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Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

On this trip we explore all that Dubbo Zoo has to offer over a weekend visit!

Tickets $48 Adults

$28 Children (4 - 15 years) under 4 free!

$38 Concession

Taronga western plains zoo sign

What better way to spend your little girls 3rd birthday than immersing ourselves into all that Western Plains Zoo has to offer?

“Where else could you find a Zoo like Sydney's own Taronga Zoo and not have to compete with a million people?”

Where else could you find a Zoo as incredible as Sydney's own Taronga Zoo and not have to compete with the million people trying to rush through and see everything as quick as they can?

Introducing Taronga Western Plains Zoo!

Located in Dubbo, one of the most active hubs of the NSW Orana region, Western Plains Zoo is a self guided, 5km track through some of the nicest bushland you will find.

From Lions, Tigers, Meerkats and Rhinos, there are over 5000 animals across 350 species between Taronga's Sydney & Western Plains Zoo's.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo map

The Zoo offers a few different ways to explore that should be suitable for just about everyone.

Explore by Foot - explore at your own pace.

Walk the 5km footpath along the marked section of the road.

As great a walk as this would have been, it might have been a little bit hard with two kids in tow.

There were a fair few people out walking the track with they're families and there aren't too many steep hills or stairs to climb!

Explore by Bike - $17 all day standard bike hire / $24 all day geared bike hire

The Zoo offers a pushbike hire service to explore the zoo a bit easier and quicker than the walk.

This option worked out awesome for us. There's more than a few different bikes on offer, even a few with a trailer for the kiddies as well as providing helmets along with the bike hire if you don't have your own.

There's plenty of bikes to go around and you don't need to pre book!

The first half of the track has a little bit of an incline but other than that it's a pretty flat road to ride around.

NSW Road Rules apply so keep those helmets on!

Visitors are also encouraged to bring they're own bikes if they have them handy!

bicycle towing a child carrier along a dirt road

Explore by Golf Cart - $70 three hour electric cart hire

Righto now here's the luxury option.

Western Plains Zoo hires out modified golf carts to explore the grounds and see all the place has on offer.

These carts have been lifted and fitted with some offroad gear to make the drive a bit more comfy and to make sure everyone can still see the exhibits from the road.

You'll still need to park up and walk a short distance to some of the animal habitats but it's never more than a few metres or so.

golf cart parked in parking bay at taronga western plains zoo

The carts can only be hired in 2 separate 3 hour sessions, bookings aren't essential but it's first in best dressed and they go lightning quick so book ahead in our opinion!

Drive your own Vehicle - keep that aircon running!

If you have really young kids or even a bit past your prime, you can cruise the whole track in your own vehicle and keep your aircon cranked so you can stay comfortable.

Just like the carts, you'll need to park your vehicle a few metres from the animal exhibits and walk over to the viewing areas.

You can check out what animals are currently up for a visit at each of the Zoo's by checking out they're website or mobile App.

The Waterhole

About half way around the circuit is "The Waterhole". A cool little café where you can stop for lunch next to some meerkats, have a run through the water fountains.

the waterhole cafe at taronga western plains zoo

The kids can't get enough of the water fountains and the meerkats would run along the window right next to our table.

Grab a pie or a sandwich and chill out for a while before moving on to check out the animals down the back half of the track.

kids playing on rocks at a zoo

Savannah Safari Tour - $5 per child (4 - 15) / $10 per adult

Something we didn't have time to experience was the Savannah Safari Tour.

These 20 minute tours explore the outskirts of the Zoo grounds and give you a chance to get up close and personal with some of the coolest animals at the Zoo.

If you don't feel like doing the whole tour, the lookout overlooking the Savannah outskirts has mounted telescopes that can see right out over the plains and see almost all the animals.

savannah safari experience at taronga western plains zoo

Tickets can be purchased at the Savannah Safari departure point and no pre-bookings are required.

First in best dressed though, so get in early in the day.

A sight to see!

All in all, we can't recommend Western Plains Zoo highly enough. The animals, the views, the tours and definitely the water park makes for an awesome day of fun for the whole family.

Another hot tip, the more you take the kids out to explore, the more tired they are at the end of the day!

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