Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister, Kate Jones, has announced that it will partner with Australia Zoo to build an $8 million wildlife camping experience, called Camp Croc Hunter, which 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 cafe, 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 they aimed to have Camp Croc Hunter open in 2020 to commemorate Australia Zoo’s 50th anniversary.
Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate 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,” said Minister Jones.
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.
“With a backdrop of the Glass House Mountains, and with the beaches of the Sunshine Coast less than 20 minutes away, it enables the Sunshine Coast to offer an incredibly diverse range of experiences for visitors – and this new concept will attract a wide audience from families through to incentive groups.
“We really appreciate the support of the Queensland Government for seeding such vital tourism accommodation infrastructure projects, and given that Camp Croc Hunter is scheduled to open in the 50th year of Australia Zoo’s operation, it will be a fitting tribute to the incredible contribution the Irwins have made to the region since launching the Zoo in 1970.”
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