Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Taronga Zoo celebrates record school holiday visitation numbers

Taronga Zoo celebrates record school holiday visitation numbers
May 6, 2019

The recent school holidays proved to be a very busy period for Taronga Western Plains Zoo, with over 28,000 guests entering the Zoo gates - a record numbers of visitors during the two weeks of the NSW school break.

Welcoming the result - a remarkable 43% rise on the same school holiday period last year, Zoo Director Steve Hinks stated "the Easter long weekend is always one of the biggest weekends of the year for Zoo visitation. This year it was even bigger across all four days, with over 4500 visitors to the Zoo on the Easter Saturday alone."

Hinks said these great results could be attributed to a combination of factors including the current strength of domestic tourism, multiple public holidays in the school holidays, highly visible Zoo and destination marketing preceeding the holidays, as well as the new exhibits opened in the last 12 months and recent new arrivals including three Giraffe calves. 

He added “our highly visible marketing campaign, featuring a new promotional image of our award winning Zoofari Lodge, included digital advertising in key markets such as Sydney and Newcastle. It was pleasing to see strong visitation from these target areas during the holiday period."

The Dubbo + Great Western Plains marketing campaign led by Dubbo Regional Council and partners, supported by Destination NSW, was also in market prior to the holidays, helping to promote and draw visitors to the region.   

The bumper visitation results contribute to the overall Dubbo visitor economy, with Hinks going on to say "whilst the Zoo as the region’s anchor attraction is a drawcard for visitors, when they visit our region they stay overnight in the city, visit other attractions, buy dinner, breakfast or coffee, fill up on fuel, got to the movies and overall help to support the many businesses in Dubbo that rely on tourism.

“According to Destination NSW research data, overnight visitors to the Central West spend an average of $153 per day. When balanced with the average spend for day visitors, the Zoo’s result is estimated to have contributed in excess of $4million to the local economy in this two week period alone.”

Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s three accommodation experiences – Zoofari Lodge, Savannah Cabins and Billabong Camp, were also fully booked two months in advance of the school holiday period, resulting in additional demand for other accommodation operators in the region.

Hinks stated “the feedback from visitors along with reviews on the Zoo experience was predominately positive, demonstrating we are providing a great day out for families. They are enjoying the changes that we’ve implemented and we’re certainly excited about what’s still to come."

Taronga Western Plains Zoo has big plans for the next couple of years with a number of new projects including the new waterhole café and water play area, which will open in the first half of 2020. 

Hinks concluded “we are really excited to build on what we have achieved so far this year."

Related Articles

2nd April 2019 - Taronga Zoo rare Sumatran Tiger cubs make public debut

4th March 2019 - Taronga Zoo Seal Show wins award for Public Engagement

13th February 2019 - Taronga Zoo announces the birth of three rare Tiger Cubs

5th December 2018 - Taronga Zoo helps advance understanding of protected species

25th June 2018 - Giraffes at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo set for new $50 million home

18th July 2018 - New clients drive moshtix expansion

28th March 2018 - New lion exhibit opens at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo

15th April 2013 - Rhino sculpture marks links between Dubbo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo

12th April 2013 - Taronga Western Plains Zoo opens new accommodation experience

3rd February 2019 - Taronga Western Plains Zoo celebrates birth of two Giraffe calves

21st September 2017 - Western Plains Zoo sanctuary to aid Bilby conservation

Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


revolutioniseSPORT is the emerging market leader in online club management in Australia. Whether it is memberships, registrations, events, online sales or governance tools - revolutioniseSPORT is the…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Technology


Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


Smart Connection Consultancy

Smart Connection Consultancy is a boutique sport and recreation consultancy who has become one of Australia’s leading advocates for the use of synthetic sports surfaces as a vehicle to grow…

read more

Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces



Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



Humanforce is a global provider of workforce management solutions for companies who need flexibility to manage complex workforces. Companies use Humanforce to manage everything from time and…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Technology / Venues


Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport



Playrope Aqua-Fun, are the Australian & New Zealand exclusive distributors for Vortex Aquatic Structures International, the world leader in aquatic playgrounds and urban water landscapes.…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Parks / Play / Recreation


Enta Australasia

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing.  19th July 2018 - ENTA…

read more

Technology / Ticketing / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business