There is plenty to see and do in this part of New South Wales. Dubbo lies on the Macquarie River, in the heart of Explorer Country. The traditional owners are the Tubbagah People of the Wiradjuri Nation but its more recent history goes back to the 1800s, the days of John Oxley and Robert Dulhunty. The remains of that time – the Old Dubbo Gaol, the Courthouse and the Dundullimal Homestead, one of the oldest homesteads in western NSW – are important sites around the area. Other popular draws are the Military Museum, the boomerang factory, Victoria Park and Dubbo Botanic Gardens.
Dubbo is within driving distance of Wellington, the twin-river town with fascinating caves; Parkes, which is home to the observatory that received images of the moon landing in 1969 and broadcast them to the world, Coonabarabran, the gateway to the Warrumbungle Ranges and the Astronomy Capital of Australia, and the wine area of Mudgee.
High season times in Dubbo are mid-December to the end of January, beginning of April, and the end of September to the middle of October. The Dubbo Show, the annual agricultural show, takes place in May. The Eisteddfod – a festival of literature, music and performance – runs from May until July each year.
February is a low season month.
March, June, July and September are all good shoulder-season times when there will be fewer visitors and good weather.
• Dundullimal Homestead is located just five minutes from Dubbo. The homestead, which dates from the early 1840s, is a wonderful place to explore NSW’s pioneering years. It was the head station of a 16,062 acres squatting run and is furnished beautifully indoors. It’s said to be the oldest timber slab house in Australia.
• There is a lovely walk along the Macquarie River, which winds through the Dubbo parklands. It’s a great place to fish or sit and enjoy the Outback.
• The Western Plains Zoo covers more than 700 acres of bushland and is home to more than 1,500 animals. The residents include zebras, giraffes, elephants, hippos, white rhinoceros, lions, cheetahs, Galapagos turtle, Bengal tiger, ring-tailed lemurs, antelopes and echidnas. There’s an Early Morning Walk that starts at 6:45am and is a fantastic way to see what goes on behind the scenes of the zoo.
• Farmers’ markets are held on the first and third Saturdays of every month, near the Tourist Information Center. Seasonal produce, the best of the Macquarie Valley, is on sale.