8 Feb 2021
Updated July 2022
People who think Dubbo is just a stopover to somewhere else don’t know Dubbo like we do.
Located in the heart of the Orana region of central northern NSW and surrounded by some of Australia’s most underrated national parks, Dubbo throws up loads of reasons to stay another day.
Discover Adventure in Dubbo
The best stargazing in Australia
Central New South Wales is internationally known for its superb stargazing opportunities. Research centres in the field of astronomy like Dubbo Observatory provide an interactive experience loved by kids and anyone who’s ever looked up at the stars and wondered.
Hosting Night Sky and Telescope Tours every night, why not treat this like a 24-hour astronaut bootcamp - you’ll be rattling off the names of stars and local constellations in no time!
Don’t forget a decent camera to capture a spectacular photo through the observatory’s powerful lenses. Private tours are also available and bookings can be made online.
Another family-friendly favourite less than an hours drive southeast of Dubbo, the Wellington Caves are a cavernous home to 15m high crystal formations and a treasure trove of fossils in the Old Phosphate Mine.
Discovered in the 1800’s, the Wellington cave’s coral fossils are dated at 400 million years old and can be examined in the Discovery Lab which adjoins the caves and has all the tools you need for fossil finding.
The Caves Visitor Experience Centre features a cafe and an ancient landscapes gallery.
Interact with ancient marine creatures, stand next to a life sized Diprotodon and discover the Indigenous Wiradjuri stories of the caves themselves. Book online today.
Need Accommodation in Dubbo?
There are lots of reasons to holiday in Dubbo. Complete with outstanding facilities and your choice of cabin, caravan and campsite accommodation, Discovery Parks - Dubbo is one of them.
Take advantage of free BBQ areas, a camp kitchen, swimming pool, waterpark, kiosk on-site and guest laundry. Close to the Macquarie River and minutes from the Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Old Dubbo Gaol, see why a campsite or cabin here makes sense.
Roll with the best
Dubbo locals love a roll!
Which probably explains why there are at least three awesome lawn bowls clubs close to the city. In fact, come November of 2022, one of them, Club Dubbo near the banks of the Macquarie River, will host the world’s richest fours bowls tournament, the BCIB City of Dubbo International Fours.
Offering an incredible $100,000 in prizemoney, competition is sure to be hot amongst Australia’s best bowlers. And while it is too late to register your own foursome, the hospitality you’ll find at any Dubbo lawns bowl club is unrivalled. Why wouldn’t you want to be part of the action? Bowling is wild.
Get some wind in your hair!
Trike Adventures have been operating in Dubbo since 2010 and tours take place on a three-wheeled motorised, custom-built 4-seater Oz Trike.
A range of off-the-shelf tours are available but Trike Adventures love working with you to tailor your perfect day out!
Don't listen to us though, check out this awesome Tripadvisor review of Trike Adventures:
Loads of fun!
"We booked a high tea tour. Peter was very helpful throughout the booking process and offered advice about other local attractions. He picked us up from our hotel, took photos for us and gave an interesting commentary as we travelled though town. We went to the Shoyoen Japanese Gardens and our delicious high tea was waiting for us when we arrived. Highly recommended for a fun adventure!"
- ShellyHats, October 2020
Take your chance at the races!
There’s nothing like a regional race meet to fire up your love of the country.
Feature races include the Gold Cup and Derby Day, making the Dubbo Turf Club a hub of the Central West sporting community.
Check out the full race schedule here!
Meet some real life heroes
The Royal Flying Doctors Visitor Experience will immerse you in the rich history of the iconic Australian 'doctors of the air' service.
Touch down into the world of heroic nurses, pilots and outback communities. Live each moment as they deliver urgent medical care across a 7.69 million square km ‘waiting room’ - the Australian outback!
Explore the exhibitions full of exciting interactive displays, augmented reality and state-of-the-art equipment. Fully accessible and appropriate for all ages, everyone can enjoy this unique experience rain, hail or shine.
Nothing like a regular museum, this is a great place for kids of all ages who thrive on hands-on learning.
Open 9am - 5pm weekdays, Sat 9am - 4pm, Sun 9am - 3pm. Buy your tickets online.
Did you know?
The Great Big Adventure Pass is your ticket to four unforgettable experiences in the Dubbo Region!
For one price you can get: 1x 2-day entry to Taronga Western Plains Zoo, 1x entry ticket to the Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience, 1x day entry ticket to Old Dubbo Gaol, 1x tour at Wellington Caves.
Simplify your Dubbo trip and buy your Great Big Adventure Pass online today.
Visit the clink!
The Old Dubbo Gaol is a state heritage-listed site that operated for over 119 years from 1847 until 1966 and now houses a number of grim artefacts including a hangman’s kit and gallow!
Centrally located in Dubbo's main street, the 19th and 20th century gaol buildings create a look back in time, and chronicle the brutal reality of daily prison life.
Open 7 days from 9am - 4pm, dramatised re-enactments are great fun and perfect for inquisitive minds.
A number of fascinating tours are available to book online. Some are spookier than others.
Cool off in our waterpark!
The Discovery Parks - Dubbo waterpark is the ideal spot for families (Mum and Dad) to wind down while the kids burn off their last bit of holiday energy.
The waterpark is part of a larger sports and recreation facility inside Discovery Parks - Dubbo which includes a resort-style swimming pool, playground, bouncing pillow, and games room.
Hungry? Dubbo has great food too!
Dubbo Farmers’ Market
Held on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, Dubbo Farmers’ Market is the place to get the freshest vegetables and produce from over 60 regular stall holders.
Open 8am - 12noon on the lawn of the Macquarie Lions Park, the Dubbo Farmers’ Market has grown into a leading Dubbo regional event.
The village atmosphere is much-loved and the market also offers a selection of local meats, olive oils, preserves, jams, nuts and so much more. Don't miss it!
READ ALSO: Four of the best winter markets in Australia
At the centre of Dubbo’s cafe and restaurant scene is Press on Bultje Street in the centre of the city.
Located inside a quaint old 1930s-built home, owners Alister Dyson-Holland and Christina Gomez are passionate about serving locally sourced ingredients, fresh homemade food and their own single origin roasted coffee in a uniquely cosy setting.
Also conscious of being eco-friendly and completely sustainable, all of their takeaway packaging is recyclable and plastic use has been reduced to a minimum. Say hello 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch and check out their full menu here.
Dubbo Village Bakehouse
Steeped in family history, the Village Bakehouse continues to be operated on Darling Street by the Stevensons, who trace their baking history all the way back to 1918.
That’s when their grandfather, Aussie Stevenson, established his first bakery, applying the same passion to his range of freshly baked pies, breads and pastries as Bill, Rob and John do today.
Having racked up over 100 awards for their range of premium and gourmet pies since establishing their Dubbo premises in 1994, a check of their Facebook page will tell you that they’ve extended their range to include some pretty tasty looking lunch time burgers!
You can order the full menu online here.
Another great family owned business, the Milestone Hotel on Macquarie Street has been around since 2005 delivering exceptional hospitality, food, and events that bring the people of Dubbo together.
Built in 1881, The Milestone’s timeless facade is heritage-listed and has become a haven for hearty meals, cold beers and welcoming staff. All the pub classics are on offer and the property has several venues perfect for your private event.
The Best of Australian Nature near Dubbo
You may not think of Dubbo as an amazing place for nature and wildlife, but you're wrong.
Start by experiencing the ultimate zoofari at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, a short drive down the Newell Highway on Dubbo’s city fringe.
Considered a must-do immersive experience with open range exhibits and a huge variety of over 700 animals, daily keeper activities and special tours deliver a magical zoo experience for the whole family.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo welcomes groups of all sizes and is the sister zoo to Sydney’s world famous Taronga.
Get your tickets online now.
Find Zen at Shoyoen Gardens
Gifted by Dubbo’s sister city, Minokamo, in the central Japanese province of Gifu, Shoyoen translates to ‘given’ in English and is located inside Elizabeth Park (part of the larger Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden Precinct on Birch Avenue) and not far from the popular Orana Mall Shopping Centre.
Distinguished by its highly stylised miniature landscapes, the 2002 ground breaking ceremony of the Shoyoen Japanese Garden was performed by a Shinto priest and the gardens are full of religious symbolism and cultural references.
It is also full of popular Japanese plants like the Cherry Tree, Japanese Persimmon and Iris. You can check out the full list here.
Open to the public from 9am - 4pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am - 4.30pm on weekends, the garden is free to visit and a perfect spot for a relaxing picnic lunch.
Warrumbungle National Park
Warrumbungle National Park is worth the two-hour drive from Dubbo and is an amazing place for walking, bird watching and stargazing.
Apart from this, the park's natural rock formation known as the Breadknife forms part of what is known as one of the best walks in NSW.
A must-do for bush walkers who love a challenge, the track follows Spirey Creek and climbs steeply toward Belougery Spire, Bress Peak and Crater Bluff. Stunning.
READ ALSO: 13 National Parks to get lost in this spring
Another piece of underrated nature just over an hour’s drive from Dubbo, Lake Burrendong is a popular destination that offers year-round fun for watersport and fishing enthusiasts.
Pack the reels, rods and tackle box or strap on the kayak or canoe. Apart from what’s under the water, Lake Burrendong is a haven for native Australian animals and birdlife, making any hike here a favourite amongst nature and animal lovers.
Mount Arthur Reserve
Less than an hour's drive southeast, Mount Arthur in Wellington is crown land set aside for public recreation and conservation, and contains three main peaks - Mount Arthur, Wellesley and Duke.
During the spring the hills come alive with golden wattles, pea flowers in indigo, purple and red, as well as clusters of luebell flowers.
The Macquarie River winds its way through Dubbo, including past the Old Dubbo Gaol and there are walking and cycling tracks as well as picturesque parks on both sides.
The walking track that starts at the bottom end of Tamworth Street and finishes at the zoo is a popular jogging spot. It's also runs behind Discovery Parks - Dubbo and is a hit with guests who bring their bikes.
For picnic lovers, check out the west bank of the river behind the West Dubbo Bowling Club - a tranquil spot to absorb mother nature and start your Dubbo morning in style.