Taronga patron and former Monty Python star John Cleese opened Zoofari’s ten new luxury lodges in Dubbo yesterday.
Cleese said, “Staying at Zoofari Lodge should be something that everyone puts on their bucket list. I have stayed here and it is such an amazing and unique experience, which most importantly supports conservation.”
The $2.1 million addition of the Savannah View lodges has increased Zoofari’s overnight capacity to 9000 people per annum.
Taronga director Cameron Kerr said, “Zoofari Lodge was the first zoo-based accommodation experience opened in Australia and has since continued to evolve and develop, leading the field of zoo and nature-based overnight experiences in Australia.
“Zoofari Lodge plays an important role for Taronga Western Plains Zoo, making up 19% of the overall business which will continue to grow over the coming year with the redevelopment of the accommodation.”
“The new accommodation showcases a slice of Africa right here in central New South Wales, providing a unique and amazing experience that contributes to tourism as well as supporting conservation”.
The new architecturally-designed luxury safari lodges feature African-inspired decor with king-size d beds, free-standing baths and private baths.
Kerr said, “Taronga Western Plains Zoo is striving to create the Zoo as a destination for visitors to come and experience. The overnight accommodation programs are a large part of this and will help to achieve the regional tourism objective of doubling the overnight visitor spend by 2020.
“The redevelopment of Zoofari Lodge follows on from the opening of Billabong Camp in April 2013 and the Zoo’s win in the National Tourism Award for best attraction. The new two bedroom self-contained Savannah Cabins due to open later this year, will provide three tiers of overnight experiences and establish the Zoo as an iconic destination in its own right.
Zoofari Lodge is located in the grounds of Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The new Savannah View lodges are available for bookings from 4 April 2014.