Best Major Attaction at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards
Taronga Zoo has been named the ‘Best Major Attraction’ at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards held in Perth on 11 March, 2011.
The Zoo was selected from many outstanding Australian competitors to take home the coveted award which recognises and promotes excellence in Australian tourism. The ceremony is the industry’s biggest and most prestigious event of the year.
Taronga Zoo Director and Chief Executive, Cameron Kerr, said:” We would like to thank the National Tourism Alliance and Tourism Australia for recognising the value of our work for wildlife.”
“The national award demonstrates that people value the work we do. No longer are zoos just a place to house animals, but centres of excellence in nature-based tourism. We play a vital role educating domestic and international visitors about wildlife, conservation issues and how we can all have positive impact on our environment.”
"For domestic and international tourists, a trip to the Zoo for the chance to encounter wildlife and take in the breathtaking harbour at the ‘zoo with the view’ is high up on the itinerary.”
“Australia has some outstanding tourist attractions, so it is indeed a privilege to be considered so highly. This is great recognition that we are heading in the right direction.”
The Zoo is continually evolving introducing new exhibits including the Great Southern Oceans exhibit that introduces visitors to marine animals like Leopard Seals and Little Penguins and the Tasmanian Devil Breeding Centre, which is also helping to educate visitors about the threats this species faces and how Taronga is assisting.
“Taronga is a very unique place. We are a favourite with tourists, locals and children, but at our core we are a conservation organisation, a wildlife rehabilitation and research centre and education facility. That’s what makes the zoo a very different sort of attraction, drawing a wide cross-section of people keen to discover more about the wonders of wildlife,” said Cameron.
Best Major Attaction at the NSW Tourism Industry Awards
Taronga Zoo has received the 2010 best 'Major Attraction' award at the NSW Tourism Industry Awards at the Grand Pavilion, Rosehill Gardens Racecourse.
The awards recognise and promote excellence in NSW tourism, with many high profile attractions competing. Taronga was selected from the range of stellar nominations to take home the coveted award.
Taronga Zoo Director and Chief Executive, Cameron Kerr, said: “We are very proud to have won this award and would like to thank the Tourism Industry Council and Tourism NSW for recognising the unique contribution Taronga makes to our state tourism sector.”
“In our 94 year history, Taronga has welcomed over 100 million visitors, giving them a unique wildlife experience.”
“This award demonstrates that people are interested in our work for wildlife and that conservation is fascinating and exciting. It also makes us uniquely positioned to educate and inspire the community about conservation issues and hopefully positively influence their attitudes and behaviours.”
“For domestic and international tourists a trip to the Zoo for the chance to encounter wildlife and take in the breathtaking harbour at the ‘Zoo with the view’ is high up on their itinerary. NSW has some premier tourist attractions, so it’s indeed a privilege to be considered so highly.” said Cameron.
Bronze Level Partner of the NSW Government Sustainable Advantage Program
Taronga Zoo was recognised as a Bronze Level Partner of the NSW Government Sustainable Advantage Program on Monday 23 July 2012. The award was received for Taronga’s demonstrated leadership and commitment to business sustainability and for achievements such as measured reduction in water and energy use and an increase in the diversion of waste from landfill over the last 12 months.
Minister for Environment, the the Hon. Robyn Parker MP, presented Taronga’s award to Taronga’s Environmental Sustainability Manager , Emma Schaefer, who accepted the award on behalf of the Taronga.
Zoo and Aquarium Association Award for Education Program
In March 2010, Taronga Zoo has won the Zoo and Aquarium Australia award for outstanding achievements in promoting conservation issues to the community.
The world-famous Zoo shared the Zoo and Aquarium Association’s (previously Australasian Regional Zoological Parks and Aquaria or ARAZPA) Education Award with Zoos Victoria for its innovative outreach program designed to inspire community support and action for locally endangered species.
Taronga’s Education team won the award for its innovative community outreach program “Project Insitu”. The program facilitated school children connecting with locally endangered species to encourage them and their communities to protect these wild animals, including Little Penguins, Regent Honeyeaters and Booroolong Frogs.
Taronga’s Education Manager, Paul Maguire, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have received this award. These specialised education programs are all about ‘bridging the gap’ between experts, such as scientists working towards recovery efforts, and the community.”
“The school children develop an appreciation for their locally endangered wildlife and hear about what the experts are doing. We then get them involved in practical exercises such as restoring habitat. They are then challenged to create community action and awareness programs to engage people in their local communities to help save these animals”.
The Taronga Education team has developed educational programs for Manly’s endangered Little Penguin colony with 800 school children participating this year; “Project Booroolong” where students at Tumbarumba got behind their native critically endangered Booroolong Frog and children from Chiltern, Victoria rallied behind the tiny endangered bird, the Regent Honey Eater.
The ZAA Awards are exceptionally challenging, with only six of 70 Zoos and aquariums across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific receiving awards this year at the conference dinner.
NSW Tourism Award
Taronga Zoo's 'Roar and Snore' overnight accommodation has won two NSW Tourism Awards in its first year of operation.
Roar and Snore's "Sunday Telegraph People's Choice Award" and a Silver Award in the "New Tourism Development" category in 2009. Both wins were recorded within the first year since opening with hundreds of guests having already enjoyed sleeping at the Zoo in luxurious tented accommodation.
The Zoo's General Manager Marketing, Guest and Commercial Operations, Paul Davies, said: 'This is an outstanding result of our staff, who've worked incredibly hard to make Roar and Snore successful."
"We're seeing huge interest from overseas tourists, and everyone's saying that a stay in the tented camp overlooking Sydney Harbour is fantastic. It's also a great opportunity to introduce visitors to our keepers' remarkable work for wildlife."
"Taronga's great collection of Australia wildlife is of particular interest to international visitors, and the whole visit includes hands-on experiences from feeding the giraffes their breakfast to helping prepare food for the Zoo’s nocturnal wildlife."
Mr Davies said: "What started out as a simple camping experience at our Education Centre has now moved centre-stage with accommodation and meals to match the remarkable wildlife experience of staying in the zoo overnight. Besides meeting Australian animals during the visit, there’s lots of free-ranging wildlife living just outside your tents from kookaburras with their laughing, early morning calls to Brushtail and Ringtail Possums, which are often met during the night walks in the Zoo."
2011 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
Taronga Western Plains Zoo has won a 2011 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award for consistently receiving excellent ratings from members.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is a 4 rating which we are very proud of and thank everyone who has commented on the TripAdvisor website about their wonderful experience at the Zoo.