"What is Dubbo?" That was the first question 24-year-old Maria Goltermann had when she found out she would be visiting Australia from Denmark. Maria has 12 weeks to learn all she can about Dubbo, its visitor offerings and the Australian lifestyle.


Dubbo has been my home for 3 months and I quickly got a daily routine here, which also means that some of my top things to do don’t just include tourist sights, but things that were part of my everyday. 

1st place - Zoofari Lodge

Something that really swept me of my feet was the Zoofari Lodge at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.  I now really understand why people in Dubbo are so proud of the zoo. Sure I’d been out there before, but getting “behind the scenes” and having a tour guide to show us around was the perfect way to visit the zoo. Not to speak of the lodges we slept in, waking up to the animals on the savannah and feeding the giraffes. An experiences I won’t forget and will always recommend to people that live in Dubbo as well as people that come to visit Dubbo! 


2nd place - Crossfit

The second of my favourite things to do in Dubbo, was Crossfit at Crossfit Dubbo which I’ve previously written about here. I really enjoyed going to Crossfit after work, and it was a big part of establishing my life in Dubbo too. Even though I was really excited to come to Australia and to see as much as possible of the country, it was just as important to me to establish a life in Dubbo, with work and routines like I would have back home. And I’m just saying, if you start doing Crossfit it’s hard to stop, so I’m definitely going to continue when I’m back home again. 


3rd place - Royal Flying Doctors Service

Third place would have to be my visit to the Royal Flying Doctors Service. For an overseas visitor like me, it can be hard to understand how important the RFDS is to Australia and the outback. But having been to the outback now and seeing the great distances, as well as heard stories from people that have been helped by RFDS, I can now see how great it is, and how amazing the dentists, doctors and nurses are for these people. This is definitely a must visit for people coming to Dubbo, as it is a big part of Australia.  


4th place - Rugby culture and the Dubbo Roos 

Fourth place goes to The Dubbo Roos. I loved watching the games on the weekends. Sport always brings a city together, and it was always fun to be a part of and seeing how many people would show up to support the local teams. I experienced that rugby was a big part of Dubbo, so I believe to get the full ‘Dubbo experience’ you need to experience a Dubbo Roos home game, with the rest of the city. 


5th place - The Old Dubbo Gaol

Fifth place goes to the Old Dubbo Gaol. This is also a must-see in Dubbo, it’s a big part of Dubbo’s history and therefore also something people in Dubbo as well as visitors should know about. Get a tour with a guide and hear the stories of the prisoners that have been locked up here. The museum is not very big, so its perfect for families with children or people that are usually not very fond of museums. I even found out that there was a Dane locked up years back. Who would have thought the Danes had already discovered Dubbo back then! 



This was my top 5 of things to do in Dubbo. I have loved my life here, and there has been so much more to it. I love the country around the city and not to speak of the friendliest people I have ever met live in Dubbo. I’m so happy that my stay in Australia ended up being in Dubbo, and I know I’ll be back to visit very soon. 

Have a great week everyone! My next post will be when I’m back home in Denmark. 



 

I’d been looking forward to this stay for quite a while and was really excited to finally stay at the Taronga Western Plains Zoofari Lodge. 

It started Wednesday afternoon (or arvo as you guys would say), where I was first welcomed to the Zoofari Lodge by John, who was to be the tour guide through my stay there. 

It had stopped raining and it turned out to be a cold but beautiful day and it only got brighter when I saw the lodge that I was going to stay at, A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! 
At first I didn’t really want to leave it again, I could sit there and watch the animals on the savannah in front of the lodge all day, but 3.30 pm it was time for a backstage tour of the zoo. 

First stop – The African Wild Dogs! We saw them getting fed, which as a true supporter of the Zoo, I had already seen. However, with John there it was really interesting to hear more about what kind of animal the African wild dogs are – definitely not the type of animal I usually come across. Did you guys know they are the most dangerous animals in the zoo with a 90% kill, whereas the lions are only 30% kill? And they like their food ALIVE! 

I always enjoy seeing the wildlife around the zoo as well, kangaroos are still my favourite, it’s so funny to see them just jumping around minding their own business at the zoo. 

On our backstage tour we had a chance to see the black rhino Kafara as well as the elephant Cuddle, (how cute is that!) getting fed. Cuddle is an African elephant and can eat up to 250 kg. of food a day! 

These backstage tours just made it so much more interesting to see the animals, as I learned so much about them at the same time! For anyone who has a chance to do this, I would definitely recommend this! 

 

 

          

 

The beautiful lodge!

Coming back to the lodge, we had some time to ourselves before a complimentary wine tasting, I spent that time, just sitting and watching the animals on the savannah until the sun went down. I never thought I could spend so much time just looking at animals – but I guess this whole experience just got to me! 

Wine and cheese was served before a really delicious African dinner. All guests had dinner together, which was really nice as I got to meet people from all over this beautiful country! 

The rest of the night I spent in my lodge, it’s a really good place to just relax and listen to the animals outside. No TV, makes it even better to just appreciate the facilities of the lodge, enjoy a bath, book and just have a nice sleep and waking up to the sound of animals in front of the lodge. 

Everything had been so great thus far, BUT my ultimate favourite part of the whole stay, was feeding the giraffes Thursday morning. Getting close to these gorgeous animals and seeing how they interact with the zookeeper was just incredible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Next up were the Ring-tailed lemurs, which I could actually really relate to in the way that they hate the cold and will always move around to be able to sit right in the sun (that’s me!). I probably wouldn’t fight with the birds for banana bites but that was hilarious to watch though. 

Another animal that caught my attention was the white rhino, which eats 25 kg. of hay a day, this should be like chocolate to them. A bit dry if you ask me… Anyway it was time for us to get back and have a feast of a breakfast, really delicious and perfect way to end a perfect stay at the Zoofari Lodge. 

For anyone who loves the zoo, want to give a special person a special experience, or just want a night away I would really recommend the Zoofari Lodge, get there as early as you can and just enjoy being at your lodge sit on the deck and watch the animals. It’s a unique scene, that I would recommend anybody, Dubbo people as well as tourists to experience, I KNOW YOU WILL LOVE IT 

 

 

 I found somebody taller than me!


Now, I will leave this lovely city for a week to go and explore the outback – so long Dubbo!  

 

 

   
The view from my lodge

In the freezing cold, I Friday went to Dubbo’s big pride: The Taronga Western Plains Zoo! But with a coat, scarf, gloves and boots nothings too cold.
I have to admit thought that I was too big of a chicken to go around in one of the carts.

Everybody tells me I should be used to the cold weather, but in my 24 years, I never got used to it…
 
However, that doesn’t matter when you can drive around in your car! And by the time you start watching the tigers, rhinos and all their friends, you don’t even think about the weather anymore.
Anyway, I was so excited to finally be going to the famous Taronga Zoo and I was so lucky to be able to say hello to Wiley the ring-tailed opossum and the 3 year old and 8 kg. koala, Leuca, at the zoo’s Education Centre. Yes, they were as cute up close as they look from afar, and if you have the chance to go to the Education Centre and meet some of the animals, DO IT! It just makes the experience even more unique.

 

Saying hello to the zoo residents

Next, I jumped in the car with my local guide and went for our adventure around the park. I was really amazed about how big the park was, and quickly understood that it wouldn’t just be a few hours walk around the zoo as it is back home.

I would definitely suggest to plan the trip around the park so that you at least see some of the animals being fed. I saw the wild dogs at the zoo entrance… and apparently when getting fed a kangaroo leg that is not a time they want to pose for my blog photos.

 

Dinner Time!                                                              Chilling with the hippos

My favourite part of the park was the Australian park, it was pretty awesome getting so close to the local animals. I wasn’t as cool as some of the children that got really close to the animals, one step at the time…
In my part of the world, we don’t walk out in our backyard and find a large wild animal starring at us, like people here would find rather normal.
My host family think it’s really amusing to scare me with snake stories, as they were probably one of my biggest worries coming here, but lucky enough for me, I’m here in the winter, so they can just keep on talking ;)

 

Connecting with a wallaby and her joey

Anyway… The snakes I saw at the zoo were in cages, and the kangaroos and wallabies did not kick or try to fight me! Maybe next time I’ll try to get closer…
Because I will definitely come back and I now understand why Dubbo is so proud of the Zoo.

I can’t wait for my next adventure in the Great Western Plains. I feel really lucky I’m able to explore this region, I think tourist are missing out not coming here.

Have a great day you all!  :D

 

 

 

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