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Some questions about Dubbo?

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Some questions about Dubbo?

We're planning a trip to Australia (we're from the US) and we'm planning to visit Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast/Brisbane and Cairns. Given that we like zoos and that we've heard that the zoo in Dubbo is really good, we're pondering whether we should take a detour via Dubbo instead of flying/taking the train direct from Melbourne to Sydney. We will probably have a couple of nights in Dubbo, so we have a full day at the zoo, unless there's other things that are worth doing there? After visiting Dubbo we will take the train to Sydney and continue our journey.

1 - What transport is there from Melbourne to Dubbo?

2 - Do we need to hire a car in Dubbo or is public transportation good?

3 - Is there much in terms of attractions/things to do besides the zoo in Dubbo?

4 - I've read on here about safety related issues in Dubbo. I'm not worried about this, i'm sure as in most cities (including my own) there's good neighbourhoods and bad neighbourhoods. However as I know very little about Dubbo, would someone please tell me which are the good and bad areas so I can avoid staying in them?

Thank you very much :)

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1. Re: Some questions about Dubbo?

1. So far as I am aware, there is no public transport between Melbourne and Dubbo except via Sydney.

2. You will need a car.

3. See http://www.dubbotourism.com.au/

4. If you can survive in NY, you will have no problems in Dubbo.

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2. Re: Some questions about Dubbo?

Hi Wanderer,

It is about 12 hours drive from Melbourne to Dubbo.

The zoo is great, fantastic, it is on the way to brisbane if you go inland. If you are thinking of driving from Melbourne to Brisbane via the inland it is one way of seeing this part of australia. Melbourne to Brisbane would be about a 24 hour drive with a couple of short stops.

How many days are you in Australia?

What time of year?

Dubbo is a huge detour and personally I would not do it, I would prefer to spend more of my time in Sydney, Melbourne and cairns (so much to do in and around cairns) and then Brisbane and gold coast.

Sydney and it's harbour are absolutely stunning. The blue mountains west of Sydney are stunning also.

So much to do in the above cities.

Good luck with your planning!

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3. Re: Some questions about Dubbo?

The old jail in the middle of town is worth a visit: http://www.olddubbogaol.com.au/

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4. Re: Some questions about Dubbo?

We visited Dubbo zoo over a decade ago (so not up-to-date knowledge) and we loved it. But it does seem like a somewhat awkward detour. The zoo is an open range zoo and I am aware of two others in Australia, one very close to Melbourne. I have not visited either of those so I cannot compare, but perhaps someone else can offer some opinions?

Btw some zoos offer interactive experiences, feeding some animals and even going into some of the enclosures, are you interested in something like that?

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5. Re: Some questions about Dubbo?

Dubbo zoo is a great place... but... it's an awful long way just for a zoo. Dubbo is a large country town out in wheat and sheep country.... you can drive for 6 hours and only go through a couple of towns. Imagine Kansas without the population. You would have to decide if it's really worth it. You can fly to Dubbo but how you would get around I am not sure.


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6. Re: Some questions about Dubbo?

I like Dubbo and the zoo but I wouldnt detour that far to see it. I would forget Dubbo and add Australia Zoo if you are a fan of animals and conservation. :)

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7. Re: Some questions about Dubbo?

Try Werribee zoo, just outside Melbourne, its great.Also Healesville could be a day trip option. Dubbo is a long way from anything, I think you would waste too much time getting to and from there.

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8. Re: Some questions about Dubbo?


I think the experience staying at the Zoofari lodge at the Western Plains Zoo is outstanding and the behind the scenes tours fantastic to say nothing of the night tour to see the nocturnal critters. Please read my review of Zoofari/Dubbo Zoo.


After the human zoos of the cities a break away to Dubbo is a great idea. Like Luigi says the old "Dubbo Gaol" is also well worth a visit too.

Dubbo is a short flight from Sydney but as far as I'm aware there aren't any direct flights from Melbourne. To answer the specifics of your questions:

1. Fly Melbourne to Sydney and then Sydney to Dubbo.

2. You will need to rent a car or use taxis.

3. Yes Dubbo is a large regional centre. dubbotourism.com.au/VisitDubbo/ThingsToSeeAn…

4. Dubbo is very safe. When certain individuals are out of gaol/juvenile detention the incidence of "steal from motor vehicle" and "motor vehicle theft" skyrocket which leads to a spike in the crime rate. This is a common situation in many towns. If you rent a car don't leave valuables in sight.


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9. Re: Some questions about Dubbo?

I would not want to discourage anyone from visiting Dubbo. It and the area has a lot to recommend it. However it is a good idea to research what the various other zoos along your existing route have to offer. Most have some sort of sleepover experience. Where i find they differ is the animal experiences. Dubbo is a good zoo. But imho it isnt better as an open plains zoo than Werribee. Australia zoo has lots of experiences up close and personal with native animals. Mogo is great for lemurs and marmoset experiences among others. It really just depends on what you want.

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10. Re: Some questions about Dubbo?

For an overseas visitor, I wouldn't be recommending Dubbo Zoo - only because the logistics to get there are rather complicated, hence expensive and time consuming, and once there you will see big mammals mostly from Africa and the Northern Hemisphere.

If you are going to be in Melbourne, I would second the suggestion that you visit Healesville Sanctuary. You can do a day trip out of Melbourne either by car or at a pinch by public transport and visit a zoo that specializes in native Australia fauna. While not a free range zoo, the animals are kept in enclosures not cages and you can wander around and get up close and personal with our kangaroos and wallabies.

Whenever we have taken visitors there they have not been disappointed - the grandchildren love petting the wallabies too.