Tuesday 5th of September
Narromine & Dubbo
Today’s planned activity for me and Linda was to visit the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. We have been wanting to visit this zoo over about the last 10 years as we passed through Dubbo on numerous occasions, but for whatever reasons, we were unable to visit. Today then was deliberately set aside for a visit to the Zoo. After breakfast and the usual ablutions we set off for Dubbo, 35 Km to the east of Narromine, arriving there around 11am; we are not in a hurry.
The first thing on the agenda at the zoo was to have a coffee in the cafe’ there before paying our entry fee and entering the zoo proper. As an open plains zoo, all the various animals have very large open areas in which to do their animal things without being cruelly caged as has been the case in the past. Like Mogo Zoo that we had visited down on the south coast of NSW in early May, the Dubbo Zoo has active breeding and conservation programs in cooperation with other zoos world wide.
One is able to drive ones own car around the zoo, take a bicycle tour, or as Linda and I did, walk. There is a set road one follows around the zoo with walking offshoots to various animal enclosures, with the total road trail being 5 Km in length. Each of the animal enclosures is surrounded by an earth mound allowing close and high viewing of the animals on display, with you being separated from the animals by either an electric fence, or in the case of of the ‘big cats’ a sturdy wire enclosure. The Zoo cannot have the big moggies snacking on small children or adults.
It would take too long to enumerate all of the animals we saw, but typically we saw big cats, cloven hoofed animals, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, hippopotamus, and surprisingly, not too many simians ( monkeys ). A feature for children, and adults, is always the meerkats. Australian animals also feature with one being able to walk amongst free ranging kangaroos, emus, echidnas, etc., as most Australian animals are rather harmless, ( Crocodiles excluded. None in the zoo anyway ) although the wild dingos were kept separate from us mortals by a high wall. On looking closely at the beautiful dingos, Linda and I could see the heritage of our recently passed away dog Amber, a Queensland Heeler, as healers have dingo ancestry.
Despite walking around 7 Km during the day ( 5 road Km plus side tracks ), Linda and I thoroughly enjoyed walking around the zoo rather than driving or riding. It was around 3.30pm when we had finished a most enjoyable day at the Open Plains Zoo and headed back to Narromine. We actually stopped in Narromine proper for about an hour whilst we did some required washing of bed linen and clothing at a local laundromat. We had not had any lunch whilst walking around the zoo, so we called into a local cafe for coffee and a snack while the laundry was in process. Small cafe that had the best quiches we had had for a long while, the proprietor’s grand-daughter makes them. We asked the proprietor to pass on our compliments to his grand-daughter.
With the washing complete we returned to our camp at the Narromine Aerodrome.