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There are so many things to do in Dubbo with kids! With a range of natural and historical attractions, there is plenty for the family to do while visiting Dubbo. Our 3 day stay simply wasn’t long enough to do everything we wanted, so we will be back for sure!
Taronga Western Plains Zoo
Undoubtedly the top attraction in Dubbo is the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, one of the best things to do in Dubbo with kids!
Zed has been asking us for the last year to visit the ‘Dubbo Zoo’ after learning about it at school, so we surprised him with a trip to visit for his birthday. Set on a sprawling 300 hectares, the zoo is home to over 700 animals in large enclosures that mimic their natural habitats.
You can safari along the 6km zoo circuit on foot, bike, electric golf cart or in your own car. We arrived early to hire an electric golf cart, which was a hit with the kids! We managed to attend a few of the keeper talks and animal feedings with the meerkats, giraffes and cheetahs, which are highly informative and entertaining.
We added to our safari experience with an overnight stay at the Zoofari Lodge on the zoo grounds, which included ‘back of house’ tours and giraffe feeding.
The Dubbo zoo tickets provide entry for 2 consecutive days, so if you don’t manage to see everything in one day, you can re-visit the next day!
Where: Obley Road, Dubbo
Opening Hours: 9:00am – 4:00pm, every day of the year.
Cost: From $121.60 for a family of 4. Save up to 20% by purchasing tickets online.
Dubbo Regional Botantic Garden
Enjoy a stroll through the beautiful Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden, featuring four distinctive garden spaces. The serene Shoyoen Japanese garden was our favourite to wander through. There is also a newly opened Adventure Playground, which is amazing for kids and is quite possibly the best playground we have ever visited! Pack a picnic to enjoy and let the kids run and explore.
Where: Coronation Drive, Dubbo
Opening Hours: Open every day.
Explore the wonders of the night sky, learn more about astronomy and spot stars and planets through the huge telescopes at the Dubbo Observatory. You can even bring along your SLR camera to capture amazing photographs with astrophotography!
Where: 17L Camp Road, Dubbo
Opening Hours: See website below for tour times.
Cost: Tour prices start from $26 per adult and $12 for children.
Old Dubbo Gaol
The Old Dubbo Gaol was one of our favourite places to visit in Dubbo! This well-preserved, heritage listed site is tucked away in the main street of town and operated as a prison from 1847 to 1966.
Here you can step back in time and discover the somewhat dark history of prison life in Australia. Explore the prison, including the pitch-black solitary confinement cells, climb the watchtower, and learn the stories of inmates and attempted escapes. The hangman’s kit and the gallows are rather eerie to see!
You can go around the prison yourself on a self-guided tour, or join one of the night tours. Weekends and school holidays see the old gaol come to life with guided day tours and characters in costumes!
Where: 90 Macquarie Street, Dubbo
Opening Hours: 9:00am – 4:00pm everyday, except for Christmas Day.
Cost: $50 for a family of 4. Book online to save 10%.
Western Plains Cultural Centre
Boasting a gallery, museum and cafe, this family-friendly centre offers exhibitions from local and visiting artists. Learn more about Dubbo’s history, and view the Dendroglyph display (a carved tree, which is of great cultural significance to the local Aboriginal people). The centre also hosts special school holiday activities, and the kids will love the restored 1950’s classroom!
Where: 76 Wingewarra Street, Dubbo
Opening Hours: Open daily 10:00am – 4:00pm. Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Cost: Free general admission.
Learn more about pioneer history at the historic 1840’s Dundullimal Homestead, Australia’s oldest standing timber slab homestead. Restored and maintained by the National Trust, you can wander through the house and grounds while learning more about colonial life on the land with informative displays and signage. The kids loved finding an old well, complete with a working hand pump.
Where: 36L Obley Road, Dubbo
Opening Hours: 11:00am to 3:00pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Anzac Day and Good Friday.
Cost: $25 for a family (up to 4 children)