Surrounded by the flourishing Macquarie Valley of Australia lies a town that subtly speaks to its visitors of its majestic awes and inspirations. Dubbo, known for its vast African Safari valleys, is one of the most populated towns in New South Wales.
Located 302 kilometres away from the densely urbanized city of Sydney, many tourists would generally miss out on Dubbo. If you’re planning to visit outback NSW, here are the top things to do in Dubbo.
1. Visit The Taronga Western Plains Zoo
Located in the Tablelands of New South Wales, Taronga Western Plains Zoo is one of Dubbo’s most nurtured gems. It houses over 500 animals from across five continents. The highlight of Taronga Zoo is the African Safari experience which brings travellers from across the country into this sanctuary.
Furthermore, tourists can find accommodation within the savannah area that gives a complete backdrop for any adventure. Visiting Taronga is one of the best things to do in Dubbo.
2. Check-in At The Dubbo Visitor Information Centre
The visitor information centre in Dubbo is the place to go before you begin your tour. You may have only a few days to spare in this little city, so make use of it well by understanding what Dubbo has to offer. All information about guided tours, national parks and souvenirs of the Dubbo Region can be found here.
It provides ample free parking, resting areas, refreshments and the perfect welcoming ambience to kick start an adventure in the Taronga Plains, or even the Outback, NSW.
3. Stroll Around Macquarie River
Enjoy a walk along the Macquarie River in the morning or evening. On the riverbank, you will find several picnic spots as well. The atmosphere here is pleasant and peaceful, occasionally disrupted by the birdsong of blue wrens and Eastern rosellas.
This is an excellent place to meet locals and enjoy the lovely scenery of Dubbo – for the best stroll, take the long path to the rail bridge near Old Dubbo Road.
4. Explore The Old Dubbo Gaol
Once an industrial-age prison, now a museum – visiting the Old Dubbo Gaol is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Dubbo. Although the penal institution closed its doors for prisoners, the historic building preserves the heritage of colonial times.
Based on visitor experience, locals have deemed the knowledge gained from a tour to be extraordinary. If you don’t enjoy walking through the echoing walls of a 19th-century prison, Old Dubbo Gaol may not be the location for you.
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5. Relax Away At The Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden
This Regional Botanic Garden is a combination of four magical parks that breathes out various kinds of architecture and natural beauty. The Botanic Garden has been open to the public since 1999 and is one of the most famous gardens in the Dubbo Region.
Located in Elizabeth Park, the Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden consists of Shoyoen Japanese Garden, Oasis Garden, Bio-Diversity Garden and Sensory Garden.
6. Camp At Terramungamine Reserve And Rock Grooves
To appreciate the many intriguing details left behind by the Tubbagah people and do a bit of camping, visit Terramungamine Reserve and Rock Grooves. Located beside the Macquarie River, the site has about 150 rock carvings. According to archaeological findings, the site was a popular meeting place for the tribe.
You can camp here for an entire night if you wish, and its location beside the river has given it a picturesque quality. If you decide to camp here, make sure you get here in time for the sunset!
7. Experience Japan At The Shoyoen Japanese Garden
One of the Dubbo Botanic Gardens, the Shoyoen Japanese Garden, is quite peculiar. You may wonder how a traditional Japanese garden ended up in New South Wales, Australia. The inception of Shoyoen dates back to 2002 when the Kamo Agriculture team instated the masterpiece by first planting cherry trees.
If you happen to be in Shoyoen Japanese Garden, taking a walk is one of the best things to do in Dubbo.
8. Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience
The Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience is yet another interesting site to visit in the region. Making use of technology, this exhibit helps travellers understand the service of heroic medical professionals, pilots and the Outback people.
If you’re visiting here, you can also head over to the Outback Trek Café which serves original Barista coffee. If you’re looking forward to an adventure, purchase the Great Big Adventure Pass that covers most parts of the Dubbo Region.
9. Buy Fresh Produce At Dubbo Farmers Market
To experience the quintessential village charm of Australia, visit Dubbo Farmers Market. The market unravels on the 1st and 3rd Saturday at the Macquarie National Park from 8 AM to 12 noon. With a huge array of small stalls scattered over hundreds of kilometres, Dubbo Farmers Market has become a spectacular regional event.
Visitors can enjoy a hearty breakfast coupled with a delicious cup of coffee and buy fresh produce, ranging from fresh fruit to fresh vegetables to fresh herbs. Olive oil, jams, cheese, fresh bread, wine, and honey are a few locally produced goodies you can purchase at the market.
10. Make A Trip To The Wellington Caves
Located a few kilometres away from Wellington, the Wellington Caves are a series of mesmerizing 15-meter tall limestone caves, rich in minerals and fossils. At the Visitor Experience Centre at Wellington Caves, you will find a cafe to relax, a BBQ facility, a fossil store and many more to explore. If you’re visiting Australia, visiting Wellington city and the Wellington Caves are undoubtedly some of the best things to do in Dubbo.
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11. Visit The Western Plains Cultural Centre
If you have creative blood running through your veins, visiting Western Plains Cultural Centre is one of the best things to do in Dubbo. The Cultural Centre consists of a museum, a furnished café, and a state-of-the-art gallery, home to some of the best creations by artists in New South Wales.
When visiting the Cultural Centre, you’ll surely be mesmerized by Australia’s largest preserved wool wagon. Besides, those who love Aboriginal heritage would enjoy this place immensely.
12. Drop By At The Dubbo Observatory
If you love midnight star-gazing or astronomy, Dubbo Observatory is the attraction for you. It provides spot-on sightings of the night skies, constellations, planets and galaxies using high-tech telescopes. The whole experience package consists of a premium tour with local astronomer Peter Starr and an Astrophotography session. Nevertheless, it’s a must-visit destination.
13. Check Out The Dundullimal Homestead
A 19th Century, historical pastoral home – Dundullimal existed even before Dubbo Region was founded. It is said to be the oldest slab house in all of Australia. With its vast open garden area, stables, sheds and timber church, Dundullimal is the perfect rural industrial colonization home. Visitors would experience a time-travelling glory while here. Visiting this place could be considered one of the best things to do in the Dubbo area.
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