Taronga Zoo is one of Australia’s most popular destinations, attracting more than 1.4 million visitors annually. The Wildlife Retreat at Taronga was part of the Zoo’s Centenary Revitalisation Plan. This plan gives people the opportunity to learn more about our wildlife, the threats Australian species face and be inspired to conserve the environment.
The Wildlife Retreat at Taronga wraps around its own private native wildlife sanctuary nestled within the zoo. All guests are treated to the ultimate, immersive overnight conservation experience with multiple exclusive guided tours, close-up wildlife encounters, delicious dining opportunities and first-class views of Sydney Harbour.
The impressive project involved the delivery of various high-quality facilities and tailored landscaping to create a natural yet luxurious atmosphere for all its guests. The accommodation aspect of the Wildlife Retreat includes 62 rooms across 5 buildings (pods) comprising between 2 and 4 storeys in height and connected by elevated walkways.
At the entry there is a distinctly furnished, standalone guest lodge which contains full-service bar, check-in and a large external terrace overlooking the wildlife sanctuary. In addition, the venue has a new kitchen and dining room which not only serves locally-inspired culinary delights but also offers an uninterrupted view of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Collaboration was the key to successfully achieving this vision for Taronga Zoo.
Taylor worked closely with the client, consultants and subcontractors to ensure that noise and dust disruptions were efficiently managed so as to not impact the welfare of any animals. This was paramount considering the site was bordered by a Koala exhibit, Platypus pools and the Giraffe enclosure. Subsequently, all works involved careful planning and communication with zoo staff and traffic management for the entire duration of the project.
Another consideration was ensuring the construction did not impact on any weddings or functions held at the overlooking Taronga Centre. These events would frequently occur on the weekends which meant that the construction site would often be inspected at the end of the week and adjusted accordingly. This was a necessary procedure to ensure the harbour view was not heavily impeded by the construction equipment or activities from the site below.
Overall, the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga was a rewarding opportunity for Taylor. The successful delivery of this facility hinges on the collaboration of the entire team, creating a new and exciting, immersive and all encompassing overnight experience for visitors across the world.
Taronga Conservation Society Australia