Last updated

New South Wales
Overlooking Dubbo from the suburb of West Dubbo.jpg
Overlooking the city from West Dubbo
Australia New South Wales location map blank.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 32°15′25″S148°36′4″E / 32.25694°S 148.60111°E / -32.25694; 148.60111 Coordinates: 32°15′25″S148°36′4″E / 32.25694°S 148.60111°E / -32.25694; 148.60111
Population38,943 (2016 census) [1]  (37)
1966 (city) [2]
Postcode(s) 2830
Elevation275 m (902 ft) [3]
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
Location392 km (244 mi) NW of Sydney [4] [5]
LGA(s) Dubbo Regional Council
Region Central West / Orana
County Lincoln
State electorate(s) Dubbo
Federal Division(s) Parkes
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
24.3 °C
76 °F
10.1 °C
50 °F
551.7 mm
21.7 in
Japanese garden in Dubbo Dubbo garden.jpg
Japanese garden in Dubbo

Dubbo /ˈdʌb/ [6] is a city in the Orana Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the largest population centre in the Orana region, with a population of 38,943 as recorded by the 2016 census.

Orana is a region in central northern New South Wales, Australia. It has an estimated population of 113,824 people at June 2015, and is the largest region in New South Wales with an area of 198,561 square kilometres (76,665 sq mi), approximately 25% of the state. The major localities are Dubbo, Cobar and Mudgee.

New South Wales state of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.


The city is located at the intersection of the Newell, Mitchell and Golden highways. The nearest city, Orange, is approximately 144 km (89 mi) away. Dubbo is located approximately 275 m (902 ft) above sea level, 303 km (188 mi) [4] north-west of Sydney (400 km (249 mi) [7] by road) and is a major road and rail freight hub to other parts of New South Wales. It is linked by national highways north to Brisbane, south to Melbourne, east to Sydney and Newcastle, and west to Broken Hill and Adelaide.

Newell Highway highway in New South Wales

The Newell Highway is a national highway in New South Wales, Australia. The route is currently signed as the A39, however before 2013 was signed as National Highway 39. The Newell Highway is an important road link for freight between Queensland and Victoria and regional centres in western NSW. At 1,058 kilometres (657 mi) in length, the Newell is the longest highway in New South Wales, and passes through fifteen local government areas.

Mitchell Highway highway in Queensland and New South Wales

The Mitchell Highway is a state highway located in the central and south western regions of Queensland and the northern and central western regions of New South Wales in Australia. The southern part of the Mitchell Highway forms part of the National Highway A32 corridor, which stretches from Sydney to Adelaide via Dubbo and Broken Hill. The Mitchell Highway also forms part of the shortest route between Sydney and Darwin, via Bourke and Mount Isa; making it an important road link for the transport of passengers and freight for regional New South Wales and Queensland.

Golden Highway highway in New South Wales

The Golden Highway is a 313-kilometre (194 mi) highway, located in the Hunter and Orana regions of New South Wales, Australia.

Dubbo is included in the rainfall records and weather forecast region for the Central West Slopes [8] and in the Central West Slopes and Plains division of the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts. [9]


Evidence of habitation by Wiradjuri Nation, Indigenous Australians dates back over 40,000 years.

Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous Australians is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.

The explorer and surveyor John Oxley (1784–1828, born, Yorkshire, England) was the first European to report on the area now known as Dubbo in 1818. [10] The first permanent European settler in the area was English born Robert Dulhunty, described as one of the wealthiest citizens in the Australian colony at the time. There are records of squatters being given permission to set up large sheep and cattle stations in the area in 1824 but these were not maintained.[ citation needed ] Dulhunty occupied a property, known as Dubbo station (established in 1828), [10] from the early 1830s on a squatting basis. With the passing of the Squatting Act in 1836 he took out a licence on the property. [11]

John Oxley British explorer

John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley was an explorer and surveyor of Australia in the early period of British colonisation. He served as Surveyor General of New South Wales and is perhaps best known for his two expeditions into the interior of New South Wales and his discoveries of the Tweed River and the Brisbane River in what is now the state of Queensland.

Yorkshire historic county of Northern England

Yorkshire, formally known as the County of York, is a historic county of Northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Due to its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform. Throughout these changes, Yorkshire has continued to be recognised as a geographical territory and cultural region. The name is familiar and well understood across the United Kingdom and is in common use in the media and the military, and also features in the titles of current areas of civil administration such as North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire.

Robert Venour Dulhunty is chiefly remembered as being the first permanent white settler of what has since become the City of Dubbo, in the rural heartland of the Australian state of New South Wales.

Dulhunty showed an affinity with Indigenous Australians, his party included some 40 Aborigines and he favoured using Aboriginal names for properties, including Dubbo. Dubbo is now thought to be a mispronunciation of the local Wiradjuri word "Thubbo" but because of a lack of precise records from Dulhunty at the time and an incomplete knowledge of the Wiradjuri language today there is some conjecture over the word's meaning. A popular current theory is the word means "red earth", consistent with the local landscape. It is also possible that Thubbo or Tubbo is Wiradjuri for "head covering" [12] – a theory put forward to support this name is that the shape of Dulhunty's house may have looked like a hat to the local people. [ citation needed ]

Wiradjuri language traditional language of the Wiradjuri people of Australia

Wiradjuri is a Pama–Nyungan language of the Wiradhuric subgroup. It is the traditional language of the Wiradjuri people of Australia. A progressive revival is underway, with the language being taught in schools. Wiraiari and Jeithi may have been dialects.

Dubbo War Memorial Dubbo War Memorial.jpg
Dubbo War Memorial

Dundullimal Homestead is a farmhouse from that period, built around 1840 by John Maugham on his 26,000-acre (11,000 ha) sheep station. The building is one of the oldest homesteads still standing in western NSW and today is open to visitors.

In 1846, due to the number of settlers in the area, the government decided to establish a courthouse, police station and lock-up in the Dubbo area. A constables residence was completed in 1847 and a wooden slab construction courthouse and lock-up in early 1848. By this time, the settlement had only four buildings; the constables residence, courthouse and lock-up, a store and an inn.

Due to the lack of title for the land, in 1848 the storekeeper, Jean Emile Serisier, organised a petition asking for a land sale of town allotments. The plan was presented to the colony's Surveyor General in May 1849 by surveyor G. Boyle White. [11] The settlement was gazetted as a village in November 1849 with the first land sales taking place in 1850. [10] Population growth was slow until the Victorian gold rush of the 1860s brought an increase in north-south trade. The first bank was opened in 1867. Steady population growth saw the town proclaimed a municipality in 1872, when its population was 850. The railway extension of the main western railway from Wellington to Dubbo was formally opened on 1 February 1881. [13] [14] [15] By 1897, Dubbo had a general store, Carrier Arms, a slab courthouse, a gaol and a police hut. The final section of the Molong to Dubbo railway opened in late May 1925. [16] [17]

Dubbo was officially proclaimed a city in 1966. [18]

Heritage listings

Dubbo has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Plains of the Dubbo region, north of the township. Towards the Warrumbungles from Dubbo.jpg
Plains of the Dubbo region, north of the township.

The Macquarie River runs through Dubbo, as does Troy Creek. The City of Dubbo lies within a transition zone between the ranges and tablelands of the Great Dividing Range to the east and the Darling Basin plains to the west.


Dubbo falls in the warm temperate climate zone. [28] Under Köppen climate classification, Dubbo has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) [29] that borders the semi-arid climate (BSh). [30] [31] Summers are warm to hot, and winters cool to cold, that bring some occurrences of early morning frost but generally no snowfall unlike the nearby city of Orange. The last occurrence of snow was recorded by The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate in 1900. [32] The town's location in this transition area also allows a large temperature variation during the year, with high summer temperatures, sometimes peaking above 40 °C (104 °F) typical of the Western Plains of New South Wales and colder sub-zero temperatures typical of the Central Tablelands in winter.

Dubbo's location in the transition area between the Central Tablelands and the Central Western Plains have provided a mild distribution of rainfall throughout the year. Dubbo's wettest month is January with an average rainfall of 60.1 millimetres (2.37 in) occurring on average over five days. Evaporation in the Dubbo area averages approximately 1,880 millimetres (74 in) per year. Dubbo is considerably sunny, receiving 148.6 days of clear skies annually, in contrast to Sydney's 104 days. [33]

Wind patterns are ongoing over the whole year. The prevailing winds at Dubbo are from the southeast, south, southwest and west, which account for a combined 64.4% of the wind direction over the whole year. [34]

Climate data for Dubbo (Darling Street) (1870-2009)
Record high °C (°F)45.2
Average high °C (°F)33.0
Daily mean °C (°F)25.4
Average low °C (°F)17.9
Record low °C (°F)5.8
Average rainfall mm (inches)60.7
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm)
Average afternoon relative humidity (%)37394044535857514539363344
Source #1: [35]
Source #2: [36]


According to the 2016 Census the population of Dubbo is 38,943. 51.9% of residents are female and 48.9% are male. The median age is 36, slightly younger than the national average of 38. People aged 0-14 constitute 21.2% of the population compared to 18.7% nationally. 14.6% of residents are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander; the median age in this group is 21.

84.5% of residents report being born in Australia; notably higher than the national average of 66.7%. Other than Australia the most common countries of birth are England 1.0%, India 0.9%, New Zealand 0.8%, Nepal 0.5% and Philippines 0.5%. The most common reported ancestries in Dubbo are Australian, English and Irish.

76.8% of residents report both parents having been born in Australia; significantly higher than the national average of 47.3%.

87.6% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Nepali 0.5%, Mandarin 0.4%, Malayalam 0.3%, Tagalog 0.3% and Sinhalese 0.3%.

The top religious groups in Dubbo are Catholic 30.4%, Anglican 23.2% and Uniting Church 5.2%. 17.9% reported no religion (lower than the 29.6% nationally) and 9.0% did not answer the question. [1]


The city's largest private employer is Fletcher International Exports, which exports lamb globally. [37] Other local industries reflect the city's status as a regional base for surrounding agricultural regions.

A large employer is the Dubbo Base Hospital, with hospitals (excluding psychiatric hospitals) being the area's single largest employer. [1]


The main commercial area of Dubbo Dubbo, NSW.jpg
The main commercial area of Dubbo

Dubbo is also considered a major shopping centre for the surrounding regional areas in the Central and Far Western districts of New South Wales. Dubbo has many shopping districts including, but not limited to, the large and very recently renewed Orana Mall (East Dubbo), Macquarie and Talbragar Streets (City Centre), Centro Dubbo, Riverdale and Tamworth Street local stores (South Dubbo). Dubbo features many boutiques and unique stores as well as major national stores including Target, Officeworks, Coles, Woolworths, Mitre 10 Home & Trade, Bunnings, Myer, Harris Scarfe, Big W, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Sportsmans Warehouse and The Coffee Club.

A new suburban shopping centre in West Dubbo contains a Woolworths supermarket (Dubbo's third) and 15 smaller retail shops. [38]


Taronga Western Plains Zoo Giraffa camelopardalis -Taronga Western Plains Zoo, near Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia-8a.jpg
Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Tourism is also a significant local industry. Dubbo features the open-range Taronga Western Plains Zoo, which is home to various species of endangered animals, including the White, Black and Indian Rhinoceros', and runs a successful breeding program for a number of endangered species. The zoo is home to numerous specimens from around the world in spacious open-range moat enclosures, grouped according to their continent of origin. Other town attractions include the historic Dundullimal Homestead and the historic Old Dubbo Gaol in the middle of the commercial centre of Macquarie Street. The Western Plains Cultural Centre includes four gallery exhibition spaces, two Museum exhibition spaces and a Community Arts Centre.


There are 20 schools and secondary colleges including the Dubbo school of Distance Education. Dubbo is home to one of the four main campuses of Charles Sturt University which is located next to the Dubbo College Senior Campus. Macquarie Anglican Grammar School and Dubbo Christian School are both private independent k-12 schools located in Dubbo.


Dubbo has several fine examples of Victorian civic architecture including the (third) Courthouse (1887), the Lands Office with its use of timber and corrugated iron cladding, and the railway station (1881). [39] Towards the centre of the city the older residential areas contain numerous examples of red brick houses built in the "California Bungalow" style architecture of the early 20th century, together with Victorian terraced houses (Mostly in the Darling Street area) and a few Edwardian semi-detached homes.


Dubbo railway station Dubbo railway station platform.jpg
Dubbo railway station
Dubbo Regional Airport Dubbo City Airport.jpg
Dubbo Regional Airport

Dubbo railway station lies on the Main Western railway line between Sydney and Bourke and opened in 1881. [13] Dubbo station is the terminus for a daily NSW TrainLink XPT service from Sydney. [40]

Dubbo also has its own airport, Dubbo Airport, with flights to Sydney (QantasLink, Regional Express), Brisbane (JETGO ), Melbourne–Essendon (JETGO), Newcastle (FlyPelican), Canberra (FlyPelican) and other small out-back New South Wales towns (Airlink). Buses also serve Dubbo, with major runs to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.


Local print media include:

Dubbo is home to the Rural Press Central West Regional Hub, which prints many of Rural Press' local newspapers from across the state in the city. Regional Business magazine is also printed locally.

Three commercially licensed radio stations broadcast in the city:

ABC Radio also has a studio in the city:

ABC Radio broadcasts five services to the Dubbo area; ABC Local, ABC Radio National, Triple J, ABC Classic FM, and ABC NewsRadio.

The city also has narrowcast stations on 90.3 FM Racing Radio, a tourist radio station and a country music station. The city has two community stations, DCFM 88.9 Dubbo Community radio and Rhema FM which broadcasts Christian music.

The Dubbo area is served by 5 television stations. In common with all Australian TV stations they now broadcast digital transmissions only, with the primary program in each case being designated as follows:

Additional free-to-air digital television programs are also available in Dubbo. These programs include ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, One HD, Eleven, TenHD, 7TWO, 7mate, 9 HD, 9 Go, 9GEM, 9 Life and SBS Two.

Prime7 and WIN Television both produce half-hour-long local news bulletins. Prime7 News screens at 6 pm, while WIN News screens at 7 pm from Monday to Friday.

Subscription Television services are provided by Austar.

Sport and recreation

Sport plays a big role in Dubbo's community life. Rugby league is popular in Dubbo. Three teams compete in the Group 11 Rugby League – the Dubbo CYMS, Dubbo Westside and Dubbo Macquarie Raiders. The city also has an Australian rules football team, the Dubbo Demons who were premiers in the Central West Australian Football League in 2007. There are also two rugby union teams, the Dubbo Kangaroos (Roos) and the Dubbo Rhinos, which compete in the Central West Rugby competition, the Blowes Clothing Cup. Dubbo Junior Cricket Association conducts cricket for over 500 children aged between 5 and 16 during the period October to March and also conducts 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade competitions during this time.

Dubbo has a turf club, which incorporates a pony club, horse racing and organises shows and gymkhana. Ultimate Frisbee is a new sport to the town and is rapidly growing in popularity. The Dubbo Ultimate Frisbee Federation (DUFF) is the local Ultimate club and organises a local league and the Dubbo Meerkats Mixed rep side. [41] The 'Dubbo Rams' compete in the men's and women's NSW State Basketball Leagues. Netball is also popular in Dubbo with competitions every weekend for all age groups during netball season at the Nita McGrath netball courts near the Macquarie River in Central Dubbo. Dubbo has a large Junior and Senior Hockey Association with representative teams for all ages while also participating in the 'Premier League Hockey' Competition in both the Men's (Dubbo Lions) and Women's (Dubbo Blue Jays). Soccer is very popular particularly among children. Dubbo has its own all-age men's and women's competition and has three teams – Dubbo FC Bulls, Westside Panthers and Orana Spurs – who compete in the Western Premier League. Dubbo also has one of the only 10 Lane pools outside of Sydney in NSW, the Dubbo Aquatic and Leisure Centre. The 'DALC' hosts meets through the Western Swimming Association (and affiliated clubs Dubbo City Swimtech and Orana Aquatic) and School Carnivals.

Dubbo's Caltex Park hosted the annual City vs Country Origin match in 2006, with an attendance of 11,423, and in 2014, with an attendance of more than 9,600 in rainy conditions. [42]

In 2007 Dubbo hosted the Junior World Orienteering Championships with most of the events held in the granite outcrops of the nearby Sappa Bulga Range. From this event the orienteering club Western Plains Orienteers was born. Other sports popular in Dubbo include lawn bowls, via the huge variety of bowling clubs, and golf (the golf is held on Dubbo's 27 hole golf course).

Annual events and culture

Dubbo Multicultural Festival

Every September, the Multicultural Festival has a Parade & Festival in Victoria Park, & the following weekend a Dinner and Concert, held at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre.

Dubbo Show

The annual agricultural show, held around April/May of each year, is a major event for Dubbo and surrounding areas with a carnival like atmosphere.

Dubbo National Steer Show

This event is the annual domestic steer and heifer (cattle) hoof and hook show. Each year over 100 beef carcase cattle are judged live (hoof) as led or un-led and dead (hook). It is also the annual young judges, auctioneers and paraders competition. These events are very popular among the schools and colleges of the New South Wales area. [ citation needed ]

Dubbo City Eisteddfod

The Dubbo Eisteddfod is held annually at Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre, with students from Dubbo as well as surrounding regions including Gilgandra, Wellington, Orange, Gulgong, Narromine and Bathurst competing in the various sections.This involves Speech, Drama, Instrumental & Dance. The Eisteddfod runs from May until July each year.

Dubbo International Body Building Championships

Dubbo International Body Building Championships is an annual natural bodybuilding event that has been held in the city for last 26 years. The INBA Dubbo Natural Physique Titles competition is sanctioned by INBA Australia, which is the Australian affiliate of the International Natural Bodybuilding Association.

Notable people

See also

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