Over the years, Monarto Zoo has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction, and has well outgrown the existing visitor centre facilities.
Recent additions like the Lions 360 feeding experience, and the giraffe platform, have keep visitors coming back, and there’s plenty more planned for Australia’s largest open-range zoo.
Securing the Monarto’s ability to keep growing, and delivering a world-class experience, $15.8 million in funding from the Australian Government and South Australian Government was today announced, which will see the construction of a new state-of-the-art Visitor Centre at Monarto Zoo.
Zoos SA Chief Executive Elaine Bensted said the investments in Monarto, along with funding to keep the Giant Pandas at Adelaide Zoo for the next five years, will help Zoos SA unlock growth in the tourism industry, continue to meet the needs of its visitors and generate additional economic activity for the South Australian economy.
“The current visitor facilities at Monarto Zoo were built in 1997 and are struggling to cope with the rapid growth in visitation we’ve experienced in the past five years.
“As the largest pay to enter tourism attraction in regional South Australia and a pillar for the tourism industry in the Murraylands, the new Visitor Centre will allow us to cater to the growing expectations of domestic and international visitors.
“Similar to the d’Arenberg Cube, this game-changing design will become an iconic piece of architecture for South Australia, and will help cement Monarto Zoo’s reputation as a must-visit nature and wildlife destination,” Elaine said.
“This project will contribute an estimated $13.6 million and 136 jobs to the economy during the construction phase, and a further $6.3 million per annum and 89 jobs once in operation.”
The Visitor Centre plans include a large indoor and outdoor café, nature play spaces, retail, visitor services, offices and improved car parking and accessibility.
“This new project will mark a dynamic era of growth and reinvention for Monarto Zoo and we thank the Australian Government and the South Australian Government for investing in Monarto Zoo’s future,” Elaine said.
This project is the first stage of the Monarto Zoo Wild Africa expansion project which will give visitors the opportunity to stay at Monarto Zoo for the first time with a range of accommodation facilities to be introduced, including a safari resort and eco-luxe glamping tents. So after your sunset safari drive, you’ll be able to head back to your accommodation, kick back and enjoy nature at its finest.