5 tips to make the most of your visit to Taronga Western Plains Zoo

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Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo has been creating memories for its visitors for the last 40 years.

Biking from Giraffes to Bongos, hearing Lions grunt to each other during a night at the zoo and helping with wildlife conservation efforts are just a few of the experiences you can have at this iconic Australian destination.


Travel With Meraki- Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo Australia Gibbon
Watching the Gibbons

Here are 5 tips to make the most of your visit to Taronga Western Plains Zoo:


Plan Ahead


Zoo Entry

For most people getting to Dubbo involves a road trip. Make sure you time your trip right so that you are at the zoo for opening time. Not only are most of the animals more active during the earlier part of the day this way you can also follow the animal talks throughout your visit.


Buy your tickets online before your visit and save money.  You will save 10% off full-priced tickets and Family Group Tickets can Save 20% off full-priced adult & children ticket rates.

You can purchase tickets online to Taronga Western Plains Zoo here.

Your ticket allows two-day entry into the zoo which is great value. We recommend making full use of those two days to see everything.


You can also plan ahead with food. The zoo has picnic areas and free barbecues to take advantage of so pack a cooler bag full of yummy lunch and treats.


Choose your ride


Taronga Western Plains Zoo is a huge 300 hectares and the zoo loop is around 6km long. Most of the area is flat and exhibits are close to parking areas or a very short stroll.

There are a number of ways you can choose to take your adventure round the zoo. You can take your own car or even walk but by far the most fun is if you bike or hire one of the zoo’s electric safari carts.


Travel With Meraki- Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo Australia Electric Safari Cart



You can bring your own bikes along but bikes are also available for full day hire. Prices are great value and you can also hire a child seat or mini trailer for your little ones to enjoy the ride.

Safari Cart  

We choose to take a safari cart round the zoo and had lots of fun. The carts are open air so you get to experience the zoo up close and personal. They are super easy to park up with easy hop on and off for checking out each animal exhibit.  Hire is for three hours blocks. A good thing to note is that if your little one needs car restraints to make sure you bring yours along as this will not be available from the hire centre.



The hire centre is not far from the Savannah Visitor centre, just on the other side of the car park. We advise you get there early if you want to hire one of the great safari carts.

For up to date Hire prices click here.


Talk to the experts


One of our fave parts of our zoo experience at Dubbo was the amazing animals talks. The keepers have so much passion and knowledge about their animals. They are great with children too and happy to answer questions.

We learnt so much from the talks including quirky facts, such as did you know the White Rhino was actually called the Wide Rhino by locals ( because of their wide grazing mouths ) but it got mistranslated to white. They are in fact grey…just like the Black Rhino! The keepers also had so much information on the zoo’s successful breeding programs and conservation efforts.


Travel With Meraki- Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo Australia Giraffe
This baby giraffe was only days old.


There are also tours available such as the Savannah Safari where you take a safari trip amongst some of the African wildlife and the Wild Rhino Tour which takes you behind the scenes to discover all three Rhino species that are at the zoo. Some of these tours require pre booking so make sure you plan ahead if you want to take part.


Help make a difference


Just a visit to the zoo helps with costs towards the care of the animals and breeding programs but by spending further such as an ice cream at the Kiosk, a gift from the store or lunch at the Bakhita’s Café you are helping with the zoos conservation efforts.


Travel With Meraki- Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo Australia Conservation

To find out more about conservation efforts at Taronga Western Plains Zoo click here


You can also get involved directly through donations, adopting an animal and other great programs.


Stay at the Zoo


Did you know you can spend a night at Taronga Zoo?

Hearing Lion’s grunt in the night and watching giraffes from your private balcony are all part of the magic when you spend a night at the zoo. You also get exclusive behind the scenes tours and delicious Savannah inspired food.


Travel With Meraki- Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo Australia Camp at the zoo Billabong Camp


There are a variety of choices from camping at Billabong Camp to staying at one of Australia’s most unique accommodation destinations, Zoofari Lodge.

Check out our stay at Zoofari Lodge Dubbo here.


Travel With Meraki- Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo Australia Savannah Views at Zoofari Lodge
Savannah views at Zoofari Lodge, Dubbo.


Travel With Meraki – Why not make the journey to Dubbo part of the adventure? There are many places to stop on the road trip to the zoo from quirky attractions in historical towns to wine tasting and beautiful walks. 

Plan Your Trip

Obley Road, Dubbo in central west NSW.

This is about a 6-hour drive from Sydney or Newcastle.

You can also reach Dubbo by rail or fly into Dubbo City Airport.


9.00am – 4.00pm Everyday

Gates open at 8:30 during school holidays.

How much is Taronga Zoo?

Children under 4 are free

Adults are $47

Children 4-15 are $26

Buy online and save you up to 20% on these prices.

Want to know what animals are at Taronga Zoo?

Find out here 

During our visit we were lucky enough to see a Rhino calf, cute Hippo calf and a week old giraffe. Check out Taronga’s website for details on the zoos new comers.

Disclosures: We were hosted on this trip by Taronga Zoo.  As always, all opinions are our own.  There are some affiliate links on this page. If you click them, we may get a small commission for your purchase at no additional cost to you. These are all products/services we highly recommend and have personal experience with. Thank you for supporting Travel With Meraki and helping us share our knowledge and stories. We are happy to answer any questions you have regarding any products/companies so please email us.  For more info head here

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