Eight amazing things to do in Dubbo

Whether you’re looking for one of Australia’s best school holiday destinations or simply ready for a quick getaway to enjoy some family time, Dubbo is packed with unforgettable adventures. From African-styled Dubbo Zoo experiences to an historic Gaol, ancient caves and family-friendly restaurants – here are eight amazing things to do with the family in Dubbo. 

Dubbo Zoo

a family at the zoo looking looking at a male lion through the glass.
The Taronga Western Plains Zoo is the perfect spot for the family to visit. Image from Destination NSW.

With over 300 hectares of African-styled savannah as well as big cats, elephants and rare and endangered species, Taronga Western Plains Zoo delivers the ultimate zoofari experience. Explore the five-kilometre circuit in a car, on hired bikes or by foot and meet  giraffes, meerkats and a hippopotamus or two. There are also daily keeper activities included in the zoo entry as well as special tours.

Old Dubbo Gaol

image of the entrance sign from the Old dubbo Gaol with trees and light posts in the background
Visit the Old Dubbo Gaol. Image from Destinations NSW.

This heritage-listed attraction is an extraordinary time capsule into colonial life. Beginning as a courtroom lock-up in 1847, Old Dubbo Gaol grew into a high-walled landmark that saw many eventful years until its closure in 1966. Today you can step back in time and discover stories, exhibitions and displays on these historic grounds. 

Visit the old watch tower and exercise yards – there are even Twilight Family and After Dark theatrical tours in the evening that bring the stories of the old gaol to life as they explore the cells and grounds.  

Dubbo Observatory

a landscape image of the night time sky where you can see the milky way
See all the stars at the Dubbo Observatory. Image from Destination NSW.

One of the best things to do in Dubbo at night is to immerse yourself in the universe above at Dubbo Observatory. Take the family to enjoy a 75-minute program that begins with a presentation from a local astronomer and then escorts you to view the planets and galaxies through the Observatory’s powerful 17-inch telescope. You can also enjoy an astrophotography session and take stunning pictures of the stars.

Wellington Caves

image of a family of 4 looking inside a cave and phosphate mine.
Take a Cathedral Cave Tour at the Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mines. Image from the Destination NSW.

Only about 40 minutes scenic drive from Dubbo, the ancient Wellington Caves are a great family day-trip attraction. There are a number of tours to choose from, including the stunning Cathedral Cave Tour which takes you through a limestone cave that reaches 15 metres in height, the Gaden Cave Tour, a Fossil Finding Session, an Ancient Landscapes Tour and a Trails and Quests adventure.  

Flying Doctor Visitor Experience

image of the plane wing
Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience. Image from Destination NSW.

Take to the virtual skies and discover the stories of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s doctors, nurses and outback communities. The interactive Flying Doctor Visitor Experience exploration encompasses the 7.69m square kilometre ‘waiting room’ that is the Australian Outback. Watch day-to-day action unfolding across big screens, get up close to aircraft, learn about real-world lifesaving stories and step into an interactive health station.

Western Plains Cultural Centre

An image of an exhibition inside a room, with a tree coming from the ground with items on display.
Check out the Peoples Places Possessions exhibition at the Western Plains Cultural Centre in Dubbo. Image from Destination NSW.

Get your culture fix at the amazing Western Plains Cultural Centre. Home to the region’s gallery, museum and community art centre, you’ll find fascinating local history alongside vibrant contemporary art exhibits. Explore the permanent collection, which hosts a variety of works from some of Australia’s best contemporary artists – inlcuding a collection which focuses on the Animal In Art.

Dundullimal Homestead

Street view of the Dubbo Clock Tower at night time, with light posts being lit.
Dubbo at night. Image from Destination NSW.

Built in the 1840s when the land was outside the limits of any settlement, the historic Dundullimal Homestead is a beautifully built house that has survived in near original condition. Stroll the grounds and explore the unique dwelling, which also hosts music festivals and events throughout the year. 

Dubbo Restaurants

landscpe of the city centre, with an old type building as the centre point of the image.
Make sure to stop at Dubbo’s most popular lunch spots! Image from Destination NSW.

Ok, so maybe this is more than one thing – but why not make a meal out of it? Dubbo is home to great family-friendly restaurants, bistros and cafes. Enjoy a great breakfast with the gang at Short Street Store, take the crew out for some Mediterranean at Dahab Cafe or let the kids choose from a variety of options at the Commericial Hotel Bistro

Reflections Restaurant

The Reflections Restaurant at the Quality Inn Dubbo International is arguably one of the best and most popular restaurants in Dubbo. Reflections is perfectly suited to both families and the business traveller, which offers contemporary Australian cuisine.

They have a selection of some of the best Robert Oatley wines, matched perfectly with the meals to help you enjoy the finest this region has to offer.

Reflections Restaurant is open Monday to Saturday nights for dinner from 6:00pm. Closed Sundays.

A lounge room in a hotel with lounge chairs, coffee table with wine, and a warm cozy fire in the side of the room.
Be sure to stop by the Reflections Restaurant at the Quality Inn Dubbo International.
A seafood platter with prawns in cocktail glasses, salmon, oysters, and yummy fruits on a dish.
Delicious Seafood Platter at the Reflections Restaurant the Quality Inn Dubbo International.
image of a bar with patrons having dinner at the high tables. Lights scattered across the room set a lovely ambience.
Be sure to stop by the Reflections restaurant at the Quality Inn Dubbo International.

Great Big Adventure Pass

The Great Big Adventure Pass is a multi-ticket to Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Old Dubbo Gaol, the NEW Royal Flying Doctor Visitor Experience and the Wellington Caves. This is the perfect opportunity to purchase one ticket for all four unforgettable experiences, in one transaction!

Tickets are able to be purchased for Children and Adults. Family passes are also available to be purchased and can be bought here.

Your Great Big Adventure Pass includes:

1 x 2 day entry ticket to Taronga Western Plains Zoo
1 x entry ticket to Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Experience
1 x day entry ticket to Old Dubbo Gaol
1 x tour at Wellington Caves (Gaden Cave)

Where to stay?

Quality Inn Dubbo International.

Find the perfect base to enjoy your Dubbo holiday. The Quality Inn Dubbo International is great option close to Taronga Western Plains Zoo, the Old Dubbo Goal, and the Dubbo Golf Club. Alternatively, situated in a quiet spot neat the heart of town, the Comfort Inn Dubbo City offers comfortable accommodation close to restaurants and cafes.

Travelling with kids under 12?

Join Choice Privileges today for the Lowest Price Guaranteed when you book direct with Choice Hotels, as well as 4c/Litre off petrol at United Petroleum.*

Plus, Kids Under 12 Stay Free at family friendly Choice Hotels when you Book Direct.* (**T&Cs apply).

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