The inland New South Wales city of Dubbo is probably best known for its amazing zoo … but there’s a lot more than tigers and giraffes to keep grey nomads entertained here.
With a population of just over 30,000, and situated at the junction of the Mitchell, Newell and Golden Highways, the city is sometimes known as the crossroads of the state.
Set in the heart of the district’s wheat, sheep and cropping country, Dubbo is surrounded by picturesque, rural villages such as Toongi, Ballimore, Brocklehurst, Wongarbon, and Eumungerie.
Exploring the area, you will find everything from organic farms and pistachio nut plantations to sensational wineries and truly unique craft shops.
It’s the sort of place where, the longer you linger, the more you appreciate its magic.
Offering, as it does, the opportunity to see a host of amazing creatures in an open-range environment, the Western Plains Zoo will always be the main attraction here … but the support cast isn’t bad either.
The Old Dubbo Gaol, the Dubbo Observatory and the historic Dundullimal Homestead are all favourites with grey nomad visitors. The same can be said of the Western Plains Cultural Centre and the Royal Flying Doctor Education Centre.
Dubbo itself, which incidentally offers excellent shopping facilities, also boasts some fascinating historic buildings. The courthouse, the Lands Office, and the railway station are reportedly fine examples of Victorian civic architecture.
If all this urban action gets too much for you, it’s time to chill out in the relaxing surroundings of the Biodiversity Garden or head out to the Terramungamine Reserve on the banks of the Macquarie river. The reserve which is just beyond Jinchilla is a favourite with campers. The highlight is the hundreds of grinding grooves in a rocky outcrop that were created by Aborigines using the hard stone to sharpen their stone tools.
Other great reserves to visit in the area include Bril Bral Reserve, Devil’s Hole Reserve, Jones Creek Reserve and Butlers Falls Reserve.
Another place not to be missed is Goobang National Park, near the attractive settlement of Peak Hill, about 60km out of Dubbo. It’s great for bushwalking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting … and there’s also great ‘bush’ camping at the Greenbah campground.
However, if it’s a place to charge up the batteries, do the laundry, and exchange stories with fellow nomads you’re after, there are a number of well-serviced van parks in Dubbo and the surrounding area.