Zoos SA

Build of new Visitor Centre is underway at Monarto Safari Park

Zoos SA announces Mossop Construction + Interiors as appointed builder for Monarto Safari Park Visitor Centre as Deputy Prime Minister, Premier and officials inspect build so far…

Construction work has officially begun on the new Visitor Centre at Monarto Safari Park, creating 136 South Australian jobs during construction.

Zoos SA has formally announced today that South Australian Company, Mossop Construction + Interiors has been selected to do the building work after conducting a two-stage procurement and tender process and finalising the guaranteed maximum price agreement.

Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack and South Australian Premier, Steven Marshall will today inspect the progress with Zoos SA CE, Elaine Bensted.

“We are delighted to announce that Mossop is building our new Visitor Centre at Monarto Safari Park,” said Zoos SA CE, Elaine Bensted.

“Work began in January and we cannot wait to see the building rising from Monarto’s ground.

“This is a very exciting moment in the incarnation of Monarto Safari Park into one of the largest safari experiences outside of Africa.  We will definitely be complete by February 2022 but we are working alongside Mossop to see if we can be complete by Christmas this year!” finished Elaine.

The Visitor Centre project received $11.25m of funding from the Australian Government and $4.55m from the State Government towards a total $16.8m cost of building the new Visitor Centre. The Rural City of Murray Bridge is also contributing to the project through the construction of a new slip lane entry from Monarto Road.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $16.8 million project would provide enormous economic benefits to Monarto and neighbouring regions.

“With this investment, the Visitors Centre will be able to attract new visitors to the region, create ongoing jobs and cement the zoo as a must-see tourism attraction,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Monarto Safari Park is set for major redevelopment, with the Visitors Centre being the first stage.

“In addition to the creation of 136 jobs during construction and 89 ongoing positions, this will enable the Safari Park to be better equipped to really pounce on the rapid growth in visitors they have seen in recent years,” finished the Deputy Prime Minister.

Premier of South Australia said the Visitor Centre will simultaneously create jobs while creating a premiere tourist destination in South Australia.

“This Visitor Centre will be yet another drawcard for Monarto Safari Park which attracts around 160,000 local, national and international visitors in a normal year,” Premier Steven Marshall said.


“The fact that this will be the largest safari experience outside of Africa is a coup for our state, putting us on the map globally and enhancing our world class tourism credentials.

“Not only is this exciting project created a major tourism drawcard for South Australia it’s going to create 136 jobs during construction and a further 89 jobs once operational,” Premier Marshall said.

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said it is pleasing to see the Australian Government investing in regional South Australia.

“I argued strongly for the Federal Government to invest into the Monarto  redevelopment because I understood the positive flow on effects for the wider Murraylands. I’m thrilled that the Deputy Prime Minister is here today to witness what our Government’s $11.25 million investment will deliver for this project and our region.” Mr Pasin said.

“This is an exciting day that marks the beginning of a new era for Monarto Safari Park. This state of the art visitor facility coupled with other exciting developments will transform the Monarto Safari Park into a world class tourism experience bringing many thousands of first time visitors including international tourist to the Murraylands which will benefit both the state and local economy,” Mr Pasin said.

“This is fantastic news for the growth of tourism in the Murraylands and The Rural City of Murray Bridge is honoured to be playing a role in the development of this unique world class attraction,” said Mayor Brenton Lewis.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors eager to discover the magic of our region and the significant economic stimulus it will bring.

“Our Rural City is a thriving regional centre and it’s exciting to see projects like this emerge as more people start to recognise and capitalise on the tremendous opportunities for growth and investment here,” finished the Mayor.

“The Monarto Safari Park Visitor Centre will cement South Australia’s position on the global stage for wildlife conservation, community engagement and connection, with its exemplary design and careful consideration for the environment and wildlife,” said Neil Mossop, Managing Director of Mossop Construction + Interiors.

“It has been a privilege to collaborate with Zoos SA, Intro Architecture and the entire consultant team on this world-class visitor destination and we look forward to continuing to support South Australian trades and the local community who will play an important part in its successful delivery,” finished Neil.

The new Visitor Centre will support the growth of Monarto Safari Park and allow an estimated additional 55,000 people per annum as well as expanding educational offerings for school-aged and Tertiary students within South Australia.

The completion of the Visitor Centre will shortly be followed by the opening of the Wild Africa precinct including a 560-hectare safari experience and luxury hotel and glamping accommodation being built by private investor Gerry Ryan. This will be open by mid-2022.

A cultural study undertaken by the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation and signed-off late last year, means work could start immediately on the new Visitor Centre which will provide easy access to admission and membership services, retail, cafe, meeting facilities, staff and volunteer office space, children’s play area, a new entrance road and car parking for approximately 900 cars.

The building, designed by local architectural firms Intro and studio-gram, is a celebration and acknowledgment of both Indigenous land and African fauna. The design is divided into two distinct ribbon forms, one is solid rammed earth walls the other is lightweight corten cladding which intertwine with each other expressing the two major architectural influences. An external circular courtyard is located in the centre of the development providing sheltered spaces accessible to amenities, ticketing, café, seminar and gift shop.

The natural materials of rammed earth and corten steel have been chosen to complement the surrounding environment and to provide good passive cooling and insulating properties with little to no ongoing required maintenance.

High performance double-glazed windows and solar panel electrical generation complete this environmentally conscious development providing a long lasting and ecologically responsible outcome.

Earthwork machinery is now on site as Mossop commences works. The new Visitor Centre building will be constructed in a progression of quadrants reflective of the organic design, with Civil and Construction works progressing concurrently.

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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction. Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging. We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.

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