Australia Zoo announces A$8m wildlife camping experience

The Queensland Government has announced it will partner with Australia Zoo on an A$8 million wildlife camping experience.

Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister, Kate Jones, said Camp Crocodile Hunter is expected to attract more than 39,000 visitors annually and contribute up to A$4.5 million in visitor expenditure.

She added that Australia Zoo would receive support through the government’s Growing Infrastructure Fund to build the project.

Camp Crocodile Hunter will feature tent accommodation, caravan and RV powered sites, glamping-style tents and eco cabins.

The site will also include a café, reception, entertainment and pool area, caretaker quarters and workshop, amenities blocks, covered cooking areas, school camp facilities and a mountain bike pump track.

Australia Zoo’s Dr Terri Irwin welcomed the grant from the state government, saying that the zoo hopes to have Camp Croc Hunter open in 2020 to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

“Our tourism partnership with the Queensland Government will enable Australia Zoo to employ more people in the Sunshine Coast region, encourage visitors to stay longer, and increase spending within our community which is fantastic for our local economy,” said Dr Irwin.

“Camp Crocodile Hunter will be open in 2020 as part of our Australia Zoo 50th anniversary celebrations!”

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said (via Travel Weekly): “Australia Zoo is a premium tourism attraction that has helped introduce the Sunshine Coast to audiences around the world.

“The exciting expansion of camping and glamping accommodation will not only entice more visitors, but also convert day-trip visitors to stay longer and spend more.

“There is a great appetite for new-style camping accommodation, especially when associated with authentic experiences such as Australia Zoo.”

Overnight accommodation at zoos

Elsewhere, Chester Zoo is planning its new Grasslands attraction with overnight accommodation, featuring fisherman’s lodges around a lake with safari-style tents overlooking the giraffes.

Blooloop recently caught up with Chester Zoo’s Jamie Christon to hear about the latest developments for the zoo and its plans for the short and longer term.

Image: Australia Zoo/Instagram