Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Client: Taronga Conservation Society of Australia

An immersive dining concept enhances the Zoofari Lodge experience at Taronga Western Plains Zoo


The Project

Following a conceptual redesign to immerse visitors in the sights, tastes and sounds of an African safari, Zoofari Lodge in Dubbo has twice been recognised by the Australian Tourism Awards as Australia’s best unique accommodation.

Nestled around the edge of the African Savannah at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, the Zoofari Lodge experience allows guests to watch the herds of giraffe, eland, waterbuck and zebras from the privacy of their own verandahs. Inside, the African-style tented canvas lodges extend the experience of being on safari with custom-designed décor that evokes the land and wildlife of the Savannah.

Also redesigned was the Zoofari Lodge Guest House, which hosts a carefully curated dining experience featuring African tastes and foods to create an immersive encounter over dinner. Enhanced by a private viewing area and swimming pool for guests, Zoofari Lodge offers a unique, luxury encounter with African wildlife on the plains of western New South Wales.

Our Role

In developing a Design Brief to transform the Zoofari Lodge experience into an unforgettable, immersive encounter, The Maytrix Group worked closely with Taronga Western Plains Zoo to identify their key requirements and objectives. While visitation was strong, the Zoo was keen to see visitors engage more closely with the wildlife and take away a clearer understanding of the conversation issues facing the animals of the African Savannah.

The key to engagement, The Maytrix Group determined, was a dining experience and décor that would immerse visitors in the sights, sounds and tastes of the African Savannah.

Using on-site workshops and staff and stakeholder interviews to develop a new menu and service experience to reflect central design themes, Maytrix conducted staff training to ensure consistency of delivery. Following a cost effective fit-out on a tight budget, operating costs were reduced, and better resource management was achieved while significantly boosting market profile and acclaim.

This enables Taronga Western Plains Zoo to connect with more guests in way that inspires a passion for African wildlife and the vital conservation work being undertaken across the Taronga organisation.

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