After our amazing visit in Mildura, Victoria we headed for Dubbo, the home of the amazing Taronga Western Plains Zoo… something we had been looking forward to since our trip started. Along the way we were lucky enough to be greeted by some quaint little towns and sights. These amazingly painted silos were just west of West Wyalong and made for the perfect pit stop and photo opportunity.
We soon arrived at Discovery Parks, Dubbo which had some definite wow factor from the moment you drove in the driveway. Close to town and the zoo, and packed with facilities this park was the perfect place to spend the next four nights. We drove through to our large powered site that backed onto the amenities block, camp kitchen, jumping pillow and outdoor play area. Remember this site number (Site B11) for those that come to visit here after reading this blog. Its a winner.
The camp kitchen is outdoors but completely covered, perfect for afternoon cook-ups. The amenities block is large and clean plus has the radio playing which is perfect for listening to the NRL broadcast or more so for dancing in the showers! There is also a toddlers bathroom which is great for the kids. It has a large bath, toilet and shower.
The parks jumping pillow is MASSIVE and allowed for hours of jumping. The park area and the jumping pillow was again, right behind our caravan site; perfect for the kids to run off and play while we supervised from our van site and relaxed!
The pool area is very impressive!! The swimming pool is heated which allows for year round swimming and the play area for the kids including a large water slide is amazing. To make this area even better it features coloured lights at night which make you feel like you are at an overseas resort.
The games room features a large projector screen, kitchenette, table tennis table, books to read and seating areas making it perfect for everyone to go and relax indoors.
One of the main reasons we came to Dubbo was for the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The kids have been talking about this zoo visit for weeks and couldn’t wait to go!
Our caravan park is less than 2kms from this zoo which is perfect to leave your car at the park and ride the short distance along the sealed bike track that leads directly from the Caravan Park.
Adult tickets cost $43.20 and children $25.20 and allow for two consecutive days visit to the zoo. They are open 9am-4pm, 7 days a week and if you jump online you can grab some discounts. All tickets allow for two days entry and you can have as many pass outs as you need, just hold onto your tickets/receipt.
We arrived to Dubbo zoo and found the most appealing aspect is that you have the option of driving around in an electric cart, driving your personal car, walking or riding hire bikes or your own bikes. You can hire bikes for $15 a day with kids seats an additional $5. You can also ride your own bikes, like us, for free.
This park is well spaced out and easy to navigate with a one way road and footpath directing you around the park leading you to each animal enclosure. it is a zoo that has really thought about layout and nailed it in every respect!
The whole Dubbo Zoo track is just over 5 kms around. We were 1 km in and my sister Kelly, (who was visiting) got a flat back tyre!! Ohh no!! Cue Taronga staff to the rescue who gave Kelly a lift back to the kiosk for a quick tyre inflation.
Don’t laugh, this story gets better..no less that 200 metres down the track, guess who then blew out their back tyres? Both Chris and I! Can you believe it.. 3 bikes, 3 flat back tyres in less that 2 klms. Ahhh! Chris than had to run back to our caravan park (lucky it was close 😉 and picked up the car so we could get the bikes back home. (NOTE: FOR ANYONE VISITING WITH THEIR OWN BIKES – ENSURE YOU HAVE THORN RESISTANT BIKE TUBES – WE FOUND THAT WE HAD CATS HEAD THORNS IN ALL OF THE FLAT TYRES)
With Taronga Zoo to the rescue, we were able to continue our adventure through the park with an electric cart that seats 6 people. Electric Carts are $99 for a whole day or $69 for 3 hours and if your child is still quite young, your are also able to hire baby seats so that they are safe.
I’m a huge fan of bikes and the added fitness you get whilst enjoying looking at the animals around the zoo, however; the electric cart made life so easy to hop in and out and while checking out all of the enclosures…..not only that the the big kids (Chris) loved driving the electric cart around the zoo. Our kids also loved the experience and we cant thank Taronga enough for saving us!
As soon as we saw that Dubbo Zoo hosts giraffe encounters for $7 per person, we were in! I find giraffes one of the most fascinating animals and was not going to miss out on my chance to get up close and personal. This is definitely one of the best experiences I have had to date!
The Midway Cafe, is as the name suggests about midway through the zoo experience. We stopped in for a quick coffee and recharge before powering onto the second half of the zoo. Coffees are nice and cheap but even better tasting!
One of the most exciting enclosures we find ourselves most wanting to visit each time we attend a zoo is the Lions. Dubbo Zoo has a newly opened Lion Pride Lands area with a very appealing entry area. The kids were in awe of the lion statue that roared loudly once you got near it, the lioness play area and educational material/cut outs with fun facts on them throughout the enclosures.
Finding your way around the park is easy with maps visible at most stops. Chloe, our master navigator, enjoyed picking the next animal enclosure to head too.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo has made plaques along the way that are very educational for kids (and adults). We found ourselves talking about each animal with quick, fun facts that are very clear with supporting visuals. Below are some examples of these fun facts and show the differences between Otters paws and their sizes as well as a Rhino sizing comparison chart.
Once you have made your entire way around the Zoo, you are welcomed with a kids play area at the end. This is the perfect opportunity for the parents to have a relax and sit down before heading home.
We returned our electric cart before having an explore through the gift shop for the kids. Who can resist a cute stuffed animal or a new set of earrings for those newly pierced ears for memories?
After two amazing days exploring the zoo, we headed back to the caravan park and enjoyed a nice glass of wine and relived our favorite animal exhibits.
Dubbo, you did not disappoint. Next job: change three bike tubes before the next stop 🙂