Dubbo and the Great Western Plains


Great experiences

In the beautiful Great Western Plains discover Taronga Western Plains Zoo, ancient volcanic mountains in the Warrumbungles, prehistoric fossils, boutique wineries, stargazing and river and aerial adventures. At the heart is Dubbo, a vibrant city to explore.

  • Breadknife and Grand High Tops, Warrumbungle National Park
  • Billabong Camp, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo

About the Great Western Plains region

For unforgettable experiences, the Great Western Plains is breathtaking in its wonder. This diverse region in Country NSW is between the Great Dividing Range and the outback. At the heart of this beautiful region in the Macquarie Valley is Dubbo, which is five hours’ drive northwest of Sydney.

You can also take a train or fly to this vibrant regional city, an excellent base for family adventures and home to the open-range Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The award-winning sanctuary houses hundreds of animals, and is the only place in Australia where you can see African elephants.

Giraffes, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo

You’ll be delighted with the many other things to do, including exploring colonial and Aboriginal heritage, bushwalking in the Warrumbungles, kayaking with Adventure Watersports on the Macquarie River, wine tasting, and stargazing at brilliant night skies. Places to stay suit various budgets and check out the exciting events calendar for festivals, shows and markets.

In Dubbo, enjoy a picnic at the tranquil Shoyoen Garden in the Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden, take a guided tour of the heritage-listed Old Dubbo Goal and visit Western Plains Cultural Centre, a museum and a gallery. You can gaze at the stars at Dubbo Observatory. Explore indigenous cultural heritage at Terramungamine Rock Grooves and with the Aboriginal-led First Lesson Cultural Tours.

Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden

Farther afield are charming historical towns, prehistoric fossil sites, aerial adventures and national park wilderness. In Wellington, southeast of Dubbo, enjoy a drink at the Lion of Waterloo Tavern, built in 1841, and visit the Oxley Museum, named after the early colonial explorer John Oxley.

At the Wellington Caves megafauna fossils two million years’ old were found in 1830, attracting Charles Darwin’s attention. Replica fossils are at the site now to preserve the originals. Join a tour of the caves and phosphate mine and learn more about this important scientific discovery.

West of Dubbo is Narromine, home to the Narromine Aviation Museum where you can experience the thrill of tandem glider and ultralight flights. North of Dubbo is Gilgandra, where you’ll find pioneering history at the Gilgandra Rural Museum. A scenic drive northeast is iconic Warrumbungle National Park and Warrumbungle Observatory, which offers a 90-minute astronomy show.

Flying into Dubbo City Regional Airport

Dubbo Airport is located 5km from Dubbo’s town centre on the Mitchell Highway. Use the taxi services available at the front of the terminal to take the short trip northwest. Alternatively, rent a car from the hire services available at the airport and explore the region at your own pace.

Choose from more than 180 weekly scheduled flights to and from Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Brisbane, Broken Hill and Cobar with Regional Express, Qantas, FlyPelican and Jetgo Australia. For other major Australian cities, connect via Sydney for travel into Dubbo.


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Local areas

  • Dubbo Visit Taronga Western Plains Zoo, savour great food and wine, and enjoy museums, galleries and gardens.
  • Gilgandra Discover pioneering history at the Rural Museum, visit an emu farm and explore the majestic Warrumbungles.
  • Narromine Take to the skies in a thrilling tandem glider flight and see vintage planes at the Narromine Aviation Museum.
  • Wellington Explore spectacular Wellington Caves and see Cathedral Cave's huge stalagmite and Gaden Cave's coral features.