When returning your rental vehicle to one of our locations please ensure to refuel your hire car to the agreed level.
Venture over the Great Western Plains on a 50-minute flight from Newcastle or Sydney, and you’ll land in the ‘city of smiles’. Also described as one of the friendliest destinations in the state of New South Wales, Dubbo has a tantalising charm and a fantastic holiday vibe, making it the perfect place for your next escape. Visit lively local markets or slip into some city shopping. Enjoy the striking Wiradjuri Garden and visit culturally significant ancient sites. Check out the boutique vineyards and the streets dotted with colourful public art. Experience life in the iconic Flying Doctors Service through a vibrant interactive exhibition. There’s just so much going on in Dubbo. Your hire car will be waiting for you at the airport, 5-kilometres north of the CBD, ready to steer you towards the region’s best attractions.
Buckle up for some adventure, and within a few minutes you’ll be at Dubbo’s premier attraction: the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Head to the Savannah Plaza to choose your ‘zoofari’ and before long you’ll be meeting and greeting hundreds of species of exotic animals, from roaming herds of Asian elephants to rhino, giraffe and zebra. Whether you’re rapt by big cats or meerkats, hear from guides and keepers, and book yourself an exclusive Animal Encounter with a range of magnificent creatures. You can drive, walk, bike or get onboard the safari truck to explore this massive open-range sanctuary. Seeking the ultimate African experience? Wake up where the wild things are when you stay at the Zoofari Lodge: gaze out at ostriches and antelopes from your private deck at the edge of an epic savannah. Camp by a billabong at permanent tents next to the all-new Lion Pride Lands; or sleep amid sprawling grasslands in stylish self-contained cabins. Seriously, relaxation never felt this thrilling!
When you’re ready to refuel, pop into Press for breakfast or lunch. This cosy café is a favourite with the locals and serves fresh and delicious home-made fare with regional produce and amiable service. If you’re looking for a quick bite or take-out before you jump back in the car, head to the Village Bakehouse for some tasty treats. Their award-winning house specialty, a meat pie, took out the gong as Australia’s best on three separate occasions. Make it a picnic and go down to the Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden where you’ll find a landscape to suit your mood. Stroll through an authentic Japanese garden, a rainforest oasis, a floral sensorium, and a native biodiversity garden. There’s also a great playground to keep the kids happy. You’ll certainly be all smiles in Dubbo!
Another popular visitor attraction is the Old Dubbo Gaol which once housed a hoard of undesirables, from bushrangers to gangsters and petty criminals, until its closure in 1966. This 19th century institution comes well-preserved with fascinating features like a gory gallows gallery with hangman ropes, a watch tower, and graffiti-etched sandstone cells. Be captivated by the chilling stories and witness costumed characters attempt jailbreaks and play out other entertaining theatrics.
For a change of scene, take a spin towards the village of Wellington to visit the spectacular Wellington Caves, a half-hour drive south-east from Dubbo. The only way to see this palaeontologist's playground of three fossil-rich underground spaces is through a guided tour, so it’s best to book ahead. See cathedrals of crystal and limestone formations up to 15-metres tall, marine marvels and unique corals that are 400 million years old, and a mine shaft with extinct megafauna fossils and bone deposits. There’s also a Discovery Lab where you can examine million-year-old specimens under the lens, and a Field of Fossils survey that will lead you along a winding path to discovery. Hit the café before you leave, check out the Ancient Landscapes gallery, interact with a life-sized diprotodon, and learn about traditional Wiradjuri myths.
Dubbo has endless horizons, spellbinding sunsets and infinite skies at the fringe of outback plains. But you haven’t come this far not to take the spirit of adventure a little further. Immense landscapes are on Dubbo’s doorstep: explore towns within the expanse of the Great Western Plains, then set out for the next big frontier. Warrumbungle National Park is two hours north of Dubbo – home to the first Dark Sky Park in Australia. Navigate the vastness of space and view planets, galaxies and supermassive black holes at the Siding Spring Observatory. Australia’s largest optical telescope sits on a ridgeline around 1,200 kilometres high near the Park’s Coonabarabran edge. The Skywatch Observatory is 30-kilometres away and houses a Newtonian telescope in a geodesic dome, with a viewing platform that’s perfect for stargazing. Stays are available in the Observatory’s mudbrick building – have the whole place to yourself to contemplate the universe. Your trip to the Dubbo region will definitely get a lot more stellar!