Tenders open for Botanic Gardens & Zoo Visitor Hub

Published on 30 September 2022

RBGZ Visitor Hub & Animal Operations Centre

Rockhampton Regional Council is inviting tenders for the construction of a new Visitor Hub and Animal Operations Centre at the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens & Zoo.  

The Visitor Hub project has received grant funding from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

Rockhampton Regional Council Acting Mayor Neil Fisher said it is exciting to be at this stage.  

“The Botanic Gardens & Zoo is one of the major tourism contributors to our Region,” Acting Mayor Fisher said.

“Each year we welcome hundreds of thousands of local residents and visitors to enjoy the variety of native and exotic flora and fauna.

“Within a short stroll, visitors are able to visit century old Banyan trees, enjoy striking vistas, and marvel at native and exotic animals.

“A new Visitor Hub and Animal Operations Centre will help enhance the experience and wow visitors right from the gate.”

Parks, Sport and Public Spaces Councillor, Cherie Rutherford said she is very excited to see the new Hub and Animal Operations Centre getting closer to fruition.

“This is a great step in the redevelopment of the Botanic Gardens and Zoo, and I’m eagerly awaiting the outcome of this tender process,” Cr Rutherford said.

“A new Animal Operations Centre would not only mean that we can continue the fantastic care our animals already receive, it would also mean we can extend our collection to introduce new species.

“Our plans include a public facing animal food preparation area and enrichment room, which I think will be a fantastic touch.

“I’m also really excited about the education rooms that we’re planning to include in the Visitor Hub, as well as the new reptile exhibit we plan to incorporate into the wall of the building. The staff and volunteers at our Gardens and Zoo are an absolute wealth of knowledge and I can’t wait for them to have even more opportunity to share their passion.

“The Visitor Hub will also include new amenities to cater for all abilities, which will also be accessible outside of Zoo operating hours. I know this is something that visitors have been asking about for a long time and will make a big difference.

“Of course, budget is a concern and we know there have been significant price increases on building materials.

“Council is eager to work collaboratively with the preferred tenderer to make sure that the project is cost effective while still delivering great outcomes for the community. 

“The focus of this project is really about increasing public engagement with the incredible exhibits we have here, and the design is intended to reflect that.”

Richard Coulson, Director, Cox Architecture said the design had to minimise disruption of the well-established curated landscape and maximise the future opportunities for the zoo.

“The Visitor Hub is arranged as a simple extruded form on the edge of the Zoo and the Gardens culminating in a more dramatic entry building,” said Mr Coulson.

“The entry establishes a new circulation route through the Zoo that supports development of new exhibits, equitable grade pathways, and shade and pause points.

“The building supports mixed mode ventilation strategies and provides a deep overhang on the northern side which acts as a wild life viewing veranda.”

The tender is open until 2 November and can be found on QTenders: https://qtenders.epw.qld.gov.au/qtenders/

Artist renders are available here: https://rockhamptonregion.sharefile.com/d-sb3f44025aefc4cb684c2a0f367387f9a