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Discover the Dubbo region

Taronga Western Plains Zoo, DubboCREDIT: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Mother and children viewing the zebras at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo.

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Discover the
Dubbo region

Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo CREDIT: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Mother and children viewing the zebras at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo.

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Explore the Dubbo region, about a 4.5-hour drive northwest of Sydney, for its remarkable zoo, world-class stargazing, and fascinating historic towns.  

Eat and drink in Dubbo 

Grab one of the most highly regarded pies in the state at the Village Bakehouse, run by fourth-generation bakers — the pies have won more than 100 awards over the years. Or grab a seat in the leafy courtyard of Press café, for classic breakfast and lunch dishes and home-roasted coffee. For sleek fine dining, try Veldt, or enjoy tapas and sangria at Two Doors. Drop in to the cellar door at Red Earth Estate, or join a brewery tour, try a tasting paddle, and grab a gourmet pizza or pork belly burger at the Devil’s Hollow Brewery, which started brewing craft beers in Dubbo in 2019. 

See the Dubbo stars 

As the sun sets, head to Dubbo Observatory to view the heavens. Join astronomer Peter Starr on a Night Sky and Telescope Viewing Tour for an astronomy presentation and the chance to look at the moon, stars, planets and galaxies through up to seven telescopes. Or join an Astrophotography Tour and take pictures with your own camera through the observatory’s 17-inch telescope.  

Visit the zoo  

No visit to Dubbo is complete without a tour of Taronga Western Plains Zoo, home to more than 5,000 animals from more than 350 species, all roaming across 300 hectares of carefully recreated natural habitats. Hop aboard a safari truck to take an African Savannah Safari, see big cats in the Lion Pride Lands, and let the kids play in the Waterhole Precinct, which opened in 2020 and offers a waterplay area and outdoor café, close to the meerkat mob.  

Sleep in Dubbo 

For the ultimate animal encounter, spend the night at the zoo. Accommodation options range from permanent tents at Billabong Camp to the self-contained Savannah Cabins and the luxurious Zoofari Lodge, where giraffes and ostriches roam just past the edge of your wooden deck.  

Or embrace the country lifestyle at Outback Cellar, a self-contained property set on riverfront farmland 10 minutes outside Dubbo — choose from a country cottage and a wine cellar converted into a studio. Alternatively, head to Discovery Parks Dubbo for its large heated swimming pool, waterpark, playground and jumping pillow.  

Take off to Narromine 

The small town of Narromine, half an hour west of Dubbo, has a storied aviation history dating back more than 100 years. The Narromine Aviation Museum celebrates this legacy with a captivating display of historic aircraft, photographs and artefacts. 

Press Cafe, Dubbo CREDIT: Destination NSW

Meals ready for serving at the Press Cafe, Dubbo.

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Press Cafe, Dubbo CREDIT: Destination NSW

Meals ready for serving at the Press Cafe, Dubbo.

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Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo CREDIT: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Guests touring the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo on hired bicycles.

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Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo CREDIT: Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Guests touring the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo on hired bicycles.

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Discover Dubbo’s culture and heritage 

Head to the Old Dubbo Gaol to learn about 19th-century prison life through self-guided tours, theatrical displays and even a Beyond the Grave after-dark ghost hunting tour. Explore Dubbo’s colourful past on the Heritage Walk, which runs through the centre of the city, telling stories of Dubbo’s colourful criminal connections (such as Queen of the Underworld Kate Leigh) and trailblazing pioneers. You can pick up a brochure at Dubbo Visitor Information Centre.  

You can also visit Dubbo's state-of-the-art Western Plains Cultural Centre, which is home to the city’s art gallery and museum, and features a range of frequently changing exhibitions and school holiday workshops. And discover local Wiradjuri Aboriginal culture through First Lesson Cultural Tours — walk where ancestors walked, settle in for a camp oven dinner and learn to make clapstick percussion instruments.  

Eat, play and stay in Wellington 

At the town of Wellington, a 40-minute drive southeast of Dubbo, call in for a pub meal at The Lion of Waterloo, which dates back to 1841 and was a popular stop for early settlers, miners and Cobb & Co coaches. At the 400-million-year-old Wellington Caves, descend the staircase of the Cathedral Cave to view the beautiful calcite crystal formations, the clear waters of The Well, and the Altar, a 15m tall stalagmite. You can camp, hitch up your caravan, or stay in cabins or units at the caves. Or head to Hermitage Hill Country Retreat, a Federation Queen Ann-style building perched on a hill overlooking Wellington.  

Discover Gilgandra’s past 

The small town of Gilgandra, 45 minutes north of Dubbo, holds a significant place in Australia’s war history. The first recruiting march (which would come to be known as the Coo-ee March) began here in 1915, with a group of men making their way to Sydney. Head to the Visitor Information Centre at The GIL Collective to learn more and discover works by local artists and artisans. Gilgandra is also known for its windmills: take the Windmill Walk along the banks of the Castlereagh River to spot some. 

See the stars in a Dark Sky Park 

The stargazing in Warrumbungle National Park, about 90 minutes’ drive north of Dubbo, is so good that it has been declared the southern hemisphere’s first and only Dark Sky Park. Camp under the stars and view the wonders of the galaxy from your own quiet corner of the park, and take a guided tour of the Siding Spring Observatory

Ride on in to Coonamble  

See more than 1,000 cowboys and cowgirls in action at the Coonamble Rodeo and Campdraft, an action-packed June long weekend of bull riding, steer wrestling and live music. Just about everyone in Coonamble, less than a two-hour drive north of Dubbo, has a nickname, and the town has turned itself into the Nickname Hall of Fame. Look out for the billboards around town honouring locals with monikers such as Gooey, Icey and Useful. 

Old Dubbo Gaol, Dubbo CREDIT: Destination NSW

Family enjoying a visit to the Old Dubbo Gaol.

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Old Dubbo Gaol, Dubbo CREDIT: Destination NSW

Family enjoying a visit to the Old Dubbo Gaol.

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Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mines, Wellington CREDIT: Destination NSW

Family exploring the cave systems at Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mines, Wellington.

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Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mines, Wellington CREDIT: Destination NSW

Family exploring the cave systems at Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mines, Wellington.

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