Dubbo’s biggest tourist attraction, the Western Plains Zoo offers a fun family holiday activity that children (and parents) of all ages will enjoy.
Our desire to visit the zoo was driven by my mother who remembers it as such a wonderful family holiday activity from her previous trip. Taronga Western Plains Zoo offers a unique zoo experience in that you can ride your bike, drive an electric cart or your car through it. I wanted to explore the zoo by bike, however hubby liked the cart idea so we compromised and did both. This worked out wonderfully as we loaded the cart with all the food/water and tired children throughout the day. I seriously recommend a back-up cart or car if you have young children wanting to ride.
I feel that riding the bike through the zoo is the best way to experience it as you can go everywhere and see everything without having to get off the bike. For those with carts or cars, you will need to park at the attraction and walk through, to see the animals. If transporting your bike to the zoo is too difficult, the Western Plains Zoo has a range of bikes for hire, along with pull along carts to go behind the bikes and these amazing Electric Carts.
The animals at the zoo didn’t disappoint.
We loved the Meercats and Hippo’s the most, followed by the gorgeous baby Rhino. All of the animals roamed around their enclosures and were interesting to watch. In addition to this, we saw a lovely dance display from a herd of Blackbuck where around 50 buck ran one way and then another in a show of colour and matching choreography.
One of the features I like most about the Western Plains zoo is the design behind the zoo. They have larger cages and where possible, they try to simulate a more natural environment for the animals. Something I feel is much nicer to the animals staying at the zoo and more conducive to a long-term solution.
One of their newest attractions at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo is the Lion Pride Lands.
The overall look of the Pride Lands is fantastic with lovely buildings and statues to make you feel as though you were in Africa. Unfortunately, when we got to the Pride Lands, the lions were nowhere to be seen which was disappointing. There is a tour through the pride lands which will give you a much better opportunity to see the lions in their natural environment, however that does add to the expense of the day. I do however choose to think that although it was disappointing that we didn’t see the lions, it is a much better environment for them than a small cage. It is also more like the wild where on safari you may or may not spot them.
The ticket admission to Taronga Western Plains Zoo offers admission for two days which I think is fantastic for families. Firstly, for those with young children, you can head home for naps when needed and come back the following day. Potentially, it also offers the ability to see the animals at different times during the day and therefore can mean you have a better view/experience.
Throughout the zoo there are water taps with drinking water to refill your bottles along with an ample number of amenities. We chose to bring our own lunch and sat at a lovely picnic area provided within the zoo. There is a café and another food takeaway option at the zoo where you can buy lunch or snacks, however due to the one-way roads (if driving) and length of the zoo I recommend brining your food and stopping at the café for an ice-cream/drink after.
Overall, the Taronga Western Plains Zoo offers a fantastic experience, a fun family activity and it is a place I would visit again.
Take a look below at a quick montage we created showcasing some of our pics from the zoo.