Sydney's Taronga Zoo will move ahead with their plan to include accommodation pods amongst their wildlife, following recent approval by the NSW Government.
The approved wildlife retreat, within the Australian Precinct section, is part of a $164.5 million development program between Taronga Zoo and the NSW Government to improve the famous tourist site over the next 10 years.
Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the wildlife retreat will include five accommodation ‘pods’ between two and four storeys with 62 guest rooms, a guest lodge and an extension to the existing Taronga Centre with a new restaurant and function room with an outdoor terrace.
The development concept included a number of energy, water and waste reducing measures such as using low and zero carbon technologies for energy and reusing materials such as sandstone.
“Taronga Zoo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in this country and this retreat will only further enhance its attractiveness to international and domestic visitors alike,” Mr Roberts said.
“The proposal will also include a new native Australian wildlife exhibit with kangaroos, platypi, a walkthrough aviary and sanctuary exhibit. There will also be new pedestrian pathways and a viewing platform.
“In addition to being a tourism drawcard, this project alone will benefit the local economy by generating $44.5 million and creating 250 construction jobs and 38 jobs once it’s up and running.”
Minister for Environment and Heritage Gabrielle Upton said Taronga Zoo and its Western Plains counterpart attract 1.7 million visitors each year and contribute around $250 million annually to the NSW economy.
“Taronga Zoo is one of the most loved and well-known places in Sydney. It’s at the top of every tourist’s ‘must do’ lists and this investment will strengthen Sydney’s tourism sector and provide a better immersive experience for guests,” she said.
As a condition of approval, Taronga Zoo will need to prepare detailed management plans for landscaping, construction, heritage and car parking.
Images courtesy Taronga Conservation Society Australia.