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Monarto Zoo Opens Its Doors to Investors

Friday, October 09, 2009 4:59pm
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Monarto Zoo, which can now lay claim to being the world’s largest zoo thanks to its recent acquisition of an additional 500 hectares, and Zoos SA, are looking to develop a personalised safari experience combining African and Australian wildlife, fine dining and overnight accommodation set in a secluded natural Australian bush landscape.

And Zoos SA and the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) are inviting people to invest in a signature resort development at Monarto Zoo, already one the state’s premier tourist attractions.

“This presents a huge and exciting opportunity to do something totally new and authentic. It will combine eco-tourism and have a direct conservation benefit by featuring African animals in a natural setting and providing space and resources to help save native Australian species from extinction,” said Prof Chris West, CEO Zoos SA

“We expect significant interest in this development as it unfolds over the next 2-3 years,” he said.

In building on the existing experience of African species with giraffe, rhino, lions, cheetah, hunting dogs, hyenas, antelope and zebras, a vast new “Wild Africa” area in a separate 500 hectares will allow for 4x4 safari tours in the largest reserve outside Africa.

And, much like the famous Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa, visitors will be able to stay overnight in top class safari accommodation, along with a superior restaurant and swimming pool. It will be well suited to romantic couples and corporate team building exercises.

“Imagine staying in comfortable safari accommodation; enjoying a barbecue and night walk; listening to lions roaring and hyenas laughing … right here on your doorstep,” said Peter Clark, Associate Director Zoos SA and Project Manager.

“And the next day and night become immersed in the wonders and challenges of saving iconic Australian species like the Tassie devil. A truly remarkable experience,” he said.

Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith says there is a growing demand for this kind of tourism experience.

"We want to make sure that the development and operation is of the highest quality and fills a market niche that has been previously untapped in Australia," Dr Lomax-Smith says.

"We've identified further development of upmarket accommodation and attractions as essential to help us lure more high-yielding visitors from our target interstate and overseas markets."

In addition to an authentic African experience, visitors will be able to explore the unique Mallee flora and fauna which are a key part of the ecologically managed Monarto site .

Hidden deep within the 1500 hectares is the nation’s largest native species conservation centre, Conservation Ark, where bilbies, rock wallabies, bettongs, bandicoots and Tasmanian devils are bred and secured for release back into the wild.

A partner is being sought to share capital investment and provide highest quality hospitality expertise for this unique blend of experiences .

Opened in 1983, Monarto Zoo is located approximately 70 kilometres from Adelaide and is approximately 45 minutes by vehicle. The Zoo is a 1,000 hectare open range sanctuary undertaking a major role nationally and internationally in breeding programs for rare and endangered species.

In December 2008, Monarto Zoo acquired an adjoining property of 500 hectares with the intention to further enhance the wildlife experience.

The new parcel of land has the potential for a variety of accommodation styles and further development of conferencing and restaurant facilities. The visitor experience would be based around an African Savannah experience, where the accommodation overlooks a variety of animals in an African style landscape.

Zoos SA has freehold title over the subject land which is largely undeveloped


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