The perfect four day stay for families looking for unmatched adventure and iconic experiences
When to visit: Dubbo is a great family-friendly holiday destination all year round, but the City really sparkles in Spring and Autumn when the residents of the Zoo are at their most active and the great outdoors is at its very best!
Days: Four days of awesome adventure
Includes: The best of Dubbo and a day trip to the town of Wellington
Top tip: Looking for a great time AND great value? What if you could buy one ticket, in one transaction that gave you entry to four unforgettable experiences? Holidays should be enjoyable, so turn off the stress and dial up the fun with the Dubbo Region Great Big Adventure Pass! The Great Big Adventure Pass is a multi-ticket to Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Old Dubbo Gaol, the Royal Flying Doctor Visitor Experience and the Wellington Caves – and best of all the Pass gets you 20% off your entry to all four attractions!
For the ultimate Dubbo safari experience wake up in the wild at the on-site accommodation at Taronga Western Plains Zoo! The Savannah Cabins are ideal for families, with the self-contained cabins featuring all the comforts of home surrounded by sprawling natural grassland. You might even hear the roar of the King of the jungle as the lions awaken, or even the booming call of the siamang apes as they sing for their supper!
Just a short drive from Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Discovery Parks Dubbo has all the amenities to keep the whole family comfortable and entertained. With a choice of cabins, powered and unpowered camp sites or even the safari tent options you will be spoilt for choice! The kids will love making a splash at the pool and on-site waterpark, and the playground and bouncing pillow is always a winner for the young (or young at heart).
If you are seeking accommodation with a difference then the boutique glamping experience at Dubbo Rhino Lodge might be the spot for you! You can relax on your luxury tent’s outdoor patio and enjoy the tranquil bush surrounds as the sun sets, then marvel at uninterrupted skies full of stars after dark.
Find your comfortable home away from home at Country Apartments. Choose from stylish self-contained apartments or three bedroom townhouses with plenty of space for the whole family. The property is close to the CBD so getting around and finding entertainment is no issue, and being located off the main roads means you will find plenty of peace and quiet in the complex.
Getting here and getting around
Cue the road trip music, buckle your seat belt and set your speed to cruise control because all roads lead to Dubbo. Conveniently situated in the heart of NSW at the junction of the Newell, Mitchell and Golden Highways, the great Australian road trip has never been easier or more enjoyable!
Or why not soar into Dubbo and start your adventure on a high. Direct flights are available from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne (Essendon), Newcastle, Ballina and Broken Hill. From wheels up to touchdown in one to two hours with five airlines operating over 200 direct flights per week – the sooner you arrive, the sooner the adventure begins!
Sit back, relax and enjoy that rhythmic clickety-clack as you soak up the scenery on NSW Trainlink’s daily train service from Sydney Central to Dubbo. Enjoy tasty treats from the onboard cafe and watch the views change from city streets, to dramatic mountain vistas, endless valleys and the wide open plains of your final destination.
Once you arrive, getting around is a breeze, with easy to navigate roads, free parking, public transport networks, a fleet of taxis and car hire available.
Morning: Touch down into the world of heroic doctors, nurses and pilots with the Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience. Exciting, interactive displays allow you to get hands-on with this beloved Aussie icon. With a national fleet of 71 planes strong and growing, the Flying Doctor assists more than 292,000 people every year – that’s 1 person every 2 minutes!
Lunch: Recharge with lunch at Village Bakehouse, a fourth generation bakery started in Dubbo in 1918 who work with locally produced and locally sourced products. The family has worked hard to perfect their pie recipe – and have over 100 pie award wins under their belt! Or why not grab a fresh baked baguette sandwich, salad or burger? Don’t miss out on a sweet treat before you continue your adventure for the afternoon.
Afternoon: Head behind the bars of Old Dubbo Gaol and experience 19th century prison life. This State Heritage listed site remains intact and restored, creating a pocket in time nestled in Dubbo’s main street. Wander through the cellblocks and sandstone walls at your leisure, or join a guided tour for more behind the scenes stories and harrowing history.
Dinner: Family friendly and fun – the Pastoral Hotel will satisfy the young and young at heart! Enjoy an eclectic menu of pub classics while the kids blow off steam in the indoor play area, or relax and enjoy some acoustic tunes from a local muso.
Morning: It’s time for a day on zoofari at Taronga Western Plains Zoo! See hundreds of rare and endangered animals in this huge open range sanctuary. Check out what’s on at the Zoo for feeding times and keeper talks to plan your day exploring the 5.5km circuit by car, on foot, bike or even an electric safari cart. For an up close experience you can even book an additional behind the scenes tour or encounter, and meet a meerkat, greet a giraffe or come face-to-face with a hippo!
Lunch: Enjoy a wild dining experience within the Zoo’s circuit at the Zoo Café in the free access area overlooking islands inhabited by monkeys and lemurs! Or take a midway break around the circuit and call in to The Waterhole, the Zoo’s newest experience overlooking herd species like the blackbuck, or check out the cheeky meerkats and leisurely tortoises. The kids can have fun in the African waterhole themed water play area featuring hippo and elephant sculptures.
Afternoon: After lunch head back out on the circuit to catch up with the rest of Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s residents! Don’t miss a visit to the King of the Jungle at the amazing Lion Pride Lands Exhibit, or as an added extra why not hop on board the special safari truck with a Zoo Guide and traverse the savannah where giraffe, zebra, rhinos and antelope roam.
Early Dinner: Enjoy an early feast at Devil’s Hollow Brewery where you can savour woodfired pizzas, tasty burgers and more set in the unique surrounds of a Dubbo’s very own working brewery. The adults can enjoy a frosty glass of one of Dubbo’s signature ales, or even a tasting paddle of the flavorsome range.
Evening: Become an astronomer for a night and explore the universe at Dubbo Observatory. Join a night sky tour to view the stars, planets and galaxies through 6 powerful telescopes. If you have a DSLR camera astronomer Peter Starr can also guide you on an astrophotography session where you capture images of faraway galaxies in stunning detail.
Morning: Start the day early and make a day trip to the charming town of Wellington - a bona fide nature lover’s paradise nestled in the foothills of the Mount Arthur Reserve where the Bell and Macquarie Rivers meet. Uncover an underground world at the Wellington Caves! With guided tours offered daily, the kids can also test their paleontology skills as they uncover the bones of extinct Australian animals in the Fossil Discovery Lab.
Lunch: Take it easy for lunch today, head to the heart of town and put your feet up as you enjoy a peaceful picnic in Cameron Park. With plentiful leafy trees providing generous shade and the unique sunken gardens to explore – there is nowhere better to relax after your busy morning. The park has an exciting and accessible playground with slides, swings, climbing elements and a cubby house for the kids to enjoy. There are plenty of nearby cafés to pick up a tasty treat or even some delicious local products at the Visitor Information Centre.
Afternoon: Take some time out at the expansive 164 hectare Burrendong Botanic Garden and Arboretum, don’t miss the cool oasis under the canopy in Fern Gully, an incredible man-made rainforest. Or adventure beckons at the nearby Lake Burrendong, at full capacity ‘The Dam’ is one of the largest inland dams in NSW - three times the size of Sydney Harbour! Try your hand at water skiing, wakeboarding and biscuiting, or pack the rods, reels and tackle box for an afternoon of relaxing fishing.
Dinner: Head back to Dubbo for a hearty meal before you retire for the night. Dubbo Rhino Lodge serves up pizza fresh from their wood fire oven, as well as a variety of entrees, mains and desserts so there's sure to be something for everyone! With a choice of indoor or alfresco dining spaces, it's the perfect place to relax. There is even an outdoor play area for the kids.
Late night treat: This one is just for mum and dad if you can take some time away from the kids! Head to Dubbo’s main street to discover our hidden gem The Establishment Bar. Recapturing the spirit of the 1930's speakeasy. Classic tipples, fine drams and good times are all waiting to be discovered behind the unassuming black door. Over 18s only.
Morning: Discover the City’s heart of art and culture at the Western Plains Cultural Centre on your final morning. Explore the permanent and travelling exhibitions in the expansive Gallery before you uncover the Region’s history in the Museum featuring an amazing carved tree, a 1950s classroom, Australia’s largest and best preserved wool wagon and so much more. Stop in for a coffee or treat at Creo Café while at the centre, where the menu is teeming with locally sourced and freshly grown produce.
Lunch: Stop in for lunch at Short Street Store and enjoy their fresh, seasonal menu. The famous babychinos are always a hit with the little ones, and the plant filled courtyard offers the perfect respite for a busy day of exploring.
Afternoon: Take a wander through Dubbo’s pioneer history at National Trust treasure Dundullimal Homestead - Australia’s oldest sophisticated slab house built in the 1840s. Give the kids an incredible insight into rural life of days gone by and explore the homestead, stables, sheds and historic chapel located away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Homeward bound: Hit the road home ready to tell everyone about the best family holiday adventure you’ve ever had!