Dubbo and the Great Western Plains

Enjoy exciting adventures in Dubbo and the Great Western Plains. Home to the Warrumbungle National Park, the region offers fantastic outdoor experiences from stargazing and hiking to exploring world-famous caves.

Animals and Nature

Visit the Taronga Western Plains Zoo and admire some of the 4,000 resident animals from over 350 species. You can walk, drive or ride around the Zoo's five km circuit on hired bikes or carts and enjoy daily keeper activities and special animal tours.

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

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. On the edge of the park is the nation’s largest optical telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory.

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

Adventure and Sport

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. 

You can enjoy spectacular natural beauty mountain biking or bushwalking at Mount Arthur Reserve, just outside the township of Wellington. 

Woman enjoying a hike through Mount Arthur Reserve near Wellington, Country NSW

Heritage and Culture

You’ll find Aboriginal heritage created over many thousands of years 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.

The heritage-listed Old Dubbo Gaol in the centre of Dubbo has Australia’s largest collection of hangman’s knots. From here you can stroll to the wonderful Western Plains Cultural Centre for high quality exhibitions and a heritage museum.

Exterior view of the Old Dubbo Gaol grounds, Dubbo

Eat and drink

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

Pick up supplies for your adventures, and enjoy holiday shopping, at either Dubbo SquareRiverdale or Orana Mall shopping centres in the heart of Dubbo.

Getting there and where to stay

A range of accommodation options is available in Dubbo and the across the region, from riverside camping to holiday parks, heritage pubs, motor inns and motels. The drive northwest from Sydney is five hours. You can also fly to Dubbo or take a scenic train trip.