micenet Logo
0 - MH - Marriott
1 - T1 - Marriott
2 - T2 - Anchorage
3 - T3 - Townsville
3 - T3 - Townsville

Soon-to-open five-star safari resort up for sale

Share this story

Soon-to-open five-star safari resort up for sale
A five-star resort with conferencing and immersive visitor experiences at Monarto Safari Park is within months of opening, but is up for sale by owner Gerry Ryan.

Ryan, famous as the founder of Jayco Caravans and a Tour de France team owner, announced his investment in the $40 million accommodation development in mid-2019. It was expected to take three years.

Currently referred to as the Monarto Safari Resort, the 78-room property comes with dedicated function and meeting rooms and recreation facilities including infinity pools.

Separately, there’s also the resort’s 20-tent luxury glamping experience. Both offerings sit on a 65-hectare site adjacent to the 1,500-hectare open range zoo – the largest zoo in Australia.   

Set in the Murraylands less than an hour from Adelaide, Monarto Safari Park is already popular for its existing zoo experiences and its meeting and event options that attract business events alongside thousands of leisure visitors. 

Offerings include the Lion 360 experience where humans are in a cage and lions roam freely around outside and on top of the cage. Humans are able to try feeding the curious lions through the bars.

The resort is being marketed on the basis that an owner or operator could apply their own brand to the accommodation. It is expected to sell for more than $50 million and global hotel brands are being targeted.

There are a range of successful ventures in Australia where accommodation in zoo precincts has proved popular, including Canberra, Werribee outside Melbourne, Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

At the 2019 announcement of the development, the chief executive of Zoos South Australia, Elaine Bensted, highlighted the international appeal of the new accommodation options. 

“Our new safari experience is set to be the closest visitors can get to an African safari, all within an hour’s drive of Adelaide,” she said.

“Plus, we’ll be launching new tours and offerings, including safari experiences with specially designed open-sided vehicles, and a 35,000sqm walk-through lemur experience, which will position Monarto Safari Park as an international tourism drawcard,” Benstead said. 

The development is also set to generate funds to support conservation work on endangered species including rhinos and Asian elephants.

The development was estimated to contribute $20.4 million of gross regional product, create a total of 223 full time equivalent employment positions and to increase visitors to the park to more than 250,000.

Updates to your inbox

More News