The Great Western Plains has plenty to lure you away from the coast.
1. Taronga Western Plains Zoo
No trip to Dubbo is complete without a visit to the famous Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The 6km loop takes you past open-style enclosures housing hundreds of animals from all over the world. You can walk, cycle, drive a buggy or take your car around the loop, taking the exhibits and keeper talks at your own pace.
Little and big kids alike will be delighted by the range of critters, from the huge – giraffes, elephants and rhinos – to the small meerkats and spider monkeys.
2. Zoofari Lodge glamping experience on an African savannah
For a truly unique and luxurious experience, stay at the Zoofari Lodge at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. You’ll sleep in a beautiful, glamping-style permanent tent with all the comforts of a modern, luxury hotel including a king-sized bed, an enormous double bath tub plus a sundeck overlooking the open Savannah exhibit where giraffe and zebra roam.
You’ll fall asleep to the sound of the lions roaring and awake to grazing African animals in your ‘front yard’.
3. Dubbo Farmers Market
A celebration of Dubbo’s wonderful produce, the Farmers Market is held on the first and third Saturday of every month and offers a range of seasonal fresh produce, fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs and plants. There is also fresh bread, a selection of local pork, beef and lamb, award winning olive oils, preserves, jams, marinates honey, wine, nuts and more.
Come for brekky and coffee before perusing the regional produce.
4. Old Dubbo Gaol
An eerie Victorian-era prison, the Old Dubbo Gaol was built in 1847 as a courthouse lockup, and by 1887 had evolved into a maximum security prison with 13 regular male cells, a padded cell for psychiatric prisoners, two solitary confinement cells, a women’s division, exercise yards, a kitchen and an infirmary, all enclosed behind 12-foot brick walls. Those who had committed robbery, assault and even murder could find themselves within the walls of this Victorian-era prison, where conditions were brutal and treatment was rough.
Tours are available, including an after dark ghost tour for the brave.
5. Western Plains Cultural Centre
A sophisticated art gallery and museum with a well-curated schedule of exhibitions, the Western Plains Cultural Centre will happily claim hours of your time without you even noticing. The Centre is located within the charming buildings of the old Dubbo High School, with a large extension forming the contemporary art gallery. This marriage of architectural styles creates an aesthetic that is modern and clean, yet undeniably proud and true to its history, much like Dubbo itself.
Grab a coffee from the Outlook Café and wile away a couple of hours exploring the ever-changing exhibitions of this fantastic facility.