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Dubbo: A Cultural Break in the Country
Historical Dubbo may be far removed from the big cities, but the New South Wales town in Explorer Country is always teeming with activity. Just take a look at the calendar and pick the month you want to visit, based on the festival you’d like to attend. Happenings include agricultural shows, a multicultural festival, foodie events and even debate and theatre contests.
While on holiday, get to know the vibrant culture of the area’s First People through art, walks and even classes on how to make your own boomerang. In addition, Dubbo still has a number of perfectly preserved colonial buildings, spread throughout the CBD. When it come to staying active, travellers can choose from a range of cycling paths and botanic garden walking tracks.
Dubbo’s holiday rental scene encompasses country cottages, stylish apartments and large family homes.
Aboriginal Culture in Dubbo
Dubbo Visitors interested in Aboriginal culture will have plenty of options to further their understanding of the region’s First People. You can start off at the Western Plains Cultural Centre, which is home to several galleries and exhibit spaces, including the Dubbo Regional Art Gallery.
At the art gallery, view artefacts of importance to the region’s first inhabitants, including a carved tree. For a deeper look into local Aboriginal Culture, sign up for a First Lesson Cultural Tour at the Terramungamine Reserve, where you’ll see a series of over 150 carved rocks.
While in town, you can also celebrate today’s Aboriginal culture during the Red Ochre Music Festival, or learn how to build and throw a boomerang.
Dubbo’s Colonial History and Heritage
Quite a few buildings, dating back to the 1850s, grace the streets of Dubbo. Travellers can pick up a map of the town’s heritage trails at the visitors’ centre and choose from a variety of routes, which go past churches made of sandstone, iconic pubs and Edwardian cottages.
The Old Dubbo Gaol is open every weekday and provides insight into the lives of colonial prisoners. Self-guided tours let visitors discover the details of this part of Dubbo’s history. Travellers can also spend some time at the Dundullimal Homestead, the country’s first slab house. The homestead is complete with a church and stables, built in the 1850s.
Dubbo Festivals and Events
One of the biggest festivals in Dubbo is the Multicultural Festival, with performances and events showcasing the 70+ home countries of the town’s inhabitants. During the festival, there are many occasions to sample dishes from around the world.
The agricultural Dubbo Show is an opportunity for the whole family to get to know the region’s farmers and produce. There are activities for kids of all ages, including carnival rides. This event takes over the streets of Dubbo in April or May.
Many other events liven up the small town throughout the year, including jazz festivals, drama and debate competitions and even a steer show.
Stay Active in Dubbo
To get some exercise while you’re on holiday, rent a bike and hit Dubbo’s cycling trails. You can even bike through the open range Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The safari-style zoo is home to many endangered animals from Australia and overseas. To access the zoo by bike, take the Tracker Riley Cycleway, a 12 km path connecting Dubbo’s CBD to the zoo.
As you pedal, you’ll be able to take in views of the bush and Macquarie River. The river itself offers many activities, from kayaking to stand-up paddle boarding. Rent all the necessary equipment in town. For a leisurely stroll, wander through the Dubbo Regional Botanic Gardens, which feature, among others, an authentic Japanese garden.
Getting to Dubbo
Dubbo is located approximately 400 km inland, North West of Sydney. You can fly directly from Sydney to the town’s regional airport, drive to your destination in under 5 hours or take a train from the state capital in roughly 6.5 hours.