WHO: Mum, Dad, Ella, Zoe and Ava

Dubbo Zoo

The Dubbo Zoo had so much to offer, we booked in two days to take it all in.


DAY 1: The whole family headed off to the Zoo, eager to see our favourite animals.  We were very excited when we turned up at the zoo to find our bikes waiting for us to ride through the park (we booked them in ahead of our visit). Riding is an excellent way to get around and the kids were just loving the fact they could ‘ride amongst the animals’. 

Our first major stop was the Giraffes, they were amazing to see and we were lucky enough for one to walk right up to us.  We then headed over to the hippo talk, this was great as the kids got to learn a number of interesting facts – did you know hippopotamus means river horse? 

We then stopped by a great picnic area for a rest and to search where to go next. Not knowing what a bongo was, and explaining to the kids it wasn’t me, we went searching to find out that a bongo is a species of antelope - it was great to discover new animals with the kids, and for us parents too.

From there, we could hear the monkeys. Following the distinct noise, we searched them out to see them swinging from ropes between two islands, much to the amusement of the kids.  We then had to go see Zoe the zebra, these again were amazing to see in real life. Our own Zoe was very happy to get a photo with her name sake in the background. 

By this stage the kid’s little legs were starting to tire so we made the turtle talk our last stop for the day, the kids loved being able to ask 101 questions about them. In the end it was all too much for Ava so she decided to have a sleep in the bike carriage.


DAY 2: Knowing exactly where we wanted to go on the second day was a huge help in ensuring we would see everything! A 2 day pass is ideal to take in everything, as the first day is spent figuring out where to go and what to see - by day 2, the whole family knew where we were headed.  First stop, the Meerkat talk! The kids were moving around like Meerkats - laughing and carrying on, next was the Elephant Talk, Ella loved it and had to impersonate them.  We then moved on to the marsupial’s compound, our last stop on day 2, where we got to see the animals the kids were very familiar with like kangaroos, koalas and emus.

Dubbo Gaol

Gaols can already have a spooky vibe, but add a grey sky and drizzle to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for three scared kids. I (dad) went into the solitary cell, but the kids wouldn’t as it was way too dark for them!  After walking around the gaol on our own, we stayed around for the Escapes Tour.  Our guide, Tilly, was one of the female inmates. As Ella described her, she was ‘crazy’ and very entertaining.  She talked us through the escapes and took us to each of the locations where they happened. 

This was a great way to understand what happened at the gaol, as well as an understanding of what the inmates went through.

By the time we left, the fear seemed to have gone, and instead, the kids were keen to head back in. Well, not into the cells!