Riding around Dubbo on the back of a hugely powerful trike.
We saw an advert at the Dubbo visitor centre and they recommended us to take a totally awesome trike ride at dusk. Chief Rider Peter came to pick us up and after we were securely seat belted into the back seat, and really cool black helmets were placed on our heads, we took off on an amazing ride throughout the city.
We were sitting up fairly high and because we could see over the top of normal cars, the view was outstanding.
The ride was very smooth and the roar of the fully chromed VW engine turned heads where ever we went.
It was so amazing and after an hours ride we came way impressed with just how much parkland Dubbo has in the very heart of town.
Along the way Peter pointed out all the really good coffee houses, (he said his mate Jack from Cafe 33 in Talbraga St is the best), along with a commentary of the best eating and pubs to have a drink at.
Would highly recommend this to anyone wanting a REALLY different type of tour.
Dubbo is steeped in history and has quite a few nice buildings, so I suggest doing the Dubbo Heritage Walk that begins at the Dubbo Visitor Information Centre on the corner of Macquarie and Erskine streets.
There are 37 locations on the map, and most are over one or two streets, so it is quite easy to complete.
Pick the map up, or download from the website.
There have been several St. Brigid's Churches in Dubbo, infact, there are still two standing close together today.
Work began on the second St. Brigids began in 1869. Evidently there were many problems when this Church was being built, including the size being made smaller because of financial difficulties.
For 3 years it stood as a shell of a Church. then it was finally completed in 1873, and opened in 1874. This beautiful gothic Church is now being used as the Church hall.
Next door, is the modern St. Brigids, built because the old Church was no longer large enough. This Church will seat 900 parishoners.
The Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo is an open range zoo, home to over 1500 animals from all over the world. Here, you can drive around in your own car, walk, cycle, or hire a cart from the Zoo.
As we had our own car, we drove.
The day was quite hot, so this was a great disadvantage to us for viewing the animals. We found most of them were in the distance, under the shade of the Trees, who could blame them, I wouldn't want to be in the Sun either!
The Tigers were good to watch, as because of the heat, they were swimming in the moat to keep themselves cool!
If you can choose a day, try to go on a day when it is not extremely hot!!
We didn't do these other events, but there is a daily program of keeper talks and activity feeds, a good way to see the animals at close range if you are there at those times.
A behind-the-scenes 'Early Morning Walk' is another way to get close to some of the Zoo’s animals. These weekend tours are conducted by trained Zoo Friend volunteers. During the school holidays the tours are also conducted on Wednesdays and Fridays. No bookings required, just show up at the Zoo gate by 6.45am.
Visitors to the Zoo can also participate in Animal Encounters. These three exclusive behind-the-scenes tours give visitors the rare opportunity to personally
feed, observe and assist with behavioural enrichment programs for the Black, White, Greater One-horned Rhinoceros, Sumatran Tiger and African Lion.
Bookings are essential.
Picnic grounds and free BBQ facilities are available around the Zoo.
Daily 9am to 5pm. No admission after 4pm.
February......Daily 9am to 4pm, No admission after 3pm
Open Christmas Day from 9am to 4pm.
The entry fee includes two consecutive days’ admission.
Last entry to the Zoo circuit is at 3pm.
ADMISSION IN 2012......Adult A$45.00 Child A$22.00 4 to 15 years
The Old Dubbo Gaol, AND still I haven't been able to visit the inside of this Gaol.
Dubbo was a new settlement that sprang up on the banks of the Macquarie river in the mid 1800's. Guess what was one of the first buildings built??? The Courthouse lock-up in 1847, plus a Constable’s residence and the post office. Many crimes happened in those early days, as people were starved and needed food and money, so they broke the law to get it and ended up in the lock-up.
In 1871, a new gaol was built complete with 4 cells and a bedroom for the gaoler. Criminals who had committed such crimes as assault, murder, sexual assault and other offences were locked up here.
The Dubbo Gaol also was provided a gallows. Prisoners who were sentenced to be hanged were held in the condemned cell, a cell with an inner grill wall with a gate, creating an alcove in the cell for a warder to sit on 24 hour watch. It was not unusual for the prisoner to be chained inside the cell as well. Most of the men were held in this cell for 2 months with only 1 hour allowed for exercise.
The first hanging occurred in 1877, altogether, 8 executions took place. The oldest person to be hanged was 65 years old and the youngest only 19 years old.
The Gaol was later upgraded to a Minor Gaol in 1887, as by this time, it had 13 regular cells and large padded cell for psychiatric prisoners and two dark cells for the punishment of prisoners. A seperate block was built for the females.
At the Old Dubbo Gaol there were many escapes and daring escape attempts and you will hear about these on the tour. The conditions at the Gaol were basic and the punishments were harsh. It would not be hard to imagine why many would want to do anything to escape from such a place.
In the prison grounds are unmarked graves of some of the prisoners, although it isn't known exactly where!
It is now visited day & night by tourists.
A "SELF GUIDED TOUR" will let you explore the restored gaol grounds and see how harsh prison life was back then.
ALLOW approx 1.5hours or longer.
ADMISSION IN 2012...
Adults ...$15 Child $5
OPEN....9 - 4PM DAILY
More information about the tours is on the listed website.
When I was walking around our Caravan Park, I happened to notice some artwork on one of the Bridge pylons. Even though I have stayed here before, I had never noticed this, perhaps it hadn't been there before.
Being curious, I soon was outside the park, and walking underneath the Bridge. What a find I had!
On every pylon, from one end of the Bridge to the other, was indigenous paintings, contemporary and traditional Aboriginal murals. They were good! I started taking photos of each one, but there were too many, so resorted to distance views.
An Aboriginal artist, "Lewis Burn," runs courses which involves participants from TAFE and probation and parole. What a good idea!
The bridge can easily be reached from the main street, and remember, it is on the underneath of the Bridge, not on the top!
DUBBO..While in Dubbo make sure that you put some time aside to visit the Western Plains Zoo. This is the home to over 1000 animals from all over the world. This is a partner zoo with Sydneys Tarongah Park Zoo. A well known zoo worlwide for its breeding programmes of endangered species..ie: the Cheetah..Przewalskis Horse and the Black Rhino's. Much Conservation work with animals is done here.
There is 15 kilometeres of walking tracks if you're fit otherwise there are many options open to you., you can drive your car around the zoo circuit.. or.. you can hire bicycles and ride around..or.. you can hire an electric car. Being open range and to view the animals is really a great opportunity as you are really up close and photography opps are excellent..if you want to you can stay over night in a "zoofari Lodge" an experience nowhere else in Australia. You can...nothing like the sound of the big cats when they are aroused to hunt at night much like being in anAfrican safari park...only a lot cheaper.
There are free BBQ's in designated areas..bring some meat and have a picnic lunch...This is a wheelchair friendly area...
DUBBO..Called "The BIG M"...The military museum here is huge.. and anyone with a military interest in army vehicles ..this is for you..it is really well set out over several acres and is a hands on access to many units..it gets away from where every thing is set up in a line as the vehicles are set up in their own display..allow awhile for this as it takes a while to walk all around the display..There is also a mini putt-putt golf range here for the kids..
WESTERN PLAINS ZOO
Just as I've seen the town grow at different stages I've also seen the Zoo grow from an ungainly young thing to now a magnificent adult and who knows how much better it may get in the future.
Never been a "zoo" type of person, but at this stage of my life I now understand & appreciate the work they can do in showing the world many endangered species & highlighting our need, all of us, to try to do something about conserving these endangered species. In 1986 the Western Plains Zoo was the first Australasian zoo to successfully breed the Cheetah, an endangered species. It is committed to many conservation for endangered Australian species such as the Greater Bibly ( if you're in Australia around Easter buy a chcolate Bilby rather than a choclate egg or bunny), Malleefowl & Bridled Nailtail Wallaby.
Enough moralising about that what about the Zoo itself. I like the way it advertises itself as an opportunity to go on a world safari in just one day. You can take your world safari by car or on foot. You can bring your own bicycles or hire/rent a variety of different bicycles there. Also, for those with mobility issues electric cars can be hired/rented that seat about 4 people.
The 300 hectares of grass & woodland is divided into different regions of the world with a selection of animals from this region. My favourite is always the African section with the rhinos, giraffes & simian apes as my favourites within that section. Still it depends what you like & you'd be mad to miss even a bit of it!
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is a world famous open plains zoo only a short distance from Dubbo. Spend the day either walking, driving your own car, hir or bring your own bicycles or hire a small golf cart like vehicle.
Dubbo's zoo is a family friendly place where both young and old can commune with the animals in a fantastic setting where bushwalking can be combined with viewing and getting to know animals from all over the globe!
The hugely spectacular bushland of Dubbo's Taronga Western Zoo is suitable for family picnics and other fun things for the whole family, even bikeriding around the zoo and its surrounds!
Electric carts and bikes can be hired at the zoo so you don't have to bring your own bikes!
As always, ample amenities are available including souvenir shop, kiosks for snacks and drinks, barbecue facilities, cafe, etc.
They have various breeding and feeding programs for more detailed studies on the behaviour of various animals.
There are Farmer’s Markets every month in Dubbo, NSW.
They are on the first and third Saturday of every Month, near the Tourist Information Centre. Fresh Produce, poultry, coffee, jams, preserves, Olive Oil, sourdough bread, etc.
A ‘must see’ if you are in Dubbo. Make sure you allow a couple of days to see the Zoo. (A one day admission gets you in free for the second day too.)
It’s best to go as early as you can and in cooler weather when the animals are awake. They slow down in the middle of the day if it’s too hot - like us!
Hiring Bikes is a good option - take plenty of water!
Our family favourites are:
THE OTTERS: make sure you see them at a feeding time when they go chasing prawns that are thrown at them.
THE SIAMUNG APES: Feeding time is just after lunch and well worth it. We have visited these guys 10 or 20 times. They go crazy at feeding because of the crowd - they do a terrotirial cry that can be heard at our place. (We live at least 2km from the Zoo)
THE MEERKATS are fun for the kids to watch, and of course GIRAFFES and ELEPHANTS.
When you are in Dubbo you cannot miss the Western Plains Zoo. It is a huge zoo and you will need to rent a bike, a cart, or take your car. At first I wasn't really thrilled with the zoo because there were too many animals that I could see back in Toronto, but then we got into some animals I'd never seen before from Asia, and of course, Australia. I was quite taken by the huge Tortoises, as you get from my Dubbo Introduction. I was also disappointed that it was sleepy time for the koalas - we just missed feeding time. We couldn't see any of them on the ground, so their camoflage certainly worked.
For us Aussies growing up on a diet (I don't mean that literally. lol!) of our furry mammals like kangaroos, koalas, wombats, wallabies etc we always have that craving to see the more exoitc creatures, especially, for me at least, the African ones.
Well, despite Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney having views of the city that are really stunning & it is an absloutely beautiful Zoo, I think Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo allows you to see the animals in a much more natural environment.
Check the website below for current prices & packages.