Victor Harbor mainstream precinct gets a makeover!

Victor Harbor mainstream precinct

Victor Harbor mainstream precinct

Main Photo Credit: Victor Harbor Times

The City of Victor Harbor certainly has a unique character, which has been loved and enjoyed by the residents and visitors to the area for many years. The surviving historic buildings in the main street are a significant contributor to the character of Ocean Street. This is just one of the reasons that 200,000 holidaymakers visit Victor Harbor every year. The time has come for Ocean Street to get some love!

Victor Harbor mainstream precinct

Ocean street 1950 (North View) Photo Credit: State Library of South Australia

“You could drive both ways in the main street and it was really the hub of the township and a true community.” Peter Tugwell – born and bred in Victor Harbor

For around 130 years, Victor Harbor has been South Australia’s most visited and most famous seaside destination. Day trippers and holiday makers traditionally wander through the shops along Ocean Street, visit their favourite lolly shop, grab some fish and chips to eat on the vast lawns by the whale fountain, or enjoy an afternoon tea in one of the streets cafes or restaurants.

I think most of us can think of a time we enjoyed at least one of those lazy afternoons in Victor (immortalised in the song “A Day Trip to Victor” (link to

Victor Harbor mainstream precinct

Many of these historic buildings still remain today. Ocean street 1880 (North view)

Although Victor Harbor is graced with a Main street full of historical charm, in recent years visitors have described it as ‘looking tired’. Well, the Victor Harbor council is changing all that!

The Victor Harbor council plan is to transform the town centre into a vibrant place, reflecting its heritage and celebrating the town’s strong connection with the marine environment and the Southern Right Whale. There are seven stages in the upgrade and it will take a number of years to complete, however the first stage is due to be completed by the end of August 2016.

Stage one received funding from the State Government’s ‘Places for People’ Grant Program to contribute to the cost of the upgrade which involves new paving, feature lighting, garden beds, street furniture, landscaping, drainage and feature art.

Victor Harbor mainstream precinct

The installation of 4 Canary Island Palms, corner of ocean and coral street. Photo credit: Victor Harbor Times

The City of Victor Harbor appointed South Australian commercial landscaping and civil engineering firm Outside Ideas to deliver stage one of the upgrade. Outside Ideas have been involved in some other impressive, high profile projects too such as the Adelaide Oval redevelopment and the Adelaide Airport lanside infrastructure project.

Victor Harbor mainstream precinct

All Canary Island Palms successfully installed and looking fabulous! Ocean street (North view) Photo: Paula Stott

Victor Harbor locals have spent the last three months dodging roadworks and closed roads but things are wrapping up and will be back to normal soon. Although the road works haven’t quite finished yet it is still business as usual on Ocean Street!

“It is inevitable that there will be some inconveniences, but the end result will be worth it.” Says Victor Harbor Mayor Graham Philip.

The arrival of the 4 huge palm trees has brought to life the new design and heralds the near completion of the project.

About the design

“The design of the Mainstreet celebrates the Southern Right Whales that come to the waters of Encounter Bay each year. The dimensions of the intersection and landscaped nodes reflect the size of a mature Southern Right Whale. The landscape and drainage system for stage 1 of the Master Plan uses water sensitive urban design techniques to filter stormwater.

The process of filtering reflects the baleen plates of the whales that are used for filtering food. In addition, various planting beds will form distinctive organic patterns along the street. These forms are derived from the barnacle clusters that form across the head of the whales. Emulating the ribs of a Southern Right Whale are crafted street lights.” – Victor Harbor City Council.”

Victor Harbor mainstream precinct

Stage 1 – Ocean street and Coral street intersection

As a local myself, I am really excited that the mainstreet precinct has been thrown a life line and is being rejuvenated into something very special. Yes, Victor Harbor has a good shopping centre but nothing compares to the experience of wandering along this charming and unique little boulevard called Ocean Street.

Victor Harbor mainstream precinct

An artists impression of the Ocean street and Coral street upgrade.

More Information

If you have further questions about the project, contact Council on (08) 8551 0500
or email [email protected]

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