Since arriving in Sydney to work for my au pair family they have been talking about taking a trip out to Dubbo and visiting Taronga Western Plains Zoo. A few weeks before my departure we finally went! We actually went to the grandparents farm in the Hunter Valley first, and made a proper, wet weekend road trip of it. And this time I remembered to take my camera, so I actually have photos of the farm to share with you all!
The weekend started off so wet and windy and it made me realise Australia really does get cold winters! It’s a total myth that Australia is hot the whole time! It was lush to be in the middle of nowhere, curled up in front of the fire with a good book whilst the heavens opened outside but it’s definitely not something I was expecting to be doing in Australia!
We stayed at the farm Friday night and Saturday night, leaving on the Sunday morning to head to Dubbo. We had two nights of accommodation booked at the zoo which was really exciting, especially for the kids! We had a little cabin that looked out to the giraffe enclosure meaning we woke up in the morning to see giraffes just chilling in the next field!
We arrived late afternoon on the Sunday and spent our evening munching on popcorn and planning our zoo excursions for the next day. Included in the price of our stay was bike hire, and as the zoo was pretty huge (the route around added up to about 7km I think!) we opted to take advantage of this and bike around the zoo.
I get a bit funny about zoos because there’s something about keeping wild animals in captivity that doesn’t sit all that well with me. It was nice to see here that the enclosures here were all more than big enough, filled with things to play with and keep the animals stimulated at all times. There were opportunities for us to feed the animals at times, plus plenty of talks throughout the day about the animals’ day to day lives and how they’re cared for that we took advantage of and the children loved seeing the animals show off during these presentations!
The highlight for me was seeing my first ever koala. I’m pretty over the typical Australian kangaroo now having seen more than enough during my time in Coffs Harbour, but before this weekend I had still not seen a koala. One of the enclosures allowed visitors to walk in and quietly move around with emus and wallabies, as well as taking a walk up a viewing platform to see the koalas in the trees. It was here I saw a total of six koalas, one of whom was pretty active (for a koala, anyway!) and was moving around and almost intentionally posing for my photos!
In this enclosure I was also able to pat a wallaby, something the kids were fascinated by and we really struggled to drag the four year old away – bless her!
At the end of the day we were all pretty pooped and ready for our beds, but that didn’t stop us from awaking early in order to catch the gorgeous sunrise before heading back home the next day. It was a fab trip away from Sydney life for a few days, a bit chilly but definitely a weekend to remember for all the right reasons!