Despite restrictions, lockdowns and the wildest weather (yes, even for a Safari Park) Monarto’s new Visitor Centre is certainly taking shape with the team celebrating the completion of the internal roof and rammed earth walls.
“Progress is being made at great speed. The building is now visible from around the site and it’s getting much easier and exciting to imagine it welcoming visitors,” said CE of Zoos SA, Elaine Bensted.
“There has been a lockdown, restrictions, delays in getting hold of materials and some wild weather to boot but the team from Mossop Construction + Interiors and Zoos SA are keeping on track which is just fantastic. February here we come!
“The new Visitor Centre will welcome more visitors than we currently can and provide visitors with the perfect start point to begin an adventurous day or days at Monarto Safari Park, soon to be the largest safari experience outside of Africa.
“There’s already a buzz in the air and each day it gets just that little louder,” finished Elaine.
Tony Pasin, Federal Member for Barker said: “I am so pleased to see that the construction of the Monarto Safari Park’s Visitor Centre is well underway. I argued strongly for the Federal Government to invest $11.25 million into the Monarto Safari Park redevelopment because I understood the positive flow on effects for the wider Murraylands.
“This is an exciting project that marks the beginning of a new era for Monarto Safari Park. This state of the art visitor facility coupled with other exciting developments will transform the Monarto Safari Park into a world class tourism experience bringing many thousands of first time visitors including international tourist to the Murraylands which will benefit the national, state and local economy,” finished Mr Pasin.
Premier Steven Marshall said the Visitor Centre will provide a massive economic boost for the state. “South Australia is the third most liveable city in the world and this Visitor Centre and Safari experience will help catapult our state to number one.
“As well as creating a completely unique experience right here in our own backyard, this $16.7 million project is creating jobs and generating economic activity for this incredible South Australian region.
“When complete, this will cement Monarto Safari Park as a world-class tourism destination. The fact that this will be the largest safari experience outside of Africa is a coup for our state,” finished Mr Mashall.
The latest accomplishments include the completion of the roofing for internal areas and the rammed earth walls. The natural materials of rammed earth and corten steel have been chosen to complement the surrounding environment and to provide good passive cooling and insulating properties with little to no ongoing required maintenance.
Mossop has worked on the site since the building began in January 2021 and are still working to a completion date of February 2022, challenges permitting.
It is estimated that the construction at Monarto Safari Park has created 136 jobs nationwide, 108 of which were in South Australia and 96 within the region. It is expected that once open, the visitor centre will create an additional 89 ongoing jobs through increased visitation.
“Mossop are passionate about supporting South Australia. This project directly lifts the social, economic and environmental fabric of our state, the community and surrounding regions of Monarto and the Murraylands by providing direct employment and tourism driving local trade and businesses – we are proud to be a part of that,” said Neil Mossop, Managing Director of Mossop Construction + Interiors.
The state of the art Visitor Centre project received $11.25m of funding from the Australian Government and $4.55m from the State Government towards a total $16.8m cost of building the new Visitor Centre. The Rural City of Murray Bridge also contributed to the project through the construction of a new slip lane entry from Monarto Road which can already be seen.
The new Visitor Centre will support the growth of Monarto Safari Park and allow an estimated additional 55,000 people per annum to visit as well as expanding educational offerings for school-aged and Tertiary students within South Australia.
The completion of the Visitor Centre will be followed by the opening of the Wild Africa precinct including a 560-hectare safari experience and luxury hotel and glamping accommodation being built by private investor Gerry Ryan.