Environment Minister Robyn Parker and Dubbo MP Troy Grant today announced the $2.1 million redevelopment of Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Zoofari Lodge is well underway and is expected to be ready by April 2014.
Ms Parker said the project which commenced in September, will improve the award winning overnight experiences and will continue to lead the field of zoo and nature-based overnight experiences in Australia.
“Zoofari Lodge was the first zoo-based accommodation experience to be opened in Australia and has remained popular with Zoo visitors ever since, receiving numerous awards and sparking rave reviews along the way,” Ms Parker said.
“This redevelopment will generally enhance the overall experience, with the new high quality accommodation keeping Zoofari Lodge at the forefront of zoo and nature-based overnight experiences.”
Dubbo MP Troy Grant, said seven older style tented lodges built in 1995 will be replaced with 10 new lodges that directly overlook the Zoo’s African Savannah exhibit.
“The new lodges will not only have an amazing view of the Savannah where Giraffe, Zebra, Eland and other species roam, but will also feature private decks and African-inspired decor inside,” Mr Grant said.
“The redevelopment will be completed by April 2014, when visitors will be able to experience the new luxurious lodges.
“The new luxurious safari-style lodges will feature an African-inspired decor with king size bed and double bath, and will overlook the African Savannah where Giraffe, Zebra and Eland roam right outside the lodges.
“The redevelopment of Zoofari Lodge follows the opening of the Zoo’s newest overnight experience, Billabong Camp in April 2013.”
Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s General Manager Matthew Fuller said following the tender process the successful applicant, Joss Constructions, has been hard at work with the new accommodation already starting to take shape. “This redevelopment is the second stage of the Zoofari Lodge upgrade. The first stage Main House refurbishment, with a more contemporary African design was completed in 2012,” Mr Fuller said.
“Zoofari Lodge will continue to operate throughout the construction period, with minimal impact, but at one point there will be less capacity than usual.”