Monarto Safari Park’s New Visitor Centre has Opened!
It’s here! The Wild is Calling… The doors to Monarto Safari Park’s new Visitor Centre opened on 25 March 2022 giving guests a wild welcome and even wilder experiences to come.
The new building provides visitors with the perfect starting point to begin an adventurous day at Monarto Safari Park, soon to be the largest safari experience outside of Africa. At a total cost of $16.8m ($11.25m of funding from the Australian Government and $4.55m from the State Government) this state of the art building includes a large cafe with indoor and outdoor dining, a play space, a brand new retail shop, and improved parking and accessibility, which can be accessed without having to purchase a ticket to the park.
The building symbolises the meeting of African and Australian cultures, and is the new starting point for visitors exploring the wilds of Monarto Safari Park. The design by local architectural firms Intro and Studio-gram is a celebration of cultures and how the connection of indigenous land and African fauna have been designed to create a place for interpretation, exploration and to instil Monarto Safari Park’s messages of conservation.
The building organically sweeps around a central outdoor ‘heart’ space designed as a place to gather, interact, play and relax after a day of exploring. The design includes a gallery, seminar space, café, gift shop and a an elevated balcony overlooking the open air amphitheater and the Safari Park’s wild life reserve.
A 100-year old Boab tree, which is native to the Kimberly region of north-west Western Australia but also found across Africa and the island of Madagascar, has found a new home in the centre of the building.
Elaine Bensted, CE of Zoos SA, said:
“The wait is over and now we can’t wait to share our new Visitor Centre with our members and visitors,”
“The building is absolutely stunning and fitting for such an exciting and inspiring place that is the wild home of the conservation of African and Australian animals.
“The new Visitor Centre will welcome more visitors than ever before yet still retain that spacious feeling that we love about Monarto. The shop, cafe and play area all have that indoor yet outdoor feel and the view is simply spectacular.
“For the first time, the Visitor Centre becomes a destination in its own right so we hope that locals will enjoy coming for a coffee, while enjoying the great view and kids’ play space.
“As an accessible to all site, we can’t wait to welcome you. Please make sure to book online before visiting as we expect to be busy!”
As a conservation charity, every single visit to Monarto Safari Park helps to fund the vital work that they undertake to save animals from extinction.
As well as caring for the 50 species at Monarto Safari Park through breeding programs and insurance populations, Zoos SA’s conservation teams assist and partner with fellow conservation groups and projects around Australia and the world.
Relax in the Wild
Housing a cafe with breathtaking vistas over the park, a large and airy retail space and a playground, a trip to Monarto Safari Park’s Visitor Centre becomes a destination in its own right. Park up and enter the new Visitor Centre and discover a spacious heart space where you can buy tickets, animal experiences, a drink, a hearty snack and even a cuddly lion before boarding the bus and starting your exploration. Now, for the first time ever, a trip to Monarto Safari Park can be for a whole day or just an hour or two.
The Park sees their new Visitor Centre as the perfect place to meet up with friends who are coming from Murray Bridge, Strathalbyn, the Adelaide Hills or the city – meet at Monarto and forget the hassle of ‘finding a park’. Enjoy shopping, snacks and space for littlies to let off steam.
Walk in the Wild
Breathe in the fresh air, stretch your legs and explore the open plains of Monarto Safari Park and its abundant flora and fauna. With 12kms of walking trails between the new Visitor Centre and their animal viewing platforms, you can walk the entire trail or combine a walk with the bus. The majority of the walking trails are accessible for robust pushers and wheelchairs and are sign posted throughout. Stop on the way to rest, relax and picnic before continuing. Absorb your surroundings, the sounds of birds and even the roar of nearby lions.
Explore the Wild
Come face to face with a giraffe, feel the roars of a lion reverberate through your chest and see a rhino crash roam and wallow. A visit to Monarto Safari Park brings species and their stories to life, inspiring visitors to help save their wild cousins. With over 50 species of native and African animals roaming the plains of Monarto, a visit not only captures your interest but your imagination and desire to support the conservation work that they carry out in South Australia, Australia and the world.
Learn in the Wild
As they form such close bonds with the animals they care for, the keepers are passionate storytellers who will engage the young and old and bring about a greater understanding of the species and their plight in the wild. Through a mix of keeper talks, interpretive signage and play, our visitors will enjoy a day learning all about the native and African animals that call Monarto Safari Park home and leave with a thirst to learn more!
Experience the Wild
Take the walk of the brave at Lions 360, hand-feed a giraffe, and feel between the folds of a Southern White Rhino’s skin. Animal experiences at Monarto Safari Park put you within a whisker of some of the world’s most fascinating and, at times, ferocious animals. Just as with their day-to-day care, all of the experiences are uniquely designed with animal welfare leading the way and are positioned so even the youngest of visitors can take part and experience the wild.
Play in the Wild
Monarto Safari Park has a number of nature-inspired play areas where kids can run free range. Stop at the cafe for a leisurely coffee taking in the stunning view as the kids let loose in the nearby playground. Take five in the rhino boma area as kids become safari rangers and cool off in the sprinklers alongside a mob of mischievous meerkats. And after a day exploring and playing don’t be surprised if it’s a very quiet car ride home!
You can book your visit to Monarto Safari Park via the link below.
Monarto Safari Park is open daily* from 9:30am to 5pm with last bus leaving the Visitor Centre at 3pm.
*Open every day of the year, including Christmas and all public holidays. The exception to this is if SA County Fire Service declare a Catastrophic Fire Ban in which case the park will be closed.
Location – New Entrance:
Located on Monarto Road, Monarto, the Rural City of Murray Bridge contributed to the project through the construction of a new slip lane entry.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the Zoos SA website.
What: Monarto Safari Park Visitor Centre Opening
When: Opening date to public: 25 March 2022
Where: 63 Monarto Road, Monarto, South Australia
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Image Source: supplied by Zoos SA / photo credit Adrian Mann
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