An artist impression of the proposed public artworks along Main Street, McLaren Vale, with two smiling women in sunglasses standing alongside colouful pillars and the entrance to Hardys Tintara winery.

Published on 17 April 2024

Bold plans for McLaren Vale streetscape upgrade

The City of Onkaparinga wants your feedback on new plans for a streetscape upgrade parta of Main Road, McLaren Vale, to further promote the town as a premier tourism destination.

The streetscape upgrade - between the McLaren Vale Hotel and Hewitt Drive - is the centrepiece of the council’s McLaren Vale Main Street Action Plan, which was developed in collaboration with the McLaren Vale Business and Tourism Association to bring a dynamic vision for the area to life. The action plan was guided by feedback from residents, businesses and visitors to the region.

A key theme of the feedback was that more needed to be done to attract people to stop, stay and spend in the street, highlighting the area’s appeal to visitors and locals alike.

The streetscape upgrade concept plan responds to this feedback and proposes:

  • installing visually dynamic and interactive public art elements to encourage people to stop and explore the main street
  • establishing arbours along the street as shade refuges
  • subtle uplighting of several built and landscaped street features to support the night-time economy
  • extending the public realm to provide additional seating and landscaping
  • an alfresco dining area (subject to additional funding)
  • improving and increasing greenery and beautification through gardens beds and additional street trees.

Construction in the upgrade area is anticipated to start by late 2024.

You can see the draft concept plan and provide your feedback at the council’s Your Say page by Monday 6 May.

You can also attend a community information session at the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast Visitor Centre from 6:30pm to 8pm on Wednesday 24 April (RSVP online by Sunday 21 April).

One of the more attention-grabbing elements is a public artwork or ‘visual cue’ in the form of pillars in the landscaped public area near the entrance to Hardys Tintara winery, which would function as both a sculpture and an immersive, experiential space.

Artist Sam Songailo said the installation would be visible from both up close and afar and would feature bold vertical columns dynamically arranged in grid.

“Graphics and colours merge and shift depending on the observer’s position, creating a fluid visual experience,” he said.

“At night, lighting adds to the ever-changing composition. Inspired by the diverse makeup of McLaren Vale and its surroundings, the installation serves as a place of community, coming together, and discovery.

“It celebrates McLaren Vale as the heart of the region, a place of re-energised celebration and discovery, encapsulating its essence through abstracted references to growth, vineyard wanderings, and aquifer flows.”

City of Onkaparinga Mayor Moira encouraged the community to check out the plans for the entire streetscape upgrade and to have their say.

“We’re so lucky to have a world-renowned wine region right here on our doorstep, and this streetscape upgrade is about encouraging people to stop, spend and linger even longer when they’re in its Main Street,” she said.

“The elements of the draft concept plan have been designed to surprise and delight visitors while also creating a street that’s colourful, appealing and comfortable; providing shade and greenery; and complementing the heritage values and character of the area.

“It’ll also help stimulate McLaren Vale’s night-time economy by using subtle decorative lighting.

“We’re grateful for the collaboration with the community, visitors and the McLaren Vale Business and Tourism Association to date, and I encourage everyone to now view the concept plan at our Your Say page or at the Wednesday 24 April public meeting and let us know what you think.”