NWRaa: Dubbo Western Plain Zoo Zoofari

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NWRaa: Dubbo Western Plain Zoo Zoofari

Postby GlennD » Thu Dec 09, 2004 1:13 pm

Not Wine Related at all...

With holidays fast approaching we are planning a brief road-trip to take our two youngsters to the Dubbo Western Plain zoo. We are tempted to stay on site at the zoo in their safari-style "Zoofari" accommodation. Details on it are few though – other than that for a family of 4 it could approach $600 for the night – and rumour is that the accommodation is simply a slightly up-market tent. :shock: Any first hand reviews would be much appreciated.

Its likely we’ll swing through both Orange and Mudgee on the trip with a few winery visits thrown in so “must visit” recommendations also gratefully received.
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Postby Dan Clarke » Thu Dec 09, 2004 1:37 pm

No idea about dubbo Glenn
But werribee do the same thing here.

Yes upmarket tents. Meals provided etc.
But it is on a cliff top overlooking the santuary.

You can sit there at sunset drinking chard whilst watching and listening to the animals.
Then they take you on a night tour etc.

Would be good to do.
I may do it for valentines.
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Re: NWRaa: Dubbo Western Plain Zoo Zoofari

Postby The Symbol » Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:18 pm

GlennD wrote:Not Wine Related at all...

With holidays fast approaching we are planning a brief road-trip to take our two youngsters to the Dubbo Western Plain zoo. We are tempted to stay on site at the zoo in their safari-style "Zoofari" accommodation. Details on it are few though – other than that for a family of 4 it could approach $600 for the night – and rumour is that the accommodation is simply a slightly up-market tent. :shock: Any first hand reviews would be much appreciated.

Its likely we’ll swing through both Orange and Mudgee on the trip with a few winery visits thrown in so “must visit” recommendations also gratefully received.


You might like to visit Red Earth Winery - very close to the Western Plains Zoo. Went to a Fund Raiser for the African Painted Dog there a few years ago. Drinkable if nothing else wines.
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Postby DJJ » Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:12 am

Sorry don't know about the zoo accommodation but if you are planning to go to Western Plains and or Taronga Park more than once in a year check out a Zoo Friends membership (www.zoofriends.com.au) for the price of 2 visits you get unlimited visits. Although we live in Canberra we have found it good value this year because when in Sydney we can drop in for an hour or two and at worst it costs us half price parking.

As to wineries - my must in Orange is Canobolas Smith (I think only open on weekends). I would want to check out the Philip Shaw enterprise which has risen from the ashes of Reynolds.

Mudgee equals Huntington - I hate their bin numbers which discourage me from buying sight unseen from the mailing list but always buy a couple of cases when I get to try their wines (and I never buy cases at cellar door).
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Postby DJJ » Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:18 am

Seems to be reasonable information on it at:
http://www.zoo.nsw.gov.au/content/view.asp?id=219

and

http://www.zoofari.com.au/bwWebsite/

from the top website:

Your Zoofari Lodge experience includes:

Two (2) day admission to Western Plains Zoo
One (1) night’s accommodation 'under canvas' in an African-style lodge
Night and day behind-the-scenes tours with a Zoo Guide
Fine dining - a three course dinner and full country breakfast
Standard bicycle hire for one (1) day
10% discount at the Western Plains Zoo Souvenir Shop
10% discount at Bakhita's Cafe.

Our existing seven Savannah Lodges consist of a double bed and two single beds. The newly appointed Serengeti Lodges have a queen bed, two single beds and a sofa bed, they are also slightly larger in size.

Each lodge is equipped with coffee or tea making facilities, fridge, electric fan, a reading lamp and a radio/alarm. All bedding, linen and towels are provided. The lodge is not equipped with a television or a direct dial telephone. Calls may be made at the Main House, which is situated 100 metres away. A salt-water swimming pool is situated close to the Main House.
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Postby Hacker » Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:51 am

Glenn,

the Hacker family including 3 kids did the Zoofari last July, and although expensive, the experience is well worth it as you get extra tours and can feed the animals (like giraffes) which the kids will love.

The 'tents' are very comfortable and are secured over a concrete slab (warmed in winter) complete with ensuite and annex. Plenty of room, bearing in mind you should be out and about exploring.

You get a tastey dinner (byo permitted) then an evening tour of the noctornal animals, and the lions in their cages, and the next morning an early (6.30am) tour of the zoo with the giraffes feeding on bread (giraffes tongues are revolting!! :shock: ).

The ranger staff assigned to the Zoofari guests are very friendly and helpful.

Altogether a great experience and one that will thrill the kids and adults alike.

Dubbo Goal is also well worth a look see.

cheers,

David M.
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Postby GlennD » Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:06 am

DJJ wrote:Seems to be reasonable information on it at:
http://www.zoo.nsw.gov.au/content/view.asp?id=219

and

http://www.zoofari.com.au/bwWebsite/

...

David, many thanks. I have previously trawled through these web sites but noticed that they were extremely shy about putting any substantial details/pictures on what the “tent” accommodation is like. Now, I enjoy camping as much as the next person but did you check out the prices? $279 per adult per night, $159 for our 6 year old per night and $55 for the 3 year old for a total of $772 for a single night. In Dubbo! With the tours and everything it would still need to be one hellava meal to be value I’m thinking. Cheaper than flying a family of four to the Serengeti I suppose. But, again, this is Dubbo!

Hacker wrote:.. although expensive, the experience is well worth it ….

The 'tents' are very comfortable and are secured over a concrete slab (warmed in winter) complete with ensuite and annex. Plenty of room, bearing in mind you should be out and about exploring.
….
Altogether a great experience and one that will thrill the kids and adults alike.

Thanks Hack… this is allaying my (and SWMBO) trepidation quite a bit. Might just do it now.

I appreciate the time people have taken to research and respond. Thanks for the tips on the wineries and the Dubbo gaol as well.
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Postby GlennD » Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:38 pm

Thanks for the pre-trip info on the Dubbo Zoo (a.k.a.Western Plains Zoo) Zoofari. Here’s some quick feedback.

My family, including 3 & 6 year olds, are just back from there where we enjoyed two days at the Zoo, including a nights accommodation in the Zoo’s Zoofari Lodges. The highlight, and really what you are paying for in the $700+ family of 4 price tag for the Zoofari Lodge, are the three guided ranger tours; one at “sunset”, one at night and one first thing in the morning. The kids were totally captivated by the ranger talks and getting up close to the animals – they seem to have absorbed every word.

With a bit of planning and sticking to the published schedule of ranger talks open to the public during normal open hours most zoo goers can get a very close approximation at a fraction of the price. Still, flying to the Serengeti for a few days was not an option we had available, so for the “once-in-a-lifetime” experience it was well worth it to us to get the tent lodge experience.

Next stop on the holiday was Mudgee. I’ll put some impressions of the few wineries visited and wines tasted there up in a separate post.
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Postby dead knick » Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:47 pm

I highly recommend the one night Zoofari.

It is expensive but it is an experience you will never forget.

Also, dinner is BYO.
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Re: NWRaa: Dubbo Western Plain Zoo Zoofari

Postby michel » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:35 pm

the zoo thing is inclusive etc
but it is worth it as you get fed and have extra night trips around the zoo and morning for feeding time.
after two days you are exhausted and ready to go

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