African Safari experience comes to regional NSW
Taronga Western Plains Zoo has always been a favorite stop for domestic and international tourists visiting New South Wales and they were recently recognised as the state’s top tourist attraction at the New South Wales Tourism Awards, making them a major draw card for visitors to the region. In addition, the recently opened African Savannah exhibit, allowing nature-lovers to experience an African safari-style experience without leaving New South Wales, is the talk of the town!
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo, in central west New South Wales and is home to hundreds of animals from around the world and consists of free access to the Visitor Plaza; and a 6km circuit (entry fee applies) that meanders through natural bushland and around large open style exhibits. Taronga cares for 4,000 animals from over 350 species, many of which are threatened.
Visitors can explore the zoo by car, bike, electric safari cart or on foot and the entry fee includes two consecutive days’ admission, to give you ample time to explore all the Zoo has to offer. The Taronga Western Plains Zoo also offers different accommodation, ranging from luxurious African-style lodges, self contained cabins, to camping at the Billabong Camp, making this a one stop shop for tourists visiting the region.
New South Wales Environment Minister Mark Speakman opened the exhibit and said that the Savannah Safari project will help educate and inspire visitors about conservation and wildlife, making an excellent addition to Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
The $1.4 million project, which allows visitors to view giraffes, two species of antelopes and ostriches from purpose-built safari trucks, was jointly funded by the New South Wales Government and the Taronga Foundation. This new attraction also includes an elevated platform, from which visitors can view the animals in the Savannah exhibit, and extensive redevelopment of the exhibit and public areas, with new seating, landscaping and walking paths.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo director Matthew Fuller said the Savannah Safari offered unique opportunities to see some African species up close and in the coming year, white rhino and zebras will be added to the safari experience.
Photo credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo webpage and Facebook page