Roadtripping New South Wales: Dubbo Zoo

8.00am

Turned out to be a good thing the party did end early last night because today we wake up early…ok, like, earlyish.

10.00am

Just because we woke up early doesn’t mean we got moving early. Plan, shlam. We’re heading two hours further west to turn a last minute thought into a plan: a trip to Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. This zoo is Dubbo’s biggest claim to fame, alongside Old Dubbo Goal, where Australia’s most infamous Bush Ranger, Ned Kelly, was hung.

11.00am

That dairy cow is using that fallen tree as a scratching post. How adorable!

12.30pm

We’ve paid our $50 zoo entry fee (that’s adult price). This zoo is so large that $50 gets you entry for two consecutive days so you have time to see it all. You can walk around, but it’s far more common to drive your own car or hire an electric cart or push bike from $15. We’re on bikes.

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12.35pm

Ever noticed how big open zoos are a lot like Jurassic Park? We sure have.

1.15pm

What’s that high pitched squeak? Why is everyone turning to look at me instead of the animals? Oh damnit, my back tire is well broke! The only thing for it is to ride back the way we came and swap it over, which the lovely staff are more then happy to help me with.

1.45pm

Let’s try this again.

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3.45pm

Lions and meerkats and monkeys, oh my! From the African savannah, to the Asian jungles and scorching Aussie bush, we’ve seen the whole zoo in record time. We even went into the Australian Animal enclosure to pet a wallaby or emu (we failed, but we still had fun) and watched on with other giggling zoo-goers as the giant tortoises got it on…you know what I mean.

What we didn’t do was wait for any animal talks, which happen around the zoo regularly during the day and are a particularly good idea if you’re dragging around any little ones.

6.00pm

As we drive back through Dubbo nothing is calling our name so we keep on driving back the way we came to a small town called Wellington (no, nothing to do with New Zealand). We’ve heard tell of the Wellington Caves and take refuge in the family owned Cow and Calf Hotel.

We only paid $75 for a double room, but we’re very pleasantly surprised by this place. It’s an old building but has obviously been newly renovated, making it modern and comfortable. The bathroom facilities are still shared between over 20 rooms, but they are modern and clean. There’s not much in the way of a kitchen, but why would you when the restaurant downstairs is serving delicious modern cuisine at reasonable prices. Plus the whole family is working in there and like they say, nothing beats a home-cooked meal.

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7.00pm

I need ALL the food. They even kind enough to whip me up a couple of tasty vegetable fritters when I explain that I’m one of those annoying vegetarians and my hunger couldn’t possibly be satisfied by a salad right now. The beer selection is surprisingly broad, and delightfully cheap. I am in my happy place.

7.50pm

These guys give good beer range, good thing we live upstairs for tonight!

8.30pm

Out like a light.


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