A new 62-room luxury eco-retreat is coming to a prime harbourside location in Sydney – the Taronga zoo. The Wildlife Retreat at Taronga will open in October, with five environmentally sensitive and sustainably designed lodges built into the native bush. Suites will look out across a wildlife sanctuary that platypuses, koalas and echidnas call home. Many of the rooms will also have views of the harbour, and the sanctuary will be accessible from the lodges.

While the Sydney CBD is only 15 minutes away by ferry, there’ll also be plenty to entertain on-site. Each stay includes a two-course dinner, buffet breakfast, animal experiences and access to the zoo. Guided tours with zookeepers are available at sunrise and later in the morning, but guests can also explore the sanctuary at their own leisure.

An on-site restaurant, Me-Gal, will have views over the harbour and menus heavily focused on fresh local produce and Aussie ingredients. Expect dishes such as Fraser Island spanner crab with fried native saltbush; NSW beef fillet with potato espuma (foam), cavolo nero and Hunter Valley shiraz jus; and saffron and pea risotto with local watercress and vegan cheese. The restaurant will be only open to hotel guests.

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The hotel has been designed by Cox Architecture, which was also behind the stylish Wynyard Station upgrade, The Darling Hotel at The Star and the Sydney Airport Marketplace.

Funds from the retreat will go towards the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, which will use the money to take care of the zoo’s animals, as well as fund conservation and education programs in Australia and abroad.

The Taronga Zoo Wildlife Retreat is slated to open on October 10. Rates start from $790 per couple per night.