This online engagement was hosted on YourSAy from 10 December 2019 to 14 February 2020. Find out more about the consultation process. Below is a record of the engagement.
The proposed concepts are designed to enhance the access and experience for visitors, whilst maintaining, protecting and enabling the activation of the garden, its collections of plants and its biodiversity for current and future generations.
New visitor centre
A new visitor centre is proposed near the current viewing platform which overlooks the arboretum (near the lower car park, off Lampert Road). It would provide a unique area for visitors to find out more about the garden and to plan their visit. A proposed café with seating, a roof-top viewing area, toilets and a merchandise shop would make this a vibrant all-weather hub for visitors.
On particularly busy days, finding a car park can be a problem for visitors to Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. Now is the time to plan for additional car parking, which could include a combination of re-purposing of current staff car parking and using already owned board land on the estate, which is currently vacant and under-utilised.
Improved way-finding signage
Clearer and improved signage to and throughout the botanic garden will keep visitors informed about their location and provide orientation. The garden has some very steep paths and gullies so new maps and sign infrastructure would illustrate the topography of the garden estate, trails and gullies and assist visitors to choose a suitable route for their visit. In addition, new public toilets and undercover shelter areas are also proposed.
A new horticulture and conservation hub
A new relocated eco-friendly solar powered single storey depot is proposed to replace the current staff administration building and nursery building. This nursery is where plants are grown for all three botanic gardens (Adelaide, Mount Lofty and Wittunga) and for other horticultural and conservation operations and state projects. This proposed exciting new space could also be used as a learning centre for public workshops, school groups and horticultural trainees, and would be designed to provide a place of refuge in local emergencies such as bushfires.
Upgraded walking trails
Walking and hiking trails are an important attraction for many visitors to this botanic garden. The proposed concepts include trail upgrades to enable the public to safely and more easily access the collections and attractions, while also improving internal roads for staff access to tend to the plant collections. The trails on-site are below standard and some linkages are currently closed while awaiting repair post storm damage. Links through the native forest and to sections of the Heysen Trial are also awaiting repair.
In addition to these proposals, enhanced interpretation will be installed across the garden to explain the nature, origin, and purpose of plants in the collection. Visitors will be able to learn more about the diversity of the collection and its conservation status.
If included in the finalised revised Masterplan document, these proposed concepts will enable the botanic garden to meet the needs of visitors coming solely to the garden, as well as those visiting other attractions throughout the Mount Lofty Precinct. The garden is a vital link in the nature-based tourist route through the Adelaide Hills, including forming part of the Heysen Trail, and offering unique experiences for both regular and new visitors alike.
The below map shows potential locations for the visitor centre, horticulture and conservation hub, and new visitor car-parking.