7 April 2019


The Federal Liberal National Government, together with the Marshall Liberal Government, has today announced a major Zoos package for South Australia that will secure a major safari resort as part of a $50 million development at the Monarto Open Range Zoo as well as securing the future of Adelaide Zoo’s iconic Giant Pandas.


Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said Adelaide and Monarto Zoo were already major drawcards for South Australia and this investment would help lure thousands more visitors to the state.


“This is a major investment in two of South Australia’s much-loved tourist attractions and will ensure they continue to be major drawcards well into the future,” Minister Birmingham said.


“Nature-based experiences are sought by increasing numbers of tourists. The new Safari resort experience at Monarto will give SA another world-class attraction that will lure thousands of additional visitors.


“We shouldn’t underestimate the huge positive flow-on effects our two iconic Zoos provide for the SA economy. They bring thousands of visitors into South Australia every year who then spend millions of dollars visiting other attractions, sleeping in our hotels and dining in our restaurants. 


“The new visitor centre is the first stage of the Monarto Zoo expansion project and is expected to unlock $35 million in private investment to develop a range of accommodation facilities at Monarto Zoo including a safari resort and eco-luxe glamping tents.”


Premier Steven Marshall said that the deal struck with the Federal Government to deliver a Zoo’s package is a major boost for the State’s tourism credentials, and will further bolster economic activity in South Australia.   


“Adelaide’s beloved Pandas are here to stay, and will remain a South Australian icon for at least another five years under this deal” Premier Steven Marshall said.


“As Australia’s only Giant Pandas, Wang Wang and Fu Ni are tourism icons in their own right and bring much joy to thousands of visitors both locally and from around the world, and I’m thrilled that they will continue to call Adelaide Zoo home.


“Monarto Zoo is already one of the largest open-range zoos in the world, attracting around 160,000 visitors each year and these exciting upgrades will help enhance the visitor experience and allow the Zoo to welcome many more visitors.


Zoos SA Chief Executive Elaine Bensted said these investments in two of South Australia’s major tourism attractions will help Zoos SA unlock growth in the tourism industry, continue to meet the needs of our visitors and generate additional economic activity for the South Australian economy.


“Zoos SA is thrilled to welcome the joint announcement of $15.8 million towards the construction of a new state-of-the-art Visitor Centre at Monarto Zoo and the news that the South Australian Government has committed the funds to extend the lease to keep Giant Pandas Wang Wang and Fu Ni in Adelaide for another five years,” Elaine said.


“A new Visitor Centre for Monarto Zoo will provide a world class entry to Australia’s largest open-range zoo and will cement Monarto Zoo’s reputation as a must-visit nature and wildlife destination.


“The current visitor facilities at Monarto Zoo were built in 1997 and simply cannot cope with the rapid growth in visitation we’ve experienced in the past five years.


“It’s also very exciting to know that Giant Pandas will call Adelaide Zoo home for another five years thanks to the support of the South Australian Government.”


Media Contacts

Benn Ayre: +61 428 342 325


Authorised by Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, South Australia.