Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Dubbo; Western Plains Zoo and Dubbo Gaol

Siamang mating pair singing

The drive from Mudgee to Dubbo happened pretty quickly, and we were astounded by how built up Dubbo is when we arrived. It makes plenty of sense, it is the major hub in the Western Plains, but we were unaware of that before we arrived, and seeing massive home makers centres and factories was not expected.

We drove in to Taronga Western Plains Zoo and hired a golf buggy to drive the 9km round track. Whilst you can drive around the zoo in your own car the novelty factor of the buggy was enjoyable. Initially we were going to hire bikes and cycle around, but with Mark's camera bag, our backpack that had our picnic lunch in it, and rain clouds threatening we went for the comfort and easy option.

The zoo has many expansive enclosures that make very good use of grass banks that make you feel like you are in the environment with the animals. My favourite animals on Sunday would easily be the Siamang mating couple. Siamangs are the largest of the Gibbon family and have amazing vocal calls that you can hear throughout the zoo, we were fortunate enough to watch their performance whilst enjoying our picnic lunch. They sing to each other as part of their bonding ritual, and to mark their territory.

I was also lucky enough to spot a cheetah hiding in it's enclosure and enjoying the sunshine, and this was a nice teaser for my tiger encounter on Monday.

Cheetah 'laying low' whilst everyone was photographing it's partner on the other side of the enclosure

On Monday morning I woke up keen to go to my tiger encounter, but had to wait until 11am, so we went to Old Dubbo Gaol which I thoroughly enjoyed after Mark dragged my negative ass in there. The Dubbo Cultural Centre was also a great place to go, and had the added bonus of being free. We found out about these places, and where to eat from a great site that a Dubbo local has put together; All About Dubbo; this website was so useful that I'm thinking of making a Northern Beaches section on this blog for other road trippers-wait and see if I work out the technical side of that.

Escape route from prisoner

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