Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Sunday, November 4, 2012


On our way from Canberra to Brisbane we pulled into Dubbo for a few nights. Dubbo is a small city of 40,000  and is situated in the middle of the western plains of NSW. It is at the intersection of main roads and rail to the major cities in Eastern Australia. It's economy hinges on grazing, agriculture and tourism.
Dubbo is also the home of the Western Plains Zoo, which is huge. It was created mainly for research and breeding of large grazing animals. It covers an area of 300hectares of woodlands and irrigated grasslands.  When you buy a ticket it lasts for two days because there is so much to do and see.
There are 6k of sealed roads and 15 k of walking tracks. Visitors can hire bikes, electric carts or walk or drive your car. We drove our car and stopped at the frequent parking bays and then walked on the tracks.

There were many little lakes in the area surrounded by irises.

The enclosures mimic the open range homeland of the animals with unseen barriers, mostly moats.

We were given a timetable as to when the animals would be fed. The tiger's meat is wrapped in a hessian bag and placed up a pole. It has to tear a hole in the bag to get at the meat, imitating the hide of it's prey. It took her no time at all.

TOH made a short video of the tiger being fed below.

The white gloved gibbons lived on islands in a lake. They could swing from one island to the other.

As we were leaving the Zoo we were greeted by hundreds of cyclists who had ZOO2ZOO written on their shirts. They had cycled from Sydney's Taronga Park Zoo to this Taronga Western Plains Zoo. It takes them 3 days. They raise money for a variety of causes. This one was for research into Bipolar Disorder. That is one heck of a long ride. Some were punching the air with the success of arriving. 


  1. I always love your posts, Diane, but this one was extra special today! The tiger is amazing - never seen one "live" and feeding too. Is that a hornless or de-horned Rhino in your second - to -last photo? Thanks for sharing! Greetings Jo

  2. the animals are beautiful and i am glad they can roam and are not in cages, but as all zoos do it makes me sad to see them not in their native places, even the parrots here that i love i wish they were free.

  3. Great place is that zoo.
    Your photos are good :)

  4. What a lovely post. Fascinating how the tiger gets his meal. The pole looks like the scratchpole of out little "tiger" Sofietje. The Zoo looks beautiful situated and the animals have much room and fun.

  5. Wow---what a beautiful ZOO.... The tiger video was great.... Amazing how much beauty there is all around us. You don't have to travel far to see it ---and neither do I...

    Great group of cyclists also, riding for a good cause.


  6. Now THAT'S what I call a zoo Diane, how fantastic for the animals to have such a lot of space and what a great way to see it by biking around. I have been to Taronga Park Zoo, but next time I'm over that way I might make a point of heading inland a bit and checking it out! Excellent post.

  7. What a cool place - definitely somewhere I would enjoy visiting!!! You did great with the photos, love the gibbons and the tiger!

  8. I was absolutely astounded to see the tiger climbing that pole. I never knew they could climb trees. A real eye opener for me. Great photos! It looks like a fantastic place. Thanks Diane!

  9. What an amazing place. The animals all look so happy and so much at peace there. It is good that research and breeding can continue with animals out of their own habitat, in such a great environment. Great post Diane

  10. a lovely series and I used to be an annual subscriber, having lived there when that zoo actually opened. It is such a wonderful tourist attraction and I was there earlier this year; I loved it again. I was there when population in Dubbo was just around 23,000, it has grown some now.

  11. Very, very interesting. I would love to visit that place.

  12. Excellent photos of the Zoo - free range and one of the Premier Zoos of the World. I think last week a female giraffe was moved from Taronga in Sydney to be mated there at Dubbo.
    Certainly a most progressive area and Dubbo has daily flights via three airlines with Sydney and is the terminus of the Daily Western Rail, the XPT to Sydney, so it does have all the links for easy access. Have visted a number of times, prior to the zoo and after, but never stupidly went to the zoo.
    The next time factor was always the excuse.
    Great report and photos Diane.
    PS: Don't forget 1, 2, 10 and 24 for Tuesday, fingers crossed.

  13. Diane, lots of cool animals at this zoo. it is nice to see the animals in large free range areas. Love the Tiger and the video. It was fun watching it climb the pole to "attack its food". Wonderful post, thanks for sharing your zoo visit.

  14. The tiger had to work hard for his tucker, but not as hard his wild counterpart. Note to self, when in Africa, there is not point in taking refuge in a tree.

  15. what a beautiful animal (tiger). great video and post

  16. Thanks for showing us what the zoo is like. Sometimes attractions can be over-rated, but this one seems well worth a visit. The tiger feeding is fascinating.

  17. This sound slike a beautiful zoo> The tiger amazed me by how fast he climbed that pole to eat his food!

    Thank you for all your kind words of support for the Hurricane Sandy victims. This was such a powerful and detructive storm and we were very fortunate to escape with little damage. I have been voluteering at a temporary shelter In Brooklyn the past few days for people that lost their homes. It is wonderful to see how many people are helping and donating goods that are needed

  18. Wonderful post Diane!
    Tell Bill the video was excellent -I really enjoyed seeing the tiger in action. Don't always get to see feeding time as aggressive as this.
    Love the way you captured the gibbon too!
    I like the free range atmosphere of this zoo. They all should be this way.

  19. Its a great zoo but don't go there on one of Dubbos super hot 40 degree days. The animals all hide under the trees miles away from the fence and you see next to nothing.

  20. Your photos are amazing. I think you captured the true essence of this zoo I love it.Thank you for sharing. B

  21. Wow wow and wow! Your pictures are amazing ...the whole purpose and aim of the zoo is laudable...Bill's video is great-- and a little scary to think about! And then that long-distance bike ride -- yeah, I bet they were punching the air. That's a hard ride for a great cause.

  22. oh, how i'd love to visit that place.

    wish i could be there now.
    there is certainly a lot to see in your post.

    the animals are beautiful and your captures are all perfect! to say the least.

    big hugs~

  23. Haha, I guess if I were chased by a tiger, climbing up a tree is not a good idea - duh! Great to see the sunny pics - 24 deg here today :D