Dubbo, located in the heart of New South Wales, is a vibrant regional city with a rich history and a plethora of attractions to explore. From close encounters with exotic animals at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, to exploring the ancient underground wonders of the Wellington Caves, Dubbo has something for everyone. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie seeking adventure, a history buff looking to uncover the past, or a nature lover wanting to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, Dubbo will not disappoint. Join us as we take a journey through the top things to do in Dubbo, and discover why this city is a must-visit destination in Australia.
History of Dubbo NSW
Dubbo is a city located in the central west region of New South Wales, Australia. The city has a rich history that dates back thousands of years, and has been shaped by the people who have called it home over the centuries. Here is a timeline of the history of Dubbo, from its earliest known inhabitants to the present day.
- Pre-1800s: The Dubbo area was inhabited by the Wiradjuri people, who had lived in the region for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. The Wiradjuri people had a deep connection to the land, and their culture and traditions continue to be celebrated and honoured in Dubbo today.
- 1818: The first European to explore the Dubbo area was John Oxley, who was sent on an expedition to explore the inland regions of New South Wales. Oxley was impressed by the fertile land and the abundance of water in the region, and recommended that it be opened up for settlement.
- 1828: The first European settlers arrived in the Dubbo area, establishing farms and homesteads along the Macquarie River. The first official land grant was made to Captain James White, who established the property known as ‘Dubbo Station.’
- 1849: Dubbo was officially declared a town, and a courthouse and police station were built to provide services to the growing population.
- 1877: The railway arrived in Dubbo, connecting the town to Sydney and other major centres across New South Wales. The railway brought new opportunities for trade and commerce, and helped to further stimulate the growth of the town.
- 1881: The Dubbo Municipal Council was established, giving the people of Dubbo greater control over the governance and development of their town.
- 1895: The Dubbo Show was first held, becoming an annual event that celebrates the region’s agricultural heritage and showcases local produce and livestock.
- 1960s: Dubbo continued to grow and develop throughout the 20th century, with new industries and businesses setting up in the town. The Taronga Western Plains Zoo was established in 1977, becoming a major tourist attraction and helping to put Dubbo on the map as a destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
- 2000s: Dubbo continued to thrive in the 21st century, with new developments and infrastructure projects helping to improve the quality of life for residents and attract visitors to the region. The Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre was built in 2009, becoming a major venue for cultural and entertainment events.
In conclusion, Dubbo has a long and fascinating history that has been shaped by the people who have called it home over the centuries. From the Wiradjuri people to the European settlers, the railway workers to the modern-day residents, Dubbo has been a place of innovation, growth, and opportunity throughout its history. Today, Dubbo is a thriving regional centre that is proud of its past and excited about its future.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo
If you love animals, the Taronga Western Plains Zoo is a great place to visit while in Dubbo, NSW. The zoo is a six-kilometre circuit, so you’ll want to spend at least two days visiting this place. If you’re a child, consider a two-day pass and enjoy both the animal encounters and the educational talks by the zoo’s keepers.
The Dubbo Plains Zoo was founded in 1951 as a companion to Sydney’s famous Taronga Zoo. Its primary mission was to provide breeding facilities for large plains dwelling animals and a safe, open-range habitat for grazing animals. Today, the zoo covers 300 acres of woodland and irrigated grasslands. Its mission is to protect and preserve animals, and the zoo’s admission money supports its conservation programs.
A recent baby boom has been a boon for the zoo’s animals. The zoo currently displays four Cheetah cubs, three Giraffe calves, and a Przewalski’s Horse foal. The zoo’s Keepers have been closely monitoring Bakhita and her calf. The pair enjoyed a mud bath, and the new born calf spent time playing in puddles in the behind-the-scenes paddock.
Old Dubbo Gaol
Whether you’re looking for something a little different or you want to explore the history of Dubbo, the Old Dubbo Gaol is sure to meet your expectations. A Victorian prison museum, it features holographic displays, animatronics, and a variety of artifacts. You can also experience the solitary confinement section, and learn about the conditions prisoners faced during their stay.
Dubbo is a town situated in the Orana Region of western New South Wales, 90 miles from Sydney. With preserved European architecture from the 1800s and a stellar lineup of big-hitting attractions, this regional city is well worth a visit. Dubbo is home to Australia’s largest zoo, an authentic Japanese garden, and a restored mid-19th century gaol.
You can also spend a few hours exploring the town’s history and culture. You can tour the Old Dubbo Gaol, visit the Dubbo Observatory, and spend some time learning about the city’s past. Old Dubbo Gaol is a National Trust property, and you can learn about the local history by visiting the old gaol. You can also visit the Outback Trek Café and sample some delicious locally made Barista coffee.
Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience
Taking the time to visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience in the Dubbo region is a must. The centre is one of the four attractions included in the Dubbo Region Great Big Adventure Pass. Guests are welcome to use vouchers from the NSW Dine, Discover and Parenting programs to save on their visit. The attraction also welcomes school and special interest group tours. Those interested in exploring the local area should consider purchasing the Dubbo Region Great Big Adventure Pass, which includes admission to the centre and exclusive offers at partner businesses in the area.
While touring the Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience, visitors can experience the history of Australia’s first air ambulances and its legacy today. Experience the heroic doctors, nurses and pilots, and learn about the outback communities and challenges they faced. It is an interactive museum with a merchandise store for RFDS memorabilia and augmented reality experiences. Whether you are a history buff or simply want to learn more about the unique culture of Australia, the Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience in Dubbo NSW is worth a visit.
Shoyoen Japanese Garden
Shoyoen is a Japanese word which means “walking and refreshing garden”. This beautifully maintained, authentic Japanese garden is located in Dubbo’s Elizabeth Park Regional Botanic Gardens. The garden was gifted to Dubbo by Minokamo, Japan, and features a highly stylised miniature landscape with religious and cultural references. The Japanese garden was designed by Kamo Agricultural and Forestry High School students.
The garden is situated in Dubbo’s East End, and is open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Weekends are also open. The garden is closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, but is open on Good Friday and Anzac Day. If you’re travelling to Dubbo, don’t miss the Shoyoen. It’s well worth the visit.
Visit Dundullimal Homestead to travel in time to the early 1900s. This historical pastoral home, built before Dubbo was established, is one of the oldest surviving slab houses in Australia. You can explore the sandstone stables, timber church, and coach rooms of this unique homestead. And while you’re there, don’t miss the beautiful grounds, where dogs are welcome.
Dubbo has several things to see and do. For example, there’s the Dundullimal Homestead, Australia’s oldest timber slab homestead. It’s also the oldest building in Dubbo that’s open to the public. This building was built in the early 1840s. Explore its historic and historical significance, and visit the museum and cafe.
If you’re a nature lover, you can visit Taronga Western Plains Zoo, a zoo with over a thousand animals. You can also take a self-guided tour of the zoo. Another great option for family activities is Old Dubbo Gaol, a restored goal that is open all year. The museum is filled with exhibits on local history and offers an interactive hologram.
If you’re looking for something to do in Dubbo NSW, consider a visit to the Dubbo Observatory. This compact local observatory offers educational programs and telescopic night sky viewing tours. You’ll be amazed by the vast array of stars and constellations that are visible in the night sky. The museum offers displays of various artifacts, including telescopes that allow visitors to observe the night sky.
After dark, you can explore the night sky at Dubbo Observatory. You’ll receive a 75-minute lecture by a knowledgeable astronomer before you can see the constellations in the night sky. You can also visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience to learn about the stories of these pioneering doctors in the outback. Then, you can visit the nearby Wellington Caves and Red Earth Estate winery.
Astronomers can use the Dubbo Observatory’s six telescopes to view the night sky. If you’re lucky, you can take a picture of stars and planets with a DSLR camera using the 17-inch telescope. The tour takes about 75 minutes, so make sure to book your spot in advance. If you want to get a closer look at the stars, Dubbo Observatory is the perfect destination.
Western Plains Cultural Centre
Art lovers will enjoy the Western Plains Cultural Centre in Dubbo. This modern, stylish center offers a range of educational programs and a daytime cafe. A visit to this art centre also includes a tour of the local region. In addition, there is an onsite gallery and a cafe. Visitors can also enjoy live music and a variety of food and drink options at the Western Plains Cultural Centre.
The Western Plains Cultural Centre is located in Dubbo, a family-friendly city that is home to the popular Taronga Western Plains Zoo and many restaurants. Other attractions in Dubbo include the Dubbo Showground and the Dubbo Public School. For a unique experience, try a guided tour of the Cultural Centre. For more information, download the Moovit app and get directions to the Western Plains Cultural Centre.
For visitors with young children, the Western Plains Cultural Centre is a must-see. This centre houses the collections of the former Dubbo Regional Museum and Art Gallery, as well as a modern café. Highlights include a special carved tree and the largest wool wagon in Australia. The Western Plains Cultural Centre is only a short walk from the Palms Motel, a budget-friendly Dubbo accommodation option.
Breelong National Park
If you’re planning to visit Dubbo in Australia, make sure to check out the Breelong National Park. This picturesque park is located near the town and features the picturesque Castlereagh River. While there, you can see local flora and fauna such as the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, Yellow-Billed Spoonbill, and Black-Fronted Dotterel. If you like to cycle, this is a wonderful place to do so. The views of the national park are spectacular, and the location is within one hour of Dubbo.
Guests can visit the park’s nearby villages such as Gilgandra, Balladoran, Wamboin, and Juggah, as well as the towns of Bearbong, Bearbung, and Boyben. There are also plenty of options for day trips from Dubbo, including Ulungra Springs. If you’re visiting the park with children, you’ll want to pack a picnic lunch and a couple of topographic maps, as it’s a vast area.
Best Places to Eat in Dubbo
Dubbo is a vibrant city located in the central west of New South Wales, Australia. It has a diverse culinary scene, offering a range of cuisines from around the world. Whether you’re a foodie looking for a fancy dining experience or simply in search of a great casual spot to grab a bite, Dubbo has something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to eat in Dubbo:
- Press: Press is a contemporary restaurant located in the heart of Dubbo. They focus on using local produce and offering a unique dining experience. Their menu features a range of dishes from grilled octopus to slow-cooked beef cheeks. They also have an extensive wine list, making it a great spot for a special occasion.
- Mason’s Cafe: Mason’s Cafe is a local institution and has been serving up delicious food in Dubbo for over 70 years. They offer a range of classic Australian dishes, including burgers, fish and chips, and schnitzels. The cafe also has a great atmosphere, with plenty of outdoor seating.
- Two Doors Tapas & Wine Bar: Two Doors Tapas & Wine Bar is a popular spot for those looking for a casual dining experience. They offer a range of tapas dishes, as well as a great selection of wine and cocktails. The bar also has a cozy atmosphere, making it a great spot for a date night or catching up with friends.
- The Monkey Bar: The Monkey Bar is a trendy bar and restaurant that offers a range of share plates and pub classics. They also have an extensive drinks menu, featuring a range of cocktails, beer, and wine. The bar has a great atmosphere and often hosts live music, making it a great spot for a night out.
- Sushi Huku: For those in the mood for Japanese cuisine, Sushi Huku is the place to go. They offer a range of sushi rolls, sashimi, and other Japanese dishes. The restaurant also has a great atmosphere, with plenty of seating options.
- Old Bank Restaurant & Bar: Old Bank Restaurant & Bar is located in a beautiful historic building in the heart of Dubbo. They offer a range of modern Australian dishes, as well as a great selection of cocktails and wine. The restaurant also has a cozy atmosphere, making it a great spot for a romantic dinner.
- The Lazy River Estate: The Lazy River Estate is a beautiful winery located just outside of Dubbo. They offer a range of gourmet dishes, as well as wine tasting experiences. The restaurant also has stunning views of the river, making it a great spot for a special occasion.
- Bellotti’s Italian Dining: Bellotti’s Italian Dining is a family-owned restaurant that offers a range of classic Italian dishes. Their menu features pasta, pizza, and other traditional Italian dishes. The restaurant also has a great atmosphere, with plenty of seating options and a cozy fireplace.
In conclusion, Dubbo has a diverse culinary scene that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re in the mood for contemporary Australian cuisine, Japanese food, or classic pub fare, Dubbo has it all. So, head out and explore the city’s dining scene, and you’re sure to find a spot that suits your taste buds.
Best Places to Stay in Dubbo
Dubbo is a thriving city located in the central west region of New South Wales, Australia. It’s a popular tourist destination, known for its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and friendly locals. If you’re planning a trip to Dubbo, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation options. Here are some of the best places to stay in Dubbo:
- Taronga Western Plains Zoo: For a truly unique experience, why not stay at Taronga Western Plains Zoo? The zoo offers a range of accommodation options, including safari tents, self-contained cabins, and the Zoofari Lodge. The lodges are located within the zoo grounds, giving you the opportunity to wake up to the sounds of the animals. Plus, you’ll have access to the zoo before and after it opens to the public.
- The Old Bank Boutique Hotel: The Old Bank Boutique Hotel is a stunning heritage-listed building that has been beautifully restored into a luxury hotel. The rooms are spacious and elegantly decorated, with all the modern amenities you could need. The hotel also has a restaurant and bar, making it a great spot for a romantic getaway.
- Quest Dubbo: If you’re looking for a home away from home, Quest Dubbo is a great option. The apartments are fully self-contained, with kitchens, laundry facilities, and separate living areas. Plus, the property has a pool, BBQ area, and fitness center, making it a great spot for families.
- Akuna Motor Inn & Apartments: Akuna Motor Inn & Apartments is a popular choice for those looking for affordable yet comfortable accommodation. The rooms are spacious and come equipped with all the modern amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Plus, the property has a pool and BBQ area, making it a great spot for families.
- Quality Inn Dubbo International: Quality Inn Dubbo International is a centrally located hotel that offers comfortable and affordable accommodation. The rooms are modern and spacious, with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Plus, the hotel has a pool and restaurant, making it a great spot for a quick getaway.
- Cattlemans Country Motor Inn & Serviced Apartments: Cattlemans Country Motor Inn & Serviced Apartments is a great option for those looking for spacious and affordable accommodation. The rooms are spacious and come equipped with all the modern amenities you need. Plus, the property has a pool and BBQ area, making it a great spot for families.
- Comfort Inn Blue Lagoon: Comfort Inn Blue Lagoon is a great option for those looking for comfortable yet affordable accommodation. The rooms are modern and come equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Plus, the hotel has a pool and restaurant, making it a great spot for a quick getaway.
In conclusion, Dubbo has a range of accommodation options that cater to all budgets and tastes. Whether you’re looking for a unique experience at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, luxury at The Old Bank Boutique Hotel, or a home away from home at Quest Dubbo Serviced Apartments, there’s something for everyone in Dubbo. So, start planning your trip today and book your stay at one of these fantastic properties.
10 interesting facts about Dubbo NSW
- Dubbo is located approximately 400 km northwest of Sydney and has a population of around 40,000 people.
- The city is home to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, which is the largest zoological park in New South Wales and is home to over 700 animals from around the world.
- Dubbo was originally inhabited by the Wiradjuri people, who have lived in the area for over 40,000 years.
- Dubbo is home to the historic Old Dubbo Gaol, which was built in the 1800s and is now a popular tourist attraction.
- The city is located on the banks of the Macquarie River, which is a popular spot for fishing, kayaking, and other water activities.
- Dubbo is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, the Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden, and the Dundullimal Homestead.
- The Dubbo Observatory is a popular attraction for stargazers, offering a chance to view the Southern Hemisphere’s stars and planets through high-powered telescopes.
- Dubbo is home to the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre, which hosts a range of performances and events throughout the year.
- The city is a popular destination for foodies, with a range of restaurants, cafes, and bars offering a variety of cuisines and dining experiences.
- Dubbo has a rich history, with many buildings and landmarks dating back to the 1800s, including the Dubbo Observatory, the Old Dubbo Gaol, and the Dundullimal Homestead.