

The project will be undertaken over a number of years, and will be based on the framework outlined with the City of Victor Harbor’s Mainstreet Precinct Master Plan which outlines streetscape designs for Ocean, Coral, McKinlay and Stuart Streets.

In 2016, Council completed stage one of the upgrade (the intersection of Ocean and Coral streets). To celebrate the completion of the first stage a community street party was held and attended by hundreds of people.

Preparations for stage two of the upgrade are underway. Stage Two of the upgrade links to stage one, extending from the northern entrance to Ocean Street to the end of stage one. Similar to the intersection upgrade, Stage Two will involve new paving, feature lighting, garden beds, street furniture, landscaping, public art and drainage.

Stage Two

The City of Victor Harbor appointed South Australian based company Outside Ideas to deliver Stage Two of the Victor Harbor Mainstreet Precinct Upgrade.

The commercial landscaping and civil engineering firm is no stranger to the project, having delivered Stage One of the upgrade in 2016.  Since then, Outside Ideas has been involved in many major projects, including Stage Two of the Hindley Street Redevelopment, the Goodwood Road upgrade and the Sixth Street Redevelopment at Murray Bridge.

Stage Two of the Victor Harbor Mainstreet Precinct Upgrade extends along Ocean Street from the northern entrance to the end of Stage One, just before the Coral Street intersection. Similar to the Stage One intersection upgrade, Stage Two involves new paving, feature lighting, garden beds, street furniture, landscaping, public art and drainage. The construction works commenced in May and was completed in September 2019.

This stage was part funded by the SA Government’s Places for People Grants Program.

Public Art Entry Statement - 'Elemental'

A cutting edge, innovative sculpture has been installed and is making a statement at the Ocean Street entrance of Victor Harbor’s Mainstreet Precinct.

The City of Victor Harbor commissioned Fleurieu resident Karl Meyer, with the support of Exhibition Studios, to create his piece ‘Elemental’ as a part of stage two of the Victor Harbor Mainstreet Precinct upgrade.

A rigorous and detailed commissioning process was undertaken by council, starting with a State-wide call for Expressions of Interest which resulted in 13 submissions. Three artists were then shortlisted to provide detailed proposals, before Council endorsed Karl Meyer as the successful artist. Council was fortunate to have the assistance of its Arts and Culture Committee to help guide the process and selection.

Karl Meyer lives in Parawa and is closely connected with Victor Harbor and its community. Karl is an artist and designer who is recognised for creating original works that are intriguing, whimsical and inviting of inquiry.

The commissioned work ‘Elemental’ will provide an iconic, thought-provoking work of art for Victor Harbor. The piece is expected to create debate, ultimately growing critical understanding and preparing the community for future public art projects. Importantly, tourists will be exposed to the unique art work of a highly regarded South Australian artist, building the State’s reputation as a centre of cultural leadership.

The council has received 50% funding from the SA Government’s Places for People Grant Program for stage two of the Victor Harbor Mainstreet Precinct Upgrade, which includes the $80,000 artwork.

Stage Three

The design for Stage 3 of the Victor Harbor Mainstreet Upgrade has been finalised with construction scheduled to start in May 2020. Stage 3 includes the eastern side of Coral Street right down to the foreshore.

The design themes and materials used within the first two stages of the upgrade will be carried through Coral Street to create a vibrant public space while maintaining vehicular access and increasing pedestrian and cyclist safety and connectivity.  Whilst the design continues to draw on the Southern Right Whale as inspiration with unique references to the majestic creatures found in the garden beds and landscaping treatments, it is intended for the design to gradually change and transform as it approaches the foreshore area.

The design also works to further highlight the heritage character of the Precinct and railway infrastructure by widening footpaths and creating more space and higher amenity around the numerous buildings along the street and into Soldiers Memorial Gardens. The foreshore area at the end of Coral Street will become a feature with the inclusion of a stepped amphitheatre that provides both seating and pathways, leading to a small boardwalk and steps, providing more of a connection with our beach. It will also turn an underutilized space on our foreshore into a multi-functional space for festivals and events.

The space will be brought to life through better lighting and the inclusion of public art.

Find out more about the design of Stage 3. 

Stage 4

Council is currently working with landscape and urban design company, Oxigen, on this stage with the plans well and truly underway.

Stage 4 includes the southern end of Ocean Street including the intersection with Albert Place.

About the design

The Mainstreet Precinct upgrade design draws upon Victor Harbor’s local marine environment and maritime history.

Central to the design, particularly stage one, has been the analogy of the whale. Southern Right Whales are iconic to Victor Harbor, migrating to the area each year. This event has been a continuous part of Victor Harbor’s history and culture for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

The design of the Mainstreet Precinct celebrates the Southern Right Whale. The dimensions of the intersection (Stage 1) and landscaped nodes reflect the size of a mature Southern Right Whale, providing an understanding of the extreme size of the animal as a part of the design.

The landscape and drainage system reflects the baleen plates of the whales that are used for filtering food. In addition the various planting beds form a distinctive organic pattern along the street, emulating barnacle clusters that form across the head of the whale.

The unique street lights represent the whale’s ribs, while some of the seating reflects the idea of whale bones.

Mainstreet Precinct Upgrade - Stage 1

Photos: WAX Design / Photographer Simon Vaughan.


Victor Harbor Mainstreet Precinct Master Plan
Victor Harbor Mainstreet Precinct Public Art Strategy
Victor Harbor Mainstreet Precinct Upgrade - Stage Plan
Mainstreet Precinct Upgrade Stage Two - Detailed Concept Plan
Mainstreet Precinct Upgrade Stage Two - Frequently Asked Questions for Traders

More information

Further questions about the Victor Harbor Mainstreet Precinct Upgrade should be directed to Council's Strategic and Policy Planner, David Read via or (08) 8551 0500.