Australians can be parochial, but when it comes to exploring our own backyard we’re often neglect what’s on our doorstep and travel further afield.

We’ve been guilty of that of late and so we decided that the Easter break was a perfect excuse to head out to explore the treasures of Central NSW.

There as so many choices of what to fit into a 5 day road trip – Jenolan Caves, The Blue Mountains, Lithgow or Bathurst, but we decided to leave those to weekend escapes and head take the kids to Dubbo to visit the Taronga Western Plains Zoo  with a trip via Mudgee  and back via Orange.

I’ve got fond memories visiting Taronga Western Plains Zoo with my own family as a child – riding through the Zoo on our bikes and driving around in the car (yes vivid memories of a bright orange Passat my parents owned) with the animals close by at our finger tips. We visited the Old Dubbo Gaol and I remember my little brother and I exploring and locking our own dad up in the gallows as well as the adventures of just hanging out as a family.

So off we embarked on our roadtrip to create some of our own memories…


We headed off Easter Friday and stopped into Mudgee overnight, then two nights in Dubbo before heading home via Orange.  There was a selfish element of wine tasting thrown into the itinerary for my husband and I to catch up with some friends and discover more about the great wines being made in NSW. A great road trip for the whole family and there was so much to see and do that you could realistically take a month or so to truly discover the treasures of Central NSW.

I’ll elaborate on each of the regions over the next week or so in separate blog posts but some highlights were definitely:

  • Feeding the Giraffe’s at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo – getting up close and being able to feed the giraffes carrots with the keeper.
  • The early morning walk at the  Zoo – A two hour adventure (yes a 6.30am start to the day on Easter Sunday) getting to see behind the scenes and see the animals wake up and be fed.
  • My 3 year old son was in love with the golf buggies at the zoo that you can drive around. It was his weekend highlight for sure as he pretended he was a famous rally car driver exploring off road.
  • Visiting Logan Wines  in Mudgee – an unforgettable experience for the whole family – kids were kept occupied playing outside and we got to taste through the range of wines on offering.
  •  Seeing the extensive vineyards at Cumulus Wines – No wonder the brands are called Rolling and Climbing when you see the vineyards extend far into the distance over the hills and stunning country side. We were fortunate to be given the local tour of the vineyard and the city kids of mine showed how much they have to learn when chasing chickens and swinging on tires from a tree was such a memorable thing to do. There’s so many exciting developments in the Orange region and it’s a place we’ll be back to with so many great food and wine destinations to visit.
  • The Orange Adventure Playground – truly one of the best playgrounds we’ve ever been to with kids – there was hours of entertainment and a coffee shop next door!

Future blog posts over the next week to follow… stay tuned.