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Australian Tourism Award Winners 2017 for Best Unique Accommodation

On the eve of its 40th birthday, Taronga Western Plains Zoo can lay claim to the title ‘Home of the best unique accommodation in Australia’. Again!

 The Zoo won Gold for Best Unique Accommodation for the second time at the Australian Tourism Awards gala evening, held in Darwin on Friday 24 February.

“This is the second consecutive year we’ve won this category at the peak industry awards,” said Taronga Western Plains Zoo Director, Matthew Fuller.

 “That’s such an amazing achievement. The finalists from each state and territory were of extremely high quality, so to win this category two years in a row is really something special. We haven’t stopped smiling!”

 Mr Fuller, who accepted the award, said it was recognition for the quality of overnight experiences on offer at the Zoo, and the high level of commitment and passion of the Zoo team delivering those experiences.

 “This award is wonderful acknowledgement of our world class zoo and our dedicated team,” Mr Fuller said. “No matter what their role, every member of the Zoo team can and should take great pride in this achievement.”

 The award is for the Zoo’s three overnight experiences combined – luxury safari Zoofari Lodge, self contained Savannah Cabins and Aussie bush camping Billabong Camp. Taronga Western Plains Zoo invested in each of these experiences in 2013/14 and 2014/15, taking the bar for in-Zoo accommodation to a whole new level.

 “Since expansion of our overnight experiences, we have so many more opportunities to engage with our guests, to give them truly memorable experiences with the animals in our care and to inspire them about wildlife,” Mr Fuller said.

 “The feedback we are receiving from our guests and the success we are experiencing in terms of recognition from the industry is both incredibly pleasing and humbling. The Zoo turns 40 this month and we’re so proud of our history and so very excited about the future.”

 Over the coming decade, Taronga Western Plains Zoo will continue to change and evolve as its Visitor Experience Plan becomes a reality. The plan will see exciting new wildlife exhibits along with key upgrades and redevelopments across the site, providing unique ways for visitors to connect with wildlife.

 “Already we are receiving very positive feedback about our Savannah Safari tour, which was the first project to be completed under the Visitor Experience Plan. Work is now well underway on the Zoo’s biggest project – African Pridelands, which will open late this year,” said Mr Fuller.

 Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo in Central Western NSW and is open every day.  For more information visit www.taronga.org.au or contact 6881 1400.

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