Camping with the crocs: Australia Zoo's $8m experience
AUSTRALIA Zoo is set to create Camp Croc Hunter, the $8 million wildlife camping experience is expected to lure more than 39,000 visitors to the Sunshine Coast each year.
The Queensland Government announced today it would dip into its Australia-first Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund to expand the late Steve Irwin's legacy, and offer more to domestic and international guests.
Australia Zoo expects the 108-site camp ground will create 33 construction jobs and 43 operational jobs, and inject up to $4.5 million a year through visitor spending in the region.
"It will also have a flow-on effect to boost the local tourism industry," Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said.
Ms Jones said the camping ground was designed to provide a full range of experiences.
"We're talking about tent accommodation to caravan and RV powered sites to glamping-style tents and eco cabins," Ms Jones said.
It will also include a cafe, reception, entertainment and pool area, caretaker quarters and workshop, amenities blocks, covered cooking areas school camp facilities and a mountain bike course.
Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the $36 million fund allowed government to partner with operators to build new attractions.
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford welcomed the funding announcement as a major boost for the Sunshine Coast region.
Are you excited for Camp Croc Hunter at Australia Zoo?
Mr Latchford visited Australia's largest travel trade show, Australian Tourism Exchange, last week and said top travel trade worldwide sought "new and authentic tourism experiences" to sell to visitors.
"People want to explore beyond the gateways and immerse in world-class nature and get up close to wildlife," Mr Latchford said.
"Australia Zoo is a globally recognised premium tourism attraction for our region and this exciting expansion inclusive of glamping accommodation will not only entice more visitors but also convert day-trip visitors to stay longer and spend more."
Camp Croc Hunter plans were first lodged to Sunshine Coast Council in November 2015 and approved the following year.
These plans show the earmarked land is located at the rear of the zoo and bordered by Irwin and Fraser roads.
A vegetation protection covenant at least 30 metres wide will surround the block.