Building a better zoo: Taronga’s new Wildlife Retreat

Building a better zoo: Taronga’s new Wildlife Retreat

#Building a Better Zoo, #Taronga Zoo Sydney

Posted on 09th February 2017 by Media Relations

The next 10 years will be an exciting time for Taronga Zoo. Across the site, new developments are underway that will revitalise the Taronga experience for guests—and for the wildlife in Taronga’s care.

Exciting new projects at Taronga Zoo include the incredible new Sumatran Tiger experience that takes you on a journey into the deepest Indonesian jungles, an expanded and improved multi-species African Savannah exhibit, through to the development of the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning to build on Taronga’s existing strengths in research and education.

One of the most exciting new developments will be the Australia Habitat exhibit: an up-close animal experience where visitors can meet iconic and unknown Australian fauna. This wildlife sanctuary will house platypus, wallabies, koalas, gliders, wombats, bandicoots, cockatoos and a population of critically endangered corroboree frogs — all set in the context of the beautiful Australian landscape.

And to allow a fully immersive experience for guests, the Australia Habitat exhibit will host Taronga’s new Wildlife Retreat:an overnight wildlife experience that allows guests to spend time in the heart of Taronga Zoo and to learn from our keepers and guides, while surrounded by our native fauna.

So how will the new Australia Habitat exhibit and the Wildlife Retreat help Taronga’s vision of securing a shared future for wildlife and people?

Continuing the success of Taronga’s overnight experiences

Taronga’s Wildlife Retreat builds on the success of our unique overnight experiences like Taronga Zoo’s Roar & Snore and the Zoofari Lodge, Billabong Camp and Savannah Cabins at Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. These overnight experiences have been enjoyed by almost 40,000 people each year for more than 10 years. They create genuine connections between people and wildlife, and help positively impact visitors’ attitudes and behaviours towards wildlife and conservation — locally, nationally and internationally.

Educating people about Australia’s unique fauna—and the threats they face

As part of the new Australia Habitat exhibit, the retreat will encourage people to spend time at the zoo learning about the unique connections between Indigenous Australians and the environment. The experience will include tours and talks that encourage engaging interactions with our native animals that will increase awareness about the threats these species face. The Retreat intends to be accessible to all members of the community and all visitors to Taronga Zoo will be able to enjoy viewing the animals in the sanctuary.

Helping with the cost of conservation

Taronga supports more than 60 conservation and research projects in Australia and around the globe. They vary from helping the tiny critically endangered Corroboree Frogs in Kosciusko National Park, Orang-utans in Borneo and African Elephants in Mozambique. And of course, all this vital conservation work comes at a cost. Taronga is a not-for-profit organisation and the revenue generated by the retreat will contribute to the costs of our critical conservation and breeding programs across Australia and overseas, as well as towards the continued welfare of animals in our care.

Putting the welfare of animals first

Taronga has 20 years’ of knowledge in delivering overnight experiences and, as with all developments at Taronga Zoo, our animal care experts have been integral to the design of the Australia Habitat and Wildlife Retreat. The animals that will be integral to this experience have been determined through Taronga’s stringent process of assessing the suitability of the species whilst ensuring that the animal and experience contributes to our vision in securing a shared future for wildlife and people.

An environmentally sensitive design

Taronga Zoo is in a beautiful location in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so it goes without saying that the retreat has been sensitively designed to fit with the local site. The highest point of the lodge will be no higher than the existing facility and the accommodation pods will be nestled into the existing landscape and tree line so they won’t stand out when viewed from the harbour or surrounding suburbs. And in fitting with Taronga’s commitment to sustainability, the environmentally focused design has a 5-star green star rating too.

The next 10 years will see Taronga investing in new developments to improve its animal habitats, enhance its visitors’ experiences, and to help strengthen its vision of securing a shared future for wildlife and people. The Retreat will deliver truly unique experiences to the people of Sydney, NSW, Australia and our international visitors, inspiring the next generation of conservation champions.

For any other information, please contact