Going Wild In The West
Holidays with Kids|Volume 58
Going Wild In The West

From off-grid trailblazing to thrilling animal encounters, KATE POWELL discovers there’s more to Dubbo than meets the eye.

Kate Powell

In the sheep-strewn plains of central New South Wales lies Dubbo, about five hours by car from the bustling hub of Sydney. A road trip it may be, but one well worth the effort, as there are dozens of great attractions and activities waiting to be discovered. For adventurous families in particular, this unique city and its surrounds will have you grabbing your paddles, gearing up and donning helmets and riding boots ready for action. So strap in, adventurers, because we’re taking you on a totally wild ride.

The must-dos

Dubbo is, of course, most famous for the legendary Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Taronga is home to over 4,000 animals from more than 350 species, including six adorable cheetah cubs who are now on exhibit, having moved from the behind-the-scenes breeding complex in October. Sure, your run-of-the-mill zoo walk-through will be an enjoyable adventure, but for die-hard animal lovers, a dive beneath the surface delivers heaps of bigger thrills. Kids will never forget an exclusive up-close encounter with the meerkats, big cats or giraffes, or other behind the-scenes experiences. Make a night of it with a stay at Taronga’s Billabong Camp or Zoofari Lodge, where the kids can kick back in a luxurious tent overlooking the giraffe dotted savannah. Plan in advance, though, as bookings are essential.

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Volume 58