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Things to do in Dubbo with Kids #LoveTravel #TravelGuide #TravelsTips

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Things to do in Dubbo with Kids #LoveTravel #TravelGuide #TravelsTips


It didn’t take the kids much to twist our arms and have us agree to take a road trip with their cousins to Dubbo in central west NSW.

It was, after all, the very location where T and I had adventured on our first couples trip a good seventeen years ago and also the destination of an early travel adventure when the kids were small.

Situated around five hours from Sydney, Dubbo is fast becoming one of New South Wales most popular holiday destinations and a great place to base yourself if you want to explore some of the most amazing regional locations.

I was bursting to explore again, and super keen to stay on site for the first time.

Things to do in Dubbo with Kids

Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Visiting the Taronga Western Plains Zoo is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
Visiting the Taronga Western Plains Zoo is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids

Without a doubt, Taronga Western Plains Zoo is the top attraction and one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids.

Spreading across 300 hectares of bushland and integrated grasslands, the zoo is home to over 700 animals from five of the world’s continents.

The large space provides ample room for animals to free roam – exactly how zoos should be!

The Taronga Western Plains Zoo is home to over 700 animals and is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
The Taronga Western Plains Zoo is home to over 700 animals – sure to be a hit with the kids

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is an all weather location. Whether it’s sunny, overcast or drizzling with rain, I’m pretty certain the whole family will have a blast.

The free roaming enclosures mean that you can see each animal type in a near to natural habitat. It’s almost like seeing them in the wild!

Visiting the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in any weather is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
Visiting the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo with kids is fun in any weather

Dubbo zoo is structured around a 6-kilometre circuit which visitors can navigate by foot, bike, electric buggy or your own vehicle.

On our trip, we arrived early so we could snag an electric buggy, something all of the kids were super excited about.

The Taronga Western Plains Zoo is easy to navigate and is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
The Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo is easy to navigate

Whilst the electric buggy was a lot of fun for the kids, the animals were their absolute favourite thing about Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Each time we came to another enclosure they would all excitedly point out the animals, taking turns to read the information panels so could learn about their habitat and food preferences.

The Taronga Western Plains Zoo is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
The animals are definitely the highlight for the kids at the zoo in Dubbo

Having studied the daily keeper talk itinerary, we were able to fit in a few as we drove around the zoo in our buggy. Whilst the information panels gave a lot of information, the beauty of a keeper talk is they’re always interactive and you can ask a few questions.

The kids loved this opportunity and put the keeper to the test with their tricky questions.

Seeing a giraffe at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
Giraffe at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo

Having visited in Spring, we just missed out on the grand opening of the Savannah Safari. If you plan a trip now you will catch it.

For an extra $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children, you can experience a unique guided tour amongst the African animals on the Savannah Safari truck. Cheaper than a trip to Africa!

The Taronga Western Plains Zoo is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
Check out the Savannah Safari at the zoo in Dubbo with your kids
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is open every day of the year. Tickets are valid for two consecutive days. If you purchase online you will save 20% off full priced adult and children ticket rates.

Savannah Cabins Dubbo

Staying at the Savannah Cabins is a fun way to have a family trip and one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
Staying at the Savannah Cabins is a fun way to have a family trip to Dubbo

While there is a plethora of hotels in Dubbo, we decided to make our trip to Dubbo truly memorable and booked a couple of nights at the Savannah Cabins.

Travelling with two families, we felt that this option lent itself to an intimate, family focused stay.

Staying at Savannah Cabins is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
Booking a stay at Savannah Cabins is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids

We wanted to make a real adventure out of our trip so had travelled to Dubbo via Canberra.

Arriving at the Savannah Cabins at the end of a long drive was perfection. The cabins were not only fully self-contained but had a few little extras that made our stay truly amazing, like gorgeous toiletries and fruit.

Staying at Savannah Cabins is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
Savannah Cabins provided nice extras to help us enjoy our stay

Whilst the adults unpacked the cars, the kids headed off to find themselves some giraffes.

Armed with the binoculars they had found in our cabin, they trekked through the long grass to an opening where they could see the giraffes over the fence. They also spotted a number of kangaroos resulting in a lot of excited squeals of delight.

Staying at Savannah Cabins is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
The Savannah Cabins in Dubbo are great for kids because they’ll be close to the animals

Shortly, the kids had recruited other children from neighbouring cabins and before long they were all playing tag, then footy and then tag again. This continued into the night where we shared a barbeque on our verandah. It was perfection.

If you do stay at the Savannah Cabins and the kids are up after dark, I highly recommend going outside to one of the clearings, laying back on a picnic blanket and watching the stars.

Without the lights from a city brightening the sky, you should be able to see the Milky Way in all its glory and even spot a shooting star.

Staying at the Savannah Cabins is a fun way to have a family trip and one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
At night you can see the Milky Way
Taronga Western Plains Zoo caters for a variety of budgets with three accommodation options: the luxury Zoofari Lodge – read Caz and Craig’s experience at the Dubbo Zoofari Lodge here, the Billabong Camp or, our choice, the Savannah Cabins.

Old Dubbo Gaol

Visiting the Old Dubbo Gaol is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
Visiting the Old Dubbo Gaol is another fun thing to do in Dubbo with kids

A trip to the Old Dubbo Gaol must be included on your itinerary if you’re staying in the area. It’s an opportunity for you to step back in time with the kids and, if framed well, won’t be scary at all.

Visiting on the school holidays is perhaps the best time to go with the kids as quite often the staff create amazing school holiday programs that a perfectly geared for the younger visitor.

Visiting the Old Dubbo Gaol is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
Visiting the Old Dubbo Gaol is especially fun for kids during school holidays

Our visit coincided with the Guided Escapes Tour. It was far from the traditional guided tour, with an inmate showing us around before he was abruptly interrupted by one of the guards.

This is where the show really took off, and with the kids helping the inmate, became quite interactive.

I don’t want to give away the whole experience by detailing it in any length, but let’s just say hysterical laughter was heard across the audience as the kids were brought to task for getting up to a whole of mischief with the inmate. Make sure you do it! (It’s included in the entry ticket).

Old Dubbo Gaol is open seven days a week, excluding Christmas Day, from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm. It is on off Macquarie Street straight across from Woolworths. A family pass is currently $40.00 for two adults and two children.

Wellington Caves

The Wellington Caves is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
Check out the Wellington Caves near Dubbo with kids

Surely exploring a cave system is on your family bucket list?

At Wellington, just south of Dubbo, you can explore a cave system that has formed in an outcrop of 400 million-year-old Early Devonian limestone.

Wellington Caves is the most significant site for mammal fossils in the world with those found here ranging in age from 30,000 to 4 million years! You can see Megafauna in the cave walls! This made a little exploration of the caves a “must see” on our great Dubbo adventure.

Because of the mammal fossils, the Wellington Caves are one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
The Wellington Caves near Dubbo are a must because of the extremely old fossils

At the Wellington Cave site, you can take a guided tour of Cathedral Cave, Gaden Cave and the Phosphate Mine. They are spread out across the day, so I highly recommend choosing your preferred caves in advance and identifying their tour times so you don’t miss out.

The idea of spotting a giant Diprotodon was almost unfathomable, but sure enough, by the end of our visit, we had checked it off our list.

The kids learned that a giant kangaroo, a carnivorous goanna that was seven metres long and a marsupial lion were also found in the caves. Amazing stuff.

Wellington Caves is one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids
The kids will really enjoy Cathedral Cave

Whilst the Phosphate Mine is famous for its bones, the Cathedral Cave is famous for its stalagmites and stalactites which the kids found fascinating. They learned the sayings “Stalagmites MIGHT grow up” and “Stalactites hold on TIGHT” which helped them to remember what to call the formations.

Wellington Caves is just under 60 km south-east of Dubbo. The site is open seven days a week excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Each tour lasts for around an hour. Tours start at around $72.00 for a family of four.

In Summary

Our trip to Dubbo was an amazing adventure with the kids not only learning a little about animal conservation but also widening their knowledge of both scientific discovery and Australian history through our respective tours of Wellington Caves and Old Dubbo Zoo.

On arriving back at home, our youngest traveller decided to do a little research on Megafauna after being inspired by the university project work she had observed at Wellington Caves.

The middle kids decided they wanted to be zookeepers and promptly booked an experience at Taronga Zoo It’s amazing to see travel adventures leading to new projects between our travels.

I wonder if Dubbo will have the same impact on your kids!

While in the Dubbo area, don’t forget to check out:

there are many more great things to do in Dubbo with kids
Don’t forget to check out the Short Street Store in Dubbo with your kids
  • Short Street Store – This is a local secret, but if you make your way to this little hideaway you will discover the best coffee and homemade bites in town.
  • Livvi’s Place Playground – Built just how playgrounds should be, this interactive and accessible park is just the spot for the kids to burn up some energy.
  • Dubbo Observatory – Remember my suggestion to lay back and watch the stars when staying at the Savannah Cabins? Well if you want and even closer look, drop by the Dubbo Observatory.
  • Dubbo Royal Flying Doctor Base Visitor Education Centre – I’m absolutely kicking myself that we missed out on dropping by for a visit.

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The town of Dubbo in Australia is agreat family travel destination. Here are the best things to do in Dubbo with kids!
The town of Dubbo in Australia is agreat family travel destination. Here are the best things to do in Dubbo with kids!

 

Things to do in Dubbo with Kids
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