There's more to do in Dubbo than just explore Western Plains Zoo – although staying the night in one of its glamping tents is a must-do experience. Discover the best things to explore, great accommodation options and where to eat next time you visit.
Visit Old Dubbo Gaol
Families flock to Old Dubbo Gaol as much for its history as its theatrical approach to education. Along with exploration of the heritage sandstone buildings, visitors will have ample opportunity to learn about the dark history of the prison, with costumed guides and crowd-inclusive performances bringing the immersive experience to life.
Go glamping at Western Plains Zoo
Image credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo/Rick Stevens/Destination NSW.
Western Plains Zoo Dubbo is as close as Australians can get to an African safari experience on their home turf. Within the vast grounds of the zoo, majestic giraffe, cheetahs and Asian elephants roam the dusty open prairies and close encounters are a regular occurrence. Visitors can also glamp on site to really get amongst it; balconies at the Zoofari Lodge overlook a zebra- and rhino-occupied savannah. Obley Road, Dubbo.
Stargaze at Dubbo Observatory
There’s a distinct lack of light pollution in this part of the state, making Dubbo Observatory a stellar place for stargazing. Evening tours are run by local Peter Starr, who holds a master’s degree in astronomy, and include an outdoor presentation that demystifies the galaxy, followed by viewings through the six onsite telescopes for unadulterated views of the sky’s nebulae, stars and planets.
Eat the best breakfast
It’s little wonder Press draws a big weekend crowd; hearty brunch favourites with a twist include avocado on toast with pistachio dukkah and tomato salsa.
Seek out the best restaurant
Although head chef Brad Myers weaves his South African heritage through Veldt Restaurant’s menu, the food here is distinctly modern Australian; think seared salmon with salsa verde and 10-hour slow-cooked beef cheek.
Sip the best coffee
When a local spot earns a nickname, you know it’s beloved. “CSC” is the choice moniker for Church Street Cafe and Bar, where filter coffee blends cycle through guest roasts from hip Sydney roasteries.
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