The Queensland government has announced it will partner with Australia Zoo to build an $8 million wildlife camping experience.
Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said Camp Croc Hunter is expected to lure more than 39,000 visitors to the Sunshine Coast each year after it opens in 2020.
The new initiative will provide a wide range of accommodation options, with 108 sites for tents and caravans as well as permanent glamping-style tents and eco cabins.
The camping village will be supported by a café, reception, entertainment and pool area, amenities blocks, covered cooking areas, school camp facilities, and a mountain bike course.
Australia Zoo’s Dr Terri Irwin welcomed the grant from the state government, saying that the zoo aims to have Camp Croc Hunter open in 2020 to commemorate its 50th anniversary.
Jones said funding would come from the Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund, which had been established to partner with operators to build new attractions that could attract substantial domestic and international visitation to a region.
“When the project is fully operational, it’s expected to attract more than 39,000 annual visitors and contribute up to $4.5 million in visitor expenditure a year to the region,” she said.
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said that with the Irwin’s world-wide recognition, the new project would provide a major boost for the Sunshine Coast region.
“Australia Zoo is a premium tourism attraction that has helped introduce the Sunshine Coast to audiences around the world,” he said.
“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.”