Zoos SA
Zoos SA is a non-government conservation charity, every visit, adoption, donation and ticket helps to save species from extinction.

Zoos SA’s Master Plan was first launched in 2015, providing the blueprint for our sites over the next 20 years.

In 2023, we released an update for Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park

Zoos South Australia’s 20-year Master Plan released in February 2015, outlined forward infrastructure plans for both Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park.

The document was intended to guide our evolution and prepare us for the years ahead, offering our visitors an experience that is easy to access, fun, friendly and meaningful, helping us lead the way when it comes to animal welfare standards, enhance our species conservation efforts, and ensure even greater impact in our delivery.

Our longer-term vision for Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park remains unchanged, with developments intended to reflect a vibrant city oasis and an expanded African Savannah showcasing life’s diversity, and offering visitors an accessible, intimate and rich experience.

What we've achieved at Adelaide Zoo

Nature’s Playground

In late 2015, the first major development for Adelaide Zoo under the Master Plan was completed.

A nature-based playground jam-packed with loads of natural play elements for children of all ages to explore, including creek beds and an aerial walkway to give children a tree-top view of the zoo.

The playground has proved a popular addition to Adelaide Zoo’s exciting line-up and has significantly impacted return visitation of families to the zoo with our increasingly engaged members reinforcing its appeal.

Variety Children’s Zoo

In September 2019, continuing our successful partnership with Variety SA, the Variety Children’s Zoo was opened to the public. This provides an amazing space for children, filled with interactive areas, allowing them to get closer than ever to some of Adelaide Zoo’s most popular animal residents.

Complete with areas for children of all abilities to play and explore, some of the Variety Children’s Zoo’s key features include climbing branches for our friendly native mammals and a dedicated presentation area for keepers to share stories about their animal friends.

Other key achievements

  • Into Africa – Stage 1 resulting in a doubling of space available to our giraffe, the construction of an all accessible interactive feed platform and the reopening of our historic elephant precinct that had been closed to visitors for nearly 30 years.
  • Aussie Icons commenced with the delivery of a new Little Penguin habitat located adjacent to the front entrance.
  • The construction of overhead tunnel systems for a range of our animals including Golden Lion Tamarin, Black-and-white Colobus and Red Panda.
  • Completion of stage 1 of our Komodo Dragon habitat, facilitating the arrival of our new adult male Komodo Dragon.

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What's next for Adelaide Zoo?

Next 5 years

The following projects are earmarked for development in 2023 and over the coming years.

  • Completion of Komodo Dragon breeding and habitat facility near the front entrance.
  • Commencing stage 1 of the Forest Canopy Trail, providing an aerial skywalk and canopy climbing structures for our two orangutans and viewing platform with new interaction opportunities for visitors.
  • Relocate back of house infrastructure in the north west portion of the site to make this prime location available for development of the African Oasis.
  • Expanding habitat for our Sumatran Tigers.
  • Continue our Into Africa development – African Oasis and new African Lion habitat components.
  • Infrastructure improvements to reduce our carbon footprint
  • We remain committed to our Giant Panda conservation program, with our current agreement for Fu Ni and Wang Wang in place until the end of 2024. We will commence discussions with China and the Australian Government (Federal and State) to understand what a further extension may look like.

Beyond 5 years

Depending on funding availability we would be hopeful that some of these could be commenced earlier.

  • Complete Into Africa Development.
  • Aussie Icons – Koala, Greater Bilby and Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby component.
  • Additional stages of the Jewels of Asia Forest Canopy Trail focusing on Siamang and White-cheeked Gibbons.
  • Preliminary planning for Jungle Journey and Northern Tropics.
  • Upgrade to the Central Lawn to improve Free Flight presentation area and provide enhanced, accessible and multi-weather appropriate visitor green space.

What we've achieved at Monarto Safari Park

Lions 360

In November 2017, the first major development at Monarto Safari Park under the current Master Plan was completed, with the opening of Lions 360.

Visitors walk through a tunnel before emerging into a dome surrounded by lions. 360-degree view of the lions is enjoyed by the visitors as the lions explore their surrounds above, in front and on the side of the dome.

The exhibit has proved a popular addition to Monarto’s exciting line-up and has positively impacted return visitation to the park and income generation for us and our conservation partners in Africa.

Visitor Centre

Less than five years later, in March 2022 our new Visitor Centre was opened to the public.

The new Visitor Centre is positioned on the northern boundary of the site and enables direct access to the park without queues spilling onto the main road. The centre provides many amenities and facilities for visitors to enjoy whilst deciding the itinerary for their day in the park prior to purchasing admission and specific tours.

Other key achievements

  • Enhanced walking tracks.
  • Onsite Accommodation – a 78 room safari hotel is under construction at our Wild Africa precinct. Plans are being finalised for the more luxurious tented ‘glamping’ facility.
  • New Black Rhino Bus Stop, walking tracks and viewing area.
  • Wild Africa boundary and internal animal fencing has significantly progressed and some animals have been introduced into one completed area,
  • Conversion of the old Visitor Centre into The Outpost and conservation learning centre.
  • Bushfire suppression sprinkler systems installed on fifteen major buildings

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What's next for Monarto Safari Park?

Next 5 years

The following projects are earmarked for development in 2023 and over the coming years.

  • Completion of walking track upgrades, two new rhino facilities and quarantine facilities
  • New male rhino holding habitats
  • Addition of Spotted Hyena drive through experience at Wild Africa
  • Exploring and expanding transport options
  • Visitor bus stops, car parks and facilities
  • Infrastructure improvements to reduce our carbon footprint
  • Construction of hippo facilities, fencing and Nile Hippopotamus pool area in Wild Africa
  • Completion of the Wild Africa Safari experience
  • Meerkat experience at the new Visitor Centre
  • Expansion of lion holding facilities

Beyond 5 years

  • Hamadryas Baboon exhibit
  • Expansion of Cheetah and rhino exhibits below new Visitor Centre
  • Student accommodation
  • New Animal Health Centre and keeper facilities

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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