Dubbo Zoo : The Journey is Breathtaking

5hrs in the car with 2 x toddlers gives me anxiety….  – I could think of better ways to spend my weekend.

In our rush of getting from Sydney to Dubbo, we got side tracked by the beauty around us.

Lush green fields, working farms and windmills. Numbered half gallons lined in a row along the corner of a country fence to collect mail for further inland.

We stopped. Looked. Chatted. Our hearts grew more and more fond, of Country NSW.

Leura is a quaint town before the summit    of the Blue Mountains. We stretched our legs and had a run around a little park. The view from the Magestic Hydro over the Blue Mountains is absolutely stunning. The renovated surrounds look inviting, but we hit the road this time.

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Semi trailers bound with wool, whip past on the other side of the highway. Fields of bare back sheep line the fields beyond.  Spring is approaching.
Lambs below them start our conversation about the food we eat, and where it comes from.

Lithgow’s suspended rock predicts weather inland. Swinging means windy, wet means rain, dry means sun. A little hub of precipitation.

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As we progress further west, the road side of a shed is painted with a fellow business logo and enticing offer ahead.
Country mate-ship is unmistakeable.

In Bathurst, Victorian cottages line the streets up to Mount Panorama.
A lap around Mount Panorama followed by a visit into the National Motor Racing Gallery became an impromptu early Fathers Day gift.
A quick photo stop in the Ford Kuga MK II at Poll Position, a photo op that couldn’t be missed.

The famous Bathurst Race Track is open all year (expect the race) as RTA roads lined with houses, vineyards and letterboxes. Ear plug sales must be popular come October…!

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The roads of Country NSW – glamorous, friendly and humble, lead us to the gorgeous and culturally rich, Dubbo.

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Our night ahead at Dubbo Western Plains Zoo is in the self contained Savannah Cabins.

Sunrise brings the yawns and roars of our Dubbo Zoo neighbours. Looking out over the Savannah in the distance, Giraffes roam the field. The view from our cabin porch is surreal.

Dubbo Zoo staff are equally devoted to animals as they are to the experience of their visitors. The human threat against many endangered species is heart breaking. Zoos worldwide have collaborated to try to keep the Black Rhino from extinction. At the current numbers it is possible they may have a decade or less left on earth. Dubbo Zoo has a rare Black Rhino Calf, called Dafari which was born as part of their breeding program. Visitors can learn more about Dafari and the plight of Rhinos in the wild at the Black Rhino Keeper Talk at 9:25am daily. This is one of 10 free keeper talks daily.

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Dubbo Zoo is a great place to get up close to animals, living in vast open spaces. There are 10 free keeper talks at various times daily. Feeding is generally in the morning, so an early run around the park is great to see the animals getting up and about.

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Giraffe feeding time in the morning is $7/person. The loooong, grey sandpaper tongues gave us a giggle… Cautiously snaking out of the giraffes smile, then swiftly handling the carrot on offer for their brunch.

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Rhino and her cub playing in the sunshine, baby stays close by to mum bounding with a little more pep in his step when she moves by.

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6 month old lion cubs, Baako (male), Makeba and Zuri (female) play rough on the grass enjoying the space of their large play area. Mucking around soon turns a little serious – just like the siblings in any house hold.

“Cubs are at a very playful age,” Keeper Rodger said. “They’re confident, just like your normal kitten, they will chase and play with just about anything – sticks, grass, trees, each other- then they will flop down with mum for a nap and prepare for the next round of play.”

Various accomodation scenes and new born animals at Taronga Western Plains Zoo,Dubbo 23rd ,24th & 25th July 2015

Various accomodation scenes and new born animals at Taronga Western Plains Zoo,Dubbo 23rd ,24th & 25th July 2015

Mumma Lioness keeps watch and steps in to break them up. (Sound familiar…!)

“Spring will be the perfect time of year to see all our youngsters,” Keeper Pascal said. “It’s a great time of year to visit Dubbo and the Zoo, and our little ones will be out and about enjoying the warmer weather.”

We stayed in the Savannah Cabins, which are the mid range accommodation within Taronga Western Plains Zoo (Dubbo Zoo).

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Wallabies in the distance across the field of our cabin at sunrise.

Pricing :

Billabong Camp : Glamping style canvas tents pitched and ready with supper, refreshments, breakfast, special tours and zoo access, from $169/night (adults) family of 2 adults & 2 children from $450.

Savannah Cabins – Self Catering packages include zoo access, from $388 per 2 bedroom cabin / night (sleeps 4 or 6 including pull out sofa). We could see the Savannah from a distance, including the giraffe from our bedroom window. Well equipped kitchen, aircon, 2 bathrooms, comfortable and less than 12mo old.

Zoofari : Architecturally designed, African Cabins overlook the Savannah with Giraffe roaming outside the front porch. Package includes special tours, all meals, access to a private lodge, pool, fire pit, fire place, bar – this is ‘The Works’. Per night twin share priced from $329 Adults, Children 5-15yrs $159, Children 1-4yrs $59. The chef gives a personal talk with guests about the share meals prepared within flavors of the African Cuisine.

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Tonight we prepared our Ford Kuga MK II for return to Ford. We are so grateful for the nomination to take part in this challenge. Lola, 4yrs has been most proud of the Hands Free Tailgate – showing everyone who will watch, the auto upload of the boot.

I didn’t think I’d fall for that kind of car techy bizz… then when I played with it I had to hold back on myself on the “WHOO – THATS COOL…!” & instead acting cool so no one noticed I hadn’t seen that before…

It’s pretty darn cool! Even in 4yo speak…

I’ve let go of my travel routines and it’s been great!
Thanks for challenging me Kidspot & Ford #shareaustralia #fordthinking .

If you’ve had somewhere in mind to go – Do It!

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The Ford Kuga MKII Hands Free Tailgate opens (and closes) with a wave of your foot under the bumper. Because chances are, if you’re putting things in the back you’ve probably got your hands full. It even adjusts to the height of your garage.

* This is not a sponsored post. Ford Australia have assigned me a Ford Kuga MKII on the basis that I review it here on the blog. All opinions expressed are my own, as always. More info here.

The vehicle features were supplied by Ford Australia. 

Special thanks to Dubbo Zoo who hosted us. It has been on our to-do list as a family for some time. What an incredible place, atmosphere and weekend. “We’ll be back”!

 

 

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