Last weekend we went to Dubbo Zoo. For a new Sydney dweller I clearly under estimated the effort to get in there. Basically that’s 30 mins after departure:
And that’s when we are close. It looked like we drove for a whole year to get there… Well it felt like so too.(°_°)
For a 5-hour drive the key is to keep awake, esp when you have a professional passenger like me (who cannot drive) it’s definitely a very tiring trip. So special thanks for my professional driver first^_^. We did prepare a lot of entertainment (food) on the way but most of them are eaten by me unfortunately. There are some McDonald’s on the way so drivers can stop over. When it’s getting close, there are around 1 hour’s drive without mobile signal. For those who rely on YouTube to keep themselves awake, better to download something first.
Anyway finally! But see the people at the ticket place? If you don’t want to stay in line, book your tickets online. Also there are animal encounters which you will need to book first. Normally if you go over weekend you book the activity one week before, as every day only 4-5 people can go and encounter the animal (of course you don’t want to exhaust them or feed them too much). It costs around 59 pp for each encounter. The right process is: book tickets online -> arrive at zoo and go to the ticket office -> sign disclaimer for encounters (and the disclaimer will be the encounter ticket) -> go to gate and get in zoo. DON’T GET INTO THE ZOO WITHOUT SIGNING THE PAPER (if you have booked any activity) as otherwise you will have to come back to the ticket office. Make sure you arrive at least 40 mins before the activity. There are 4 staff at ticket office but they are so kind and help everything, so the line is moving very slow.
The zoo offers bicycles and vehicles (that special type as what people use in golf) to hire. You can also drive your own car. It’s not too bad for walk too. End to end we walked around 8KM+ to finish the zoo. I didn’t feel it’s a long walk as there are plenty to see. Also it’s called sarafi there are still fences or rivers to keep animals away from you. But it’s close enough.
The zoo does have rare animals like rhino (at the back of below picture) and tiger. Actually they spent millions of dollars to rebuild the zoo so that it can reproduce where they used to live. Kind of made me feel better for everything I spent.
I participated in 2 encounters – meerkat and big cat (tiger). Both of them went really well. With the meerkat one, thanks to my ‘driver’ I was able to be the first out of 4 to experience this, which went on much longer than the following sessions. If you plan to do that, you need to make sure you wear closed shoes (and maybe long trousers too), and I would recommend that you wear a jumper with pockets. Meerkat doesn’t like to be touched so you will need to put your hands in pockets. Alternatively you can put hands in front of your tummy, but it will show a bit funny on picture…><::
The second encounter is the tiger one. It’s not as close as meerkat (and not sure if I want it to be as close…) but it’s still a very exciting experience. In a group of 5 each of us will had chance to feed tiger 3 times. I am not a big fan of holding meat and not giving to him simply because putting myself in tiger’s paws I won’t like to be teased. The staff there has quite good knowledge and answers question well; the activity can take up to 30 mins and then she will need to do Tiger Talk as a public activity.
Another highlight of the zoo is the otter. It’s very close to the tiger place so we went after tiger encounter and was just on time for Otter Talk. The otters are so cute but they move very fast so it’s hard to take pictures for them. It’s good that I went around the Talk time as they looked so adorable when they lined up and waited for food.（＾ω＾）
So before long it’s time for lunch! Hmmm…. yeah not sure if below looks yummy to you but believe it or not it’s almost the only option there. Or not really, you can go fish & chips too (or fish only or nuggets only or chips only… OMG I just came up with loads of options!). But yeah if you can bring your own, bring your own. There are heaps of picnic areas around, or you can sit on bench and eat sandwich while watching rhino. Kind of romantic… kind of.
We started heading back at around 3:30PM. The scenery back is really nice. Even though I haven’t been to New Zealand it reminded me of New Zealand (sounds really convincing isn’t it?) but basically lot of hills and lakes. There are some lookouts too but we didn’t stop. Save those for next trip and better do it over 2 days.＼(^o^)／
Honestly doing this trip in one day is now proven to be a stretch for someone at my age. It’s 3 days after the trip and I am still struggling to get up in the morning (as if I didn’t have problem getting out of bed before…..-_-#)