Posted on 25th February 2019 by Media Relations
Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s new Waterhole Café and water play area will see $10.2 million invested to redevelop the current kiosk located at the mid-way point of the Zoo circuit, transforming it into yet another highlight for guests.
The Waterhole Café project is a joint investment between the NSW Government and Taronga Conservation Society Australia, with local company David Payne Constructions the successful tenderer.
“It has given me great pleasure to see Taronga Western Plains Zoo evolve during my time as Member for Dubbo, and the Waterhole Café is the latest addition to a truly world-class tourism and conservation facility,” Member for Dubbo Troy Grant MP said.
The new development will feature a 150-seat café with an African inspired design that incorporates a rammed earth construction and takes advantage of natural ventilation and airflow. The café will be set into the natural landscape, providing extensive panoramic views of surrounding exhibits and the horizon.
The café will feature alfresco dining with an open style that provides a connection between the building and the landscape to create a harmonious environment. The Waterhole Café will have an over-water deck along with integrated animal exhibits that will allow guests to dine with the Meerkats and Star Tortoise whilst overlooking herd species.
A central element of the development is an exciting water play area for children with an African waterhole theme featuring Hippo and Elephant sculptures, and an extensive array of automated jets and misting systems.
“Having a precinct like this at the mid-way point will give the thousands of visitors that go to the Zoo each year another reason to stop and take in everything the complex has to offer.”
“Steve Hinks and the team at Taronga Western Plains Zoo deserve enormous credit for having the foresight to constantly look at ways to add to the visitor experience,” said Mr Grant.
“We have been making big strides over the past few years to keep evolving, with the completion of the Lion Pride Lands precinct, Savannah Safari and Wild Herds,” said Zoo Director Steve Hinks.
“This next project will see our midway point change dramatically. The new water play area will be a real highlight of the overall Zoo experience, providing people with the opportunity to cool off in the warmer months,” said Steve.
“The Waterhole Café and water play will become a popular stop off point for guests to utilise, as well as a new attraction for local annual pass holders to enjoy.”
“The animal exhibits surrounding the new café will also provide an immersive visitor experience including a tunnel and viewing dome in the Meerkat exhibit.
The adjacent solar complex at Midway will also be removed during the construction period, and a new larger and more efficient solar complex will be installed, that will provide power to the new café and water play area.
“Construction of the Waterhole Café will not have a major impact on guests wishing to see the Zoo. We will at some point in the future close the current Midway Kiosk but will offer a temporary service during this time,” said Steve.
Construction is due to commence in March 2019 and will take approximately 12 months to complete.