Dubbo and the Great Western Plains

Great big adventures begin in Dubbo and the Great Western Plains with two iconic attractions, the Taronga Western Plains Zoo and the Warrumbungle National Park. You’ll discover many more memorable experiences, from world-famous caves to cultural wonders to incredible stargazing.

Enjoy spectacular natural beauty mountain biking or bushwalking at Mount Arthur Reserve. You’ll be thrilled, too, with all the fun family activities, from meeting lions and other stars of the animal kingdom to kayaking on the majestic Macquarie River, or exploring the eerie Old Dubbo Gaol.

Girl poses for photo with a lioness, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo

At the heart is Dubbo, where a cycleway loop links the city centre with the zoo. Pretty riverside parks and the tranquil botanic garden are perfect for family picnics. You can stroll from the Old Dubbo Goal to the wonderful Western Plains Cultural Centre for high quality exhibitions and a heritage museum.

You’ll find Aboriginal heritage created over many thousands of year in the Terramungamine Reserve by the meandering river just north of the city centre. There are 150 grinding grooves the Tubbagah Aboriginal people made by shaping their tools and sharpening their spears on the rock for millennia.

Farther afield are charming historical towns, amazing limestone caves, aquatic adventures and magnificent national parks. Warrumbungle National Park is Australia’s first Dark Sky Park. By day explore the striking volcanic landscape and at night experience the wonder of the starry Universe.

In the famous Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mine the limestone is hundreds of millions of years old. Take the kids on a guided tour to see the marvellous formations in the caves. Megafauna fossils uncovered here in 1830 fascinated Charles Darwin and influenced his ideas in his book On the Origin of the Species.

Family exploring limestone formations in the Cathedral Cave, Wellington Caves

Near the caves is shimmering Lake Burrendong, a popular destination on the Macquarie River for water sports such as kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and waterskiing. The fishing is great, too, with redfin, golden perch and Murray cod all biting. This is a lovely spot for a camping adventure.

A range of accommodation options is available in Dubbo and the region, from riverside camping to holiday parks, heritage pubs, motor inns and motels. Pick up supplies for your adventures, and enjoy holiday shopping, at either Dubbo Square, Riverdale or Orana Mall shopping centres in the heart of Dubbo.

There are plenty tasty places to eat, from hearty country pubs to delicious cafes and restaurants. In Dubbo, try the beautifully restored Milestone Hotel, built in 1882, and the Sails at the Blue Lagoon. The Village Café Bakery makes gourmet pies that have won awards in Sydney and Melbourne.