Dubbo, in central west New South Wales, seems to solely exist because of its zoo. I’m sure its residents can point to other attractions but for us, and probably most travellers who stop, the Taronga Western Plains Zoo is the real draw-card.
The plan was to spend a full day at the zoo and then stay overnight at one of the official zoo accommodations – an expensive and rare treat for our family.
The zoo is a drive-through affair with a 6km circuit for cars and bicycles and plenty of parking areas along the route to allow you to stop and get closer to their extensive variety of animals. The meerkats, baby zebras, hippos, gibbons and otters were the picks for our herd but I also had a soft spot for all the different species of rhinos.
In and out of the car and three times round and we were well and truly ready to relax in our luxury accommodation for the evening. We chose to stay at the zoo’s Savannah Cabins, technically on zoo property but not actually within the zoo itself.
But I needn’t have worried. Apart from luxurious high-end cabin accommodation, the bonus was being given our own pair of binoculars which we used in the late afternoon to explore the ‘savannah’ out front. We could walk right down the African fence enclosure and come closeish to giraffes, elands, ostriches and buffaloes.
The boys loved exploring the grasslands too. With so much rain previous, they delighted in creating make-shift log bridges to get across the waterlogged ground.
Probably the most memorable part for me was a chance to do some star photography that night with a glass (or two) of the good wine from the fridge. So there was definitely something to please everyone.