Plans for a $25 million tourist attraction designed to showcase Australian pastoral life and celebrate the richly historic township of Kapunda – located on the doorstep of the iconic Barossa Valley in South Australia – have been unveiled today.
Drover’s Encounter will be a uniquely Australian destination for locals and visitors of all ages, offering culinary, cultural and entertainment experiences. This once in a generation investment opportunity will consist of a diverse range of attractions for locals and visitors:
- The Drover’s Encounter Experience Centre – immersive storytelling of Sir Sidney Kidman, Frederick Dutton, the Seppelt Family and other local icons with strong connections to Kapunda, Light Country and the Barossa Valley region;
- The Stockman’s Arena – events venue hosting live horsemanship shows and experiences;
- Signature Restaurant – destination dining showcasing farm to plate local and native produce within an iconic heritage homestead;
- an Adventure Playground – free adventure playground, a major family destination for locals and visitors alike; and
- an Activated Historic Copper Mine – interactive experience on the site of Australia’s first commercially successful mine which dates back to the 1830’s and the birthplace of some of Australia’s most famous companies today. Commitment of $1.2 million just announced, with completion expected by December 2023.
Designed to be a dynamic and constantly refreshed destination, Drovers is set to have strong appeal for locals as a key social anchor across the region and SA. This will see it have strong and authentic visitor appeal, as a locally loved and celebrated icon for the region.
“The Light Country area, which covers nearly half of the internationally renowned Barossa Valley, is already one of South Australia’s most iconic destinations. Drover’s Encounter will benefit from, and continue to drive substantial growth to the region,” said Tourism Industry Council South Australia (TICSA) CEO, Shaun DeBruyn.
“By offering something so unique, whilst being authentic to the region and embraced by locals, Drover’s Encounter will unlock Kapunda’s potential as a key destination for national and international tourists.”
The Barossa Valley currently attracts one million day trippers and 285,000 overnight visitors each year. In addition to being perfectly placed to build on the region’s profile and further enhance visitation to the famous local region, Drover’s Encounter will benefit from planned key upgrades to surrounding tourist routes, positioning Kapunda as a must-visit destination on road trips to the Clare Valley Region and Flinders Ranges
Locals can expect major boosts from the project, with preliminary designs by internationally renowned architects Woods Bagot through their Adelaide studio, promising the varied multi-dimensional offering will complement the existing landscape.
“With a prime position on Kapunda’s historic Main Street, Drover’s Encounter will deliver major economic benefits, including job creation and increased trade and footfall into town-centre businesses,” said Mayor of Light Regional Council, Bill O’Brien. “Drover’s Encounter will bring welcome growth, celebrating our stories and preserving our local values for future generations. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Construction on the project is targeted for 2023, with operations to commence in late 2024 / early 2025.