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4 Amazing Family Adventures in the Dubbo Region

The Great Big Adventure Pass allows you to explore Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Old Dubbo Gaol, the Royal Flying Doctor Visitor Experience and Wellington Caves on just one ticket. Here are the highlights:

1. Taronga Western Plains Zoo

A family feeding a giraffe at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo
A family feeding a giraffe at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo

See African lions, Asian elephants, cheetahs, zebra, Sumatran tigers and lots more at this open-range zoo, which you can explore in your own car, by bike, on an electric cart, or on foot. Zookeeper activities take place throughout the day, so make sure you check the timetable on the website or download the zoo’s official app to find out what time the spider monkeys are having lunch and when the talks for the Galapagos tortoise and otters will be held. You can also pay extra for a range of close-up or behind-the-scenes encounters with animals including hippos, giraffes and meerkats. If you’re interested in staying overnight, there are three accommodation options. They include camping in a permanent tent near the lion enclosure (you can even hear them roaring overnight!) at Billabong Camp, in one of the stylish Savannah Cabins, or at the safari-style Zoofari Lodge, which has a restaurant and saltwater pool next to a savannah where giraffes, zebras and rhinos roam.

Visit:  Taronga Western Plains Zoo

2. Royal Flying Doctor Visitor Experience

The Royal Flying Doctor Visitor Experience in Dubbo
The Royal Flying Doctor Visitor Experience in Dubbo

Learn how doctors and nurses deliver life-saving services to people living in remote Outback areas around the country at the Royal Flying Doctor Visitor Experience. Located next to the working base, the attraction features a range of fun, interactive experiences. Watch doctors treat a patient in the cabin of an aeromedical aircraft in augmented reality, walk through the split fuselage, and see the controls and interact with touchscreens and aeromedical equipment as if you’re flying thousands of kilometres to the nearest hospital with them. See the locations where planes and teams retrieve people in need or provide primary healthcare and meet some of the colourful characters they have assisted over the years. You can also explore an actual emergency aircraft ⁠— a replica of a De Havilland DH-83 Fox Moth hired by The Australian Aerial Medical Services in Broken Hill in 1937.

Visit: Royal Flying Doctor Visitor Experience 

3. Old Dubbo Gaol

Old Dubbo Gaol. Image Destination NSW
Old Dubbo Gaol. Image: Destination NSW

Gain an insight into the lives prisoners faced at this former jail as you wander through the male cell blocks, exercise yards, the gallows and the watch tower. Check out the tour and performance schedule for entertaining stories on prison life and escape attempts presented by animated wardens and other costumed characters. The jail began its life as a courthouse lock up in 1847. As the town and region grew so did crimes brought about by greed, hunger and poverty. The facility operated as a prison until 1966, when the last remaining inmates were transferred to Bathurst and Parramatta. After extensive restoration, it opened as a tourist attraction in 1974. Notable prisoners include Jacky Underwood, whose crimes committed with accomplice Jimmy Governor inspired the Thomas Keneally novel The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith. For really brave families, twilight tours are also held at 6.15pm during the NSW school holidays. Tickets are essential.

Visit: Old Dubbo Gaol

4. Wellington Caves

Exploring the cave systems at Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mines in the Dubbo Region
Exploring the cave systems at Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mines in the Dubbo Region

Marvel at the spectacular limestone formations and see ancient fossils at Wellington Caves, around 45 minutes’ drive from Dubbo. There are three significant cave sites to explore. On the Cathedral Cave tour, you can see limestone and crystal formations reaching up to 15 metres high and hints of marine life from 400 million years ago. The Phosphate Mine tour begins by entering a restored WW1 mine shaft. Inside, thousands of fossil and bone deposits dating back over one million years are embedded in the rock walls. Gaden Cave is the smallest of the trio, showcasing dazzling formations of stalagmites, stalactites and beautiful coral-like formations. Once you hit sunlight again, grab a magnifying glass and examine fossils in the Discovery Lab, and interact with life-sized Australian megafauna, learn about traditional Wiradjuri stories and discover what scientists are still studying on-site in the Ancient Landscapes Gallery. Outside, the Field of Fossils takes you on a winding path of discovery.

Visit: Wellington Caves

Getting there

Dubbo is a four-to-five-hour drive from Sydney, Canberra and Newcastle. Qantas and Regional Express also fly from Sydney to Dubbo. It takes less than an hour.

Great Big Adventure Pass

Discover the Dubbo Region through the Great Big Adventure Pass, which gives you four fantastic attractions in one purchase.

Buy the Great Big Adventure Pass here!

More Information

Visit: dubbo.com.au

In partnership with Dubbo Regional Tourism

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